UNDT reacts to L.A. bioterror scare

Universal Detection Technology, a provider of counter-terrorism consulting and training services and developer of early warning technology against bioterror agents, has commented on a July 30 anthrax scare at a downtown Los Angeles metro station.

The 7th Street Metro Station was closed and evacuated after a white powdery substance was found there in the early morning. The station remained closed for two hours before officials reopened it. An arrest was made in the case, but the powder’s makeup is still unknown.

"The incident that happened in Los Angeles on Friday can occur anywhere, at anytime, underscoring the very real threat bioterrorism poses," Jacques Tizabi, Universal Detection Technology's CEO, said. "For a bioterrorist, the goal is to disperse or leave behind harmful bioagents such as anthrax in a public place to increase the risk of exposure; however, the opportunities for harm are even greater at a mass transportation hub that could aid in spreading infectious biohazards to other geo-locations. The same could also be true for other routine distribution avenues, including mailing or commercial shipping and infrastructure, such as water delivery."

Universal Detection Technology is the producer of a bioweapons detection kit that was certified by the Department of Homeland Security last year. The kit is capable of detecting and identifying five separate biological warfare agents using one sample in under three minutes, including anthrax, ricin, botulinum toxin, plague and Staphylococcal Enterotoxin B.