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Dangerous Lab Conditions: Not only at UCLA

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An article today in the respected academic journal Science suggests that the conditions that led to the death of an employee in a laboratory fire at UCLA were not an anomaly. One senior professor at a top research university who also had long experience in industry told Science that a “culture of safety” is seriously lacking in university labs, which often present conditions worse than those in private industry.

“My company would never have gotten away with or tolerated a lot of the conditions that we tolerate in universities,” the researcher (whose identity was anonymous) reported.

Naveen Sangji, sister of Sheri, who was killed in the UCLA lab fire and a student at Harvard Medical School in Boston, told Science that “Scientists … need to understand that they are responsible for human lives, and their carelessness has real consequences for people and their families.”

Read the full Science article here .