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Head of troubled CDC anthrax lab quits

In this Oct. 8, 2013, file photo, a sign marks the entrance to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

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By The Associated Press
Wednesday, July 23, 2014, 7:24 p.m.

NEW YORK — The head of the government lab that potentially exposed workers to live anthrax has resigned, an agency spokesman said on Wednesday.

Michael Farrell was head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lab since 2009. He submitted his resignation on Tuesday, the spokesman said.

Farrell declined interview requests, spokesman Tom Skinner said.

Farrell was reassigned after an incident last month at an Atlanta lab that handles bioterrorism agents. The lab was supposed to completely kill anthrax samples before sending them to two other CDC labs that had fewer safeguards. But the higher-security lab did not completely sterilize the bacteria.

Dozens of CDC workers were potentially exposed to anthrax. No one got sick. An internal investigation found serious safety lapses.

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