In a world with increasing numbers of chemical and biological hazards, including clandestine drug labs and emerging infectious diseases, safe, effective, easy-to-use decontamination solutions are needed.
Sandia National Laboratories developed the Sandia Decon Formulation, a non-toxic, non-corrosive chemistry for neutralization of chemical and biological warfare agents. It was initially used in federal office buildings during the anthrax attacks in 2001, and later was deployed by the military as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Since then it has been used by first responders, including at the Dallas Ebola incident and Boston Marathon bombings.
Although the Sandia Decon Formulation was first licensed over 10 years ago, many potential market segments remained unserved. A new strategy to more fully realize the technology’s potential has resulted in licensing of the Decon Formulation patent portfolio by eight additional companies in 2013 and 2014.
By tailoring the chemistry, deployment methods, and packaging, the Sandia Decon Formulation is now available for use in a wide variety of applications. Focused chemistries allow production costs to be reduced for higher volume applications such as agriculture and laundry disinfection. Powder versions reduce shipping costs. New deployment methods such as charged aerosols enable rapid decontamination of spaces such as aircraft and transportation centers.
Use for mold and meth-lab remediation is ongoing, and greater use as a disinfectant for agricultural (Salmonella, E-coli, Listeria) and human health (influenza, norovirus, MRSA) pathogens is gaining traction. Applications such as bedbug remediation are being developed, and testing against emerging infectious agents such as Ebola continues.
New products incorporating these approaches provide improved ways to disinfect medical facilities, agricultural processing plants, sports facilities, transportation vehicles and hubs, and housing.
One licensee, SpectraShield Technologies, is targeting the healthcare market with a disinfectant product. In testing by Dr. Kelly Reynolds of the University of Arizona’s College of Public Health, SpectraKill™ was proven effective against bacteria, viruses, molds, and spores occurring in hospital environments, eradicating these organisms “below detectable levels.”
Another licensee, Decon7 Systems, has developed specific chemistries for agricultural processing facilities and clothing decontamination.
High volume markets are now being opened up, enabling broader utilization and reducing costs. With additional licensees and manufacturers, the Decon Formulation is now even more widely available to protect people from the dangers of chemical and biological hazards.