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Sandia Lab, New Mexico ^ | recently | Sandia Lab

Posted on 10/25/2001 11:12:01 AM PDT by Fred25



"It has performed superbly for all the agents we have tested it against," Tadros says.

More tests planned for April will pit the foam against real anthrax and other bacterial spores.

"If you can kill spores, you can kill germinating bacteria and you can deactivate viruses," says foam co-developer Mark Tucker of Sandia. "Spores are the most difficult."

The foam -- a cocktail of ordinary substances found in common household products -- neutralizes chemical agents in much the same way a detergent lifts away an oily spot from a stained shirt. Its surfactants (like those in hair conditioner) and mild oxidizing substances (like those in toothpaste) begin to chemically digest the chemical agent, seeking out the phosphate or sulfide bonds holding the molecules together and chopping the molecules into nontoxic pieces.








The PIDS (Personal Incident Decontamination Sprayer) is a ready-to-use decon application sprayer designed for individual use by one or two people in emergency response situations.

The PIDS application sprayer draws EasyDECON 50/50 components from dual 11-oz. polyethylene bottles. Ideal for use in close quarters such as medevac helicopters, ambulances, laboratories, and in any other emergency situation where personal decontamination is needed quickly with minimal disruption of operations.

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1 posted on 10/25/2001 11:12:01 AM PDT by Fred25
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To: Fred25
KOB TV in Albuquerque has been reporting this story for a week. I finally managed to track down some distributors.
2 posted on 10/25/2001 11:13:20 AM PDT by Fred25
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To: monocle; jpthomas; candyman34; wretchard; magoo_70115; Non-Sequitur; jern; wysiwyg; summer
3 posted on 10/25/2001 11:18:08 AM PDT by Fred25
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To: Fred25
bump for future ref.

BTW, if this stuff is effective and available, why is Daschle still whining about being locked out of his office? Scrub the place down and stfu.

4 posted on 10/25/2001 11:19:22 AM PDT by ZOOKER
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To: Fred25
If you can stand the damage the bleach causes to colors, every home with bleach can dilute the bleach at 1-in-10 with water and sterilize any possibly contaminated surface or item according to medical commentators on national news.

Don't run out and spend a bunch of money out of our understandable fears.

I'm glad, however, that there are benign products out there that can be utilized by the people that have to go into these suspect condidtions.

5 posted on 10/25/2001 11:21:20 AM PDT by KC Burke
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To: Fred25
Uh - I thought they told us we could just wash our hands with soap and water and we'd be okay. You mean I should go back to rubber gloves to open my mail?
6 posted on 10/25/2001 11:27:13 AM PDT by ladyjane
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I think this stuff is already being used at the Capitol.

KOB TV in Albuquerque says it is being used to scrub down NBC in NY right now.

7 posted on 10/25/2001 11:27:56 AM PDT by Fred25
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To: KC Burke
This stuff sells for $29.95 for a one-person, one-use bottle. I think that’s a little expensive.

Read the Sandia press release. It says the stuff is made up of common household products. What I want is to see Sandia and the feds give out the formula to the general public. This stuff was developed for the US Dept. of Energy with taxpayer dollars.

Sandia says it contains simple chemicals like stuff that’s in tooth paste and hair conditioner. Well, heck, I’ve got some of that stuff in my house already! What’s the formula?? I think we should put pressure on the feds to release this information.

8 posted on 10/25/2001 11:32:33 AM PDT by Fred25
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To: ladyjane
Yes, but..... the contamination consists of very small particles. If our house gets contaminated via our mail, washing our hands won’t decontaminate our house, our car, or our mail box. Remember that yesterday the USPS said that they can’t guarantee that any US mail does not contain Anthrax.

We are probably safe right now, but if someone later sends out hundreds of letters all over the country, that will contaminate hundreds of post offices and millions of homes.

9 posted on 10/25/2001 11:35:23 AM PDT by Fred25
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To: ladyjane
The Sandia press release says this stuff will kill other dangerous bacteria and chemicals too.
10 posted on 10/25/2001 11:37:12 AM PDT by Fred25
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To: Cultural Jihad; verity; Tennessee_Bob; sinkspur; Dane; Imbe; nopardons; Kevin Curry; dennisw...
11 posted on 10/25/2001 11:42:16 AM PDT by Fred25
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To: Fred25
Why did you "track down distributors"?
12 posted on 10/25/2001 1:48:37 PM PDT by Illbay
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To: Illbay
Why did you "track down distributors"?

1) So I can find out where I can buy some of it.

2) So I can try to find out what’s in it.

The smallest amount commercially available now is a small 11-oz double-bottle for one-time use that sells for $29.95. I’ve learned so far that one of the main ingredients (perhaps the main ingredient) is hydrogen peroxide, but I don’t know what percentage or strength. Based on some of the information I’ve been able to collect so far, we might be able to make some of this stuff at home, if we can learn the principal ingredients. I can’t afford $29.95 each, for several dozen bottles. Once a double-bottle of ingredients are mixed, they remain active for only about 8 hours.

The anthrax bacteria is not all that exotic, as compared to other bacteria. Apparently it is an “encapsulated” kind. We’ve got to find something to break open the encapsulation and then destroy the stuff inside. Certain very simple chemicals, such as a dilute Clorox solution, might be able do this, but Clorox is corrosive, while diluted hydrogen peroxide is not.

Don’t wait for the government to do something for you. Go out and do it yourself. If you want to help, try to help me figure out what the active ingredients are in this Sandia formula. KOB TV has been reporting for a week that it’s made up of “common household chemicals”.

13 posted on 10/25/2001 3:06:55 PM PDT by Fred25
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To: Illbay

Cleanup of anthrax presents a novel problem

Thursday, October 18, 2001


Staff Writer

It's a problem few companies had considered before the past few weeks: how to decontaminate a building exposed to anthrax.

Researchers say simple household cleaners such as bleach or hydrogen peroxide, in the right concentrations, will kill the bacteria.

But that will still leave building owners with questions about detecting spores, protecting office equipment, and convincing jittery workers that it is safe to reenter an office.

"We certainly have the wherewithal to decontaminate known biological or chemical agents," said Brian Kalamanka, whose Denver company manufactures a foam designed for anthrax cleanups. "It's the detection and identification of those agents that's the tricky part."

Such worries and complications are a reality now that anthrax particles have been discovered in tabloid newspaper offices in Florida and congressional offices in Washington, at NBC News, and in the New York governor's office in Manhattan.

After the criminal probes end, cleanup crews will begin the unprecedented process of making the offices habitable again.

The biggest challenge may come in American Media Inc.'s tabloid offices in Boca Raton, Fla., where authorities are uncertain how much of the building is contaminated.

AMI, publisher of the National Enquirer, The Sun, and other papers, said it isn't waiting around. A spokeswoman said this week that it would abandon its quarantined headquarters, even if officials declare it safe.

It's an example of what experts say may be the largest cleanup problem: persuading employees to return to a tainted building.

"Regardless of what the risk is assessed at, people are going to have their own opinion and they are not going to want to go back into that building unless something is done," said Monica Schoch-Spana of Johns Hopkins University's Center for Civilian Biodefense Study.

Experts say it is unlikely anyone could contract the inhaled form of anthrax from spores left behind after the primary release that killed AMI photo editor Robert Stevens and left two other employees with spores in their nasal passages.

"What we've learned is it's the concentration of particles in the first release that makes it deadly," said Schoch-Spana. "That first aerosol puff of cloud that is released is the most concentrated form."

A person must inhale upwards of 10,000 spores to become ill, scientists think. Investigators say they found an unspecified quantity in the building's mailroom and a single spore on Stevens' computer keyboard. But one spore would not have been lethal to anyone, Schoch-Spana said.

High concentrations of bleach or other common cleansers will kill anthrax bacteria, said Michael Tucker, a chemical engineer at the federal government's Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico. Officials in New York have been warning people to wash their hands with soap if they think they might have touched anthrax.

But high doses of bleach or hydrogen peroxide can damage computers, furniture, and other items in an office.

With that in mind, Congress in 1996 asked Sandia to come up with a cleaning solution strong enough to neutralize the residue of chemical and biological agents of terror but gentle enough not to harm upholstery or sicken office workers.

Tucker would not discuss Sandia's formula. But Kalamanka said it combined ingredients of such common items as toothpaste and hair conditioner to produce a clear liquid that kills germs and also cleaves the molecular bonds of chemical weapons like sarin and mustard gas.

Sandia granted manufacturing licenses to two companies last year -- Kalamanka's Modec Inc. of Denver and a business in Alabama. Kalamanka said Modec, whose clients to date have included the military and local governments, has already quadrupled its monthly output -- from 2,000 to 8,000 gallons of the cleaning solution -- in response to the past month's scares.

The anti-anthrax cleaner can be applied as a foam, spray, gel, or mist. Lab tests found that it leaves only 1 spore in 10 million alive, the government reports. It leaves a soapy, but usually invisible, residue on walls and carpets.

That will do the job for most surfaces in a contaminated office, Kalamanka said. Ventilation systems or other hard-to-reach nooks and crannies can be treated with a vaporized version of whatever cleaning agent is chosen.

Cleanups must follow careful tests of an office or building to figure out which areas have been contaminated. If that is impossible, officials may have to guess based on the flow of air and people in a workplace, said Tucker, the Sandia chemical engineer.

Even then, a few stray spores may go missing, or survive the cleaning. That poses what may be the toughest question for officials: how clean is clean enough?

The government has performed mock biological and chemical cleanups on military bases in recent years, usually with success, Tucker said. But what will civilians consider acceptable?

"There are no federal guidelines that say how to certify a building for occupancy after a cleanup from an anthrax attack," Kalamanka said. "Those are things the Centers for Disease Control is looking at right now."

The consensus at Johns Hopkins' bioterrorism think tank is that decontaminating a large urban area or building is not feasible. Instead, the university recommends vaccinating workers or residents, if a vaccine is available.

14 posted on 10/25/2001 3:23:34 PM PDT by Fred25
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To: Fred25

A trip to the mailbox?

15 posted on 10/25/2001 3:28:50 PM PDT by OWK
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To: Illbay

The Science behind the challenge:

The quotation below is an excerpt from the March 8,1999 issue of Chemical Engineering News, a weekly publication serving the chemical industry.

"Sandia National Laboratories chemist Maher E. Tadros, in protective gear, sprays a foam that he and Sandia chemist Mark D. Tucker have developed to decontaminate chemical and biological warfare agents. The foam is a combination of a mild nucleophile such as hydrogen peroxide carbonates commonly found in toothpaste, a positively charged non-toxic surfactant often found in hair conditioners, and hydrotropes found in detergents. Hydrotropes found in detergents solubilize and catalyze the neutralization or the agents.

The foam reacts rapidly with the agents. is non-toxic and non-corrosive and could be produced at a cost of 75 cents per pound. Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) in Chicago conducted testing of the foam against the nerve gases VX and Soman and against mustard gas because Sandia can only use simulants. The half-life of the reaction is in the neighborhood of 2-10 minutes, Soman being neutralized very quickly and mustard gas reacting much more slowly," Tadros explains. The foam has been shown by NMR to cleave the P-S bond in the agents. Using a simulant for the biological warfare agent anthrax, the foam achieved a 7-log kill; meaning only one anthrax spore per 10 million is alive after one hour. IIT will test live anthrax next month. How the spores are killed is not known. Researchers speculate that the surfactants damage the spores' protective protein wall and allow the nucleophiles (oxidizing agents) attack the genetic material inside.

The foam's development is part of the Department of Energy's Chemical & Biological Nonproliferation Program.

The article discloses a product developed by Sandia Labs for the Biological and Chemical Warfare Division of he US Army under the auspices of the DOE. The product is a combination of a peroxide gel found in toothpaste, a foaming agent commonly used in fire fighting, and a FDA approved food grade surfactant commonly found in shampoo conditioners and different food stuffs and hydrotropes found in detergents. Obviously the product neutralizes the most potent nerve toxins and airborne pathogens known to man. The product acts to neutralize these agents and cleanse them from the skin like an antibacterial soap. But it is not soap. We spoke with one of the product developers, Dr. Mark Tucker. His explanation was that the peroxide gel, an oxidizing agent in conjunction with the surfactant and hydrotrope, surrounds the organism or chemical agent, oxidizes it and will not allow it to interact with it's environment, effectively neutralizing the toxic agent. The surfactant hydrotrope combination is apparently very effective in seeking out only toxins and gram-positive pathogens. This is not an antioxidant action - quite the opposite, if peroxide is present.

Likewise, it appears we are looking at the missing ingredients in peroxide and ozone therapy that would keep these strong oxidizers from harming the body after they have oxidized pathogens and oxygenated the body - the surfactant and hydrotrope. Surfactants have been used in fuel cells in lieu of salt to catalyze the electrolytic reaction and could do the same for ozone therapy machines. We know that the body's T-cells dispatch pathogens with peroxide and we know that the body and cells manufacture and use surfactants in places like the lungs to regulate oxygen-carbon-dioxide exchanges and at the surface of the cell wall to reduce surface tension in the water layer surrounding the cell membrane. This is necessary for cellular functioning and communications. Could it be that the surfactant in the lungs has an anti-microbial and anti-toxin function that has eluded science to date? It would appear that biochemists as well as the medical community might have missed these connections in terms of a surfactant-hydrotrope role in human health.

16 posted on 10/25/2001 3:31:37 PM PDT by Fred25
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LOL! Right! The same with a trip to the Capitol.
17 posted on 10/25/2001 3:32:54 PM PDT by Fred25
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To: ninachka; FFIGHTER; MarkWar; Renatus; MadIvan; calandola; D-fendr; Jay Gatsby; Strauss; #3Fan...
The article in post # 16 says this stuff can be made for .75 cents a pound, yet commercial distributors are selling it for $29.95 for 11 ounces. Sandia Lab developed this under a contract with the Department of Energy.
18 posted on 10/25/2001 3:39:45 PM PDT by Fred25
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Ha! Here we go.........


”Decontamination -- Materials that are contaminated with anthrax bacillus or spore must be decontaminated. Spores can be destroyed by: steam under pressure (autoclave) for one hour; dry heat above 159 C; or boiling water for 30 minutes with disinfectants. Table 3 lists chemicals that have been used as anthrax bacillus and spore disinfectants. Animals who died of anthrax infection have been traditionally either cremated or deeply buried with quicklime.”

Table 3 Anthrax Disinfectants

chloride solution

peracetic acid 3%

formaldehyde 10% in water

potassium permanganate

hydrogen peroxide 3%

sodium hypochlorite 0.5%



Ok, ok....... Ahhh..... I’ve already got a big bottle of Safeway hydrogen peroxide 3%!

Tomorrow I’m going out to buy more bottles of hydrogen peroxide and some plastic spray bottles. I’ll do some testing on cloth to see if a 3% solution will harm clothes. I’ll try it on plastics too.

Evidently the foam in the Sandia product is for use against the other bio-terror products, such as mustard gas. I don't think we need the foam for anthrax.

19 posted on 10/25/2001 3:55:01 PM PDT by Fred25
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To: Fred25
>The article in post # 16 says this stuff can be made for .75 cents a pound, yet commercial distributors are selling it for $29.95 for 11 ounces. Sandia Lab developed this under a contract with the Department of Energy.

Thanks for the heads up, but of all the things I've got queued up to get angry about, some kind of ersatz-germ killer price gouging is pretty low on my list.

(After all, NASA was tax supported as well, but they won't take people for shuttle rides no matter what people offer... Of course, more seriously, the Internet was developed using tax dollars and now Americans have to pay fees to get access to it...)

Mark W.

20 posted on 10/25/2001 3:57:11 PM PDT by MarkWar
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