Sandia LabNews

Sandia decontamination formulation used in Colorado emergency response, foam sales hit the roof.

A formulation developed at Sandia to decontaminate rooms and equipment contaminated with chemical and biological agents (Lab News, March 12, 1999) was used for the first time in a response to a suspected biological attack late last week.

Englewood (Colo.) Fire Department officials used a Sandia licensee’s product, Modec Decon Formula (MDF) provided by Modec, Inc. of Denver, to decontaminate equipment following an Oct. 12 response at a Denver-area post office. Authorities later determined that white powder leaking from an international package did not contain anthrax.

Sales of the foam have hit the roof in the last few weeks, report the two companies that have licensed from Sandia rights to sell the formulation.

Peter Beucher, CEO of EnviroFoam (Huntsville, Ala.), says the company is getting hundreds of calls a day for its EasyDECON formulation and has shipped quantities to federal, state, and local emergency response authorities, including the Army and National Guard. EnviroFoam employees are working day and night to build an inventory of the decontamination solution.

Brian Kalamanka, Modec CEO, says interest in MDF is way up. The company has taken orders of about $1 million since Sept. 11. Among those being provided the formulation are the Navy and FBI. Modec is scrambling to keep up with demand, he says.

Both companies are seeking FDA approval to distribute the formulation in personal quantities for topical use.

Watch for details about other deployments of the Sandia-developed formulation in future issues of the Lab News.