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October 26, 2001

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

Download 300dpi JPEG image, 'anthrax.jpg', 1.3Mb
(Photos by Randy Montoya)

(Media are welcome to download/publish this image with related news stories.)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Federal authorities are using a decontamination formulation developed at the National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) Sandia National Laboratories to help rid Capitol Hill buildings of anthrax this week.

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.
[Foam Spray]
DECON DEMONSTRATION — Sandia National Laboratories researcher and decon foam co-developer Maher Tadros demonstrates use of the Sandia-developed chem-bio decontamination formulation that is being used now now to help rid US facilities of anthrax contamination.
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(Media are welcome to download/publish this image with related news stories.)

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. (For more about the formulation’s development, see www.sandia.gov/media/cbwfoam.htm.)

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.

[Maher Tadors]
DECON FOAM -- Co-developer Maher Tadros displays Sandia's non-toxic foam for neutralizing chemical and biological agents.
(Photo by Randy Montoya)
Download 300dpi JPEG image, 'Tadros.jpg', 626K (Media are welcome to download/publish this image with related news stories.)

EnviroFoam Technologies (EFT) 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 (DARPA), confirmed the effectiveness of EasyDECON against anthrax. (For more about the EasyDECON product, see EFT’s web site at www.easydecon.com.)

(For more about the MDF product, see Modec’s web site at www.deconsolutions.com.)

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

Modec Media contact:
Brian Kalamanka, modec@flash.net, (800) 967-7887

EnvirFoam Media contact:
Marianne Higgins, marianne@prview.com, (205) 328-9334

Related news releases:
License to Modec: www.sandia.gov/media/NewsRel/NR2000/modec.htm
License to EnviroFoam: www.sandia.gov/media/NewsRel/NR2000/envfoam.htm
Foam wins Discover Award: http://www.sandia.gov/media/NewsRel/NR2000/discover.htm

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