New Mexico’s very own Sandia National Labs is setting the bar when it comes to lab safety across the world. They want to help stop outbreaks before they even start.
Sandia systems analyst Bill Arndt takes us inside a lab prototype that’s used for training. He stresses the way a lab is set up is extremely important so contaminants aren’t spread and tests aren’t compromised.
Through funding from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, Arndt and his team were able to come up with “The Prototype Lab”.
It’s a docket with hundreds of pages of designs that standardize how a lab should be constructed and laid out, which is important during an outbreak.
“One of the big problems during the initial stages of the Ebola outbreak was that the laboratories weren’t equipped and capable of diagnosing the disease,” Arndt said.
He says there are several design concepts that are suited for different areas of the world. In some countries, access to electricity is limited so they’ve come up with sustainable ways to build labs.
“The way the designs are laid out, they can easily be used for local materials that are available,” he said.
Arndt says the designs have been so successful that many countries in the Middle East and Africa are using them.