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News

Sandia-developed formulation among products selected to help rid U.S. facilities of anthrax

DOE/Sandia National Laboratories : 23 December, 2006  (Company News)
Federal authorities are using a decontamination formulation developed at the National Nuclear Security Administration
Cleanup workers have taken quantities of the formulation with them into Congressional office buildings as one of the decontamination products selected to help remediate the Hart and Dirksen Senate Office Buildings and the Ford Congressional Offices in Washington, D.C.

They also are preparing to use the foam to decontaminate mailrooms on Capitol Hill contaminated with anthrax.

Two Sandia researchers are on site in Washington as technical advisors.

Sandia licensed rights to commercialize the chem-bio formulation (often referred to as a decon foam) to two companies last year, Modec, Inc. (Denver, Colo.) and EnviroFoam Technologies (Huntsville, Ala.), following a five-year research and development project at Sandia funded by the NNSA’s Chemical and Biological National Security Program.

The formulation, a cocktail that includes ordinary household substances such as those found in hair conditioner and toothpaste, neutralizes both chemical and biological agents in minutes. It can be applied to a contaminated surface as a liquid spray, mist, fog, or foam.

Traditional decontaminating products typically are based on bleach, chlorinated solvents, or other hazardous or corrosive materials. Many are designed to work against only a limited number of either chemical or biological agents.

The Sandia formulation works against a wide variety of both chemical and biological agents. It has low-toxicity and low-corrosivity properties and is environmentally friendly.

In multiple independent lab tests and military field trials, the formulation was effective against viable anthrax spores and chemical warfare agents. In lab tests at Sandia it also destroyed simulants of anthrax, simulants of chemical agents, vegetative cells, toxins, and viruses.

“It has performed well against biological agents as well as the most worrisome chemical warfare agents,” says co-developer Mark Tucker of Sandia.

EnviroFoam Technologies was contracted early this week to supply its version of the formulation to support the Environmental Protection Agency-led remediation effort on Capitol Hill. Over the weekend the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory tested EFT’s EasyDECON AB (anthrax blend). The test regimen, funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, confirmed the effectiveness of EasyDECON against anthrax.
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