WASHINGTON (CN) – The Health and Human Services Department plans to review and republish a list of “agents and toxins” that would be hazardous if released in a terrorist attack. It was created after the Sept 11, 2001 attacks and the anthrax attacks that followed.
The Centers for Disease Control use it to regulate the laboratories that may use or transfer the toxins within the United States.
The Health and Human Services Department shares the list with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The Ebola virus, ricin, and the source of botulism are examples from the health department’s part of the list, and the bird flu, mad cow disease, and plant diseases are included in the agriculture department’s part.
The agency seeks public comment on whether it should “tier” the list based on the relative bioterrorism risk of each agent or toxin and possibly further “stratify” the security requirements for agents in the highest tier based on type of use or other factors.
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