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October 23, 2001

Sandia-developed chem-bio decon formulation used to rid D.C. Congressional offices of anthrax

[Mark Tucker]
Answer to anthrax -- Sandia National Laboratories researcher Mark Tucker examines two petri dishes: one with a simulant of anthrax growing in it, the other treated with a new decontaminating foam developed at Sandia. Sandia licensed commercialization rights to the foam last year to two companies: Modec, Inc. and EnviroFoam Technologies.
(Photos by Randy Montoya)
Download 300dpi JPEG image, 'anthrax.jpg', 1.3Mb

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — EnviroFoam Technologies (EFT) of Huntsville, Ala., announced today that the company has been contracted by the federal government to help remediate the Hart Senate Office Complex and Dirkson Congressional Offices in Washington, D.C. thought to be contaminated with trace levels of anthrax.

The Department of Energy’s Sandia National Laboratories, where the formulation was developed, licensed rights to manufacture and distribute the formulation to EFT last year. Sandia’s development of the formulation was funded by DOE’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) through its Chemical and Biological National Security Program. (For more about the development, see www.sandia.gov/media/cbwfoam.htm.)

Over the weekend the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) tested the kill effectiveness of EFT’s EasyDECON™ AB (anthrax blend). The test regimen, funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), confirmed the effectiveness of EasyDECON against anthrax, according to EFT officials.

EFT CEO and President Peter Beucher says EasyDECON was chosen because the product kills the anthrax spore — and because it is safe to use and environmentally friendly. Traditional methods of remediation after chemical or biological contamination have employed bleach as a neutralizing agent, but it is destructive and labor-intensive to apply. (For more about the EasyDECON product, see EFT’s web site at www.easydecon.com.)

EasyDECON can be delivered as a liquid or foam and has been tested against live agents. Foam was chosen for this incident due to its reliability and consistency.

In laboratory tests at Sandia the decon formulation destroyed simulants of anthrax, several chemical agents, and viral particles.

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

Sandia has licensed the formulation to two companies: EFT and Modec, Inc. of Denver, Colo.

EFT was founded two years ago to commercialize EasyDECON. In June 2001 EFT broadened the Sandia relationship with an exclusive cooperative research and development agreement for the expansion of the EasyDECON product line. The company provides its decontamination products directly to the federal government and through a distribution network to local government agencies, as well as strategic commercial and industrial markets.

Sandia is a multiprogram laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a Lockheed Martin Company, for the United States Department of Energy under contract DE-AC04-94AL85000. With main facilities in Albuquerque, N.M., and Livermore, Calif., Sandia has major research and development responsibilities in national security, energy and environmental technologies, and economic competitiveness.

Sandia Media contact:
John German, jdgerma@sandia.gov, (505) 844-5199

EnviroFoam Media contact:
Peter Beucher, peter.beucher@westwindcorp.com, (256) 319-0137

Related news releases:
License to EnviroFoam: www.sandia.gov/media/NewsRel/NR2000/envfoam.htm
License to Modec: www.sandia.gov/media/NewsRel/NR2000/modec.htm

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