Detecting Biohazards in Lubbock's Air - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

1/22/03

Detecting Biohazards in Lubbock's Air

Clear skies in Lubbock, air quality high, pollution levels low; thanks to regular monitoring by the Environmental Protection Agency. Nationwide, the EPA has 3,000 air quality monitors. They were installed after the passage of the Clean Air Act, ensuring that smog levels don't get too high. But since 9-11, their job description has changed, their locations kept a secret. Why? Homeland security.

"The idea for homeland defense and bio-security is to also retrofit these devices to be able to detect bio weapons," said Dr. Victoria Sutton. She's the Director of the Texas Tech Center for Biodefense.

Last week's missing plague vials had the public wondering what measures were in place to detect bio-warfare. According to Dr. Sutton, modifying the EPA monitors is an ongoing process.

"Well, they're intended to be able to pick up any biological weapon, but right now, in the development of primers, which is the identification of biological weapons in the monitors, there is capability to identify anthrax and plague," she said.

The high tech devices cost $1 million each and use DNA samples to detect biohazards -- a far cry from the day when the exhaust a '67 Chevy was the biggest threat to air quality.

"People are watching this. It is very much an issue that will have national interest to scientists and to regulators," she said.

  • Local News on KCBD.comNewsMore>>

  • Trump administration sanctions 271 in Syrian chemical attack

    Trump administration sanctions 271 in Syrian chemical attack

    Monday, April 24 2017 6:57 PM EDT2017-04-24 22:57:14 GMT
    Monday, April 24 2017 6:57 PM EDT2017-04-24 22:57:14 GMT

    U.S. officials say the Trump administration will issue new sanctions against Syria as early as Monday as part of its ongoing crackdown on the Syrian government and those who support it.

    U.S. officials say the Trump administration will issue new sanctions against Syria as early as Monday as part of its ongoing crackdown on the Syrian government and those who support it.

  • Golf for Kid's Sake, Saturday May 6

    Golf for Kid's Sake, Saturday May 6

    Monday, April 24 2017 6:49 PM EDT2017-04-24 22:49:34 GMT
    Source: FacebookSource: Facebook

    Big Brothers Big Sisters in partnership with SERVPRO of Southwest Lubbock, will be kicking off the annual Golf for Kid’s Sake event on Saturday, May 6.

    Big Brothers Big Sisters in partnership with SERVPRO of Southwest Lubbock, will be kicking off the annual Golf for Kid’s Sake event on Saturday, May 6.

  • South Korea, allies brace for North Korea follow-up act

    South Korea, allies brace for North Korea follow-up act

    Monday, April 24 2017 6:47 PM EDT2017-04-24 22:47:33 GMT
    Monday, April 24 2017 6:47 PM EDT2017-04-24 22:47:33 GMT

    South Korea and its allies are bracing for the possibility that North Korea may carry out its sixth nuclear test or its maiden test launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile around the founding anniversary of its military on Tuesday.

    South Korea and its allies are bracing for the possibility that North Korea may carry out its sixth nuclear test or its maiden test launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile around the founding anniversary of its military on Tuesday.

Powered by Frankly