National Health Council to review laboratory regulations

NATICK – Natick’s health officials are considering implementing local lab regulations just weeks after plans to renovate Natick Mall’s Neiman Marcus store into a research and development facility fueled community safety talks.

Last month, neighbors at the mall expressed concern that NM Redevelopment’s plans for the site could eventually include a laboratory. The project is still at an early stage and the developers have not yet confirmed that the project will actually include a laboratory.

Subsequent conversations focus on biosafety levels – labels assigned to laboratories to determine the necessary protective measures depending on the materials they use.

What do biosafety levels mean?

Each level of biosafety (BSL) comes with certain risks, but also with certain safeguards, safety measures and oversight, Public Health Director Michael Boudreau said in a presentation at a meeting of the Health Board on Tuesday.

For example, BSL 1 laboratories work with materials that pose minimal risk to the community.

“A level 1 biosafety lab is essentially a high school lab,” Boudreau said.

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