UCLA Criminal Charges Focus Universities' Attention on Laboratory Safety

University laboratories in the United States have suffered nearly 120 explosions, fires, and chemical releases in the past decade, according to a federal tally. But until late last year, the number of criminal charges filed over lapses in laboratory safety was zero.

Frustrated safety experts see a connection between those two statistics. Universities and their researchers don't take lab safety seriously, the safety experts say, and nobody has really ever forced them to.