STERIS Decontaminates Anthrax-Contaminated Building

MENTOR, Ohio -- STERIS Corporation today announced that it has completed the decontamination of a United States Department of State mail processing facility located in Sterling, Va. using the company's proprietary technology and services. The building has now been re-opened for normal use following a very stringent environmental assessment of the facility, using approved Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) standards.

The 1.4-million-cubic-foot facility was contaminated with Bacillus anthracis spores (the causative agent of anthrax) after accepting mail that originated from the Brentwood, Washington, D.C. postal facility in October 2001. STERIS provided the decontamination technology and related support services through its subsidiary, Strategic Technologies Enterprises, Inc. This remediation program provided the opportunity for various governmental agencies to validate the STERIS proprietary VHP process for large-scale decontamination.

STERIS' decontamination technology was selected for use in this project after the Department of State's Technical Working Group (TWG) compared and evaluated available remediation technologies. The TWG included representatives from the State Department, the Environmental Protection Agency, CDC, Occupational Health and Safety Administration, Army Corps of Engineers, commonwealth of Virginia, and other local, state, and federal agencies. Evaluation criteria included efficacy, safety, materials compatibility and industry experience with the technology. The Company developed a comprehensive remedial decontamination plan and health and safety protocols that were deployed in the successful decontamination of the facility. As part of the decontamination plan, the Company supplied quality and sterility assurance protocols. STERIS' proprietary decontamination technology produces environmentally friendly by-products, namely water and oxygen, which were important criteria in the governmental selection process.

The technology used to decontaminate the facility is similar to technology STERIS has provided to pharmaceutical and research customers for more than a decade, modified by the company for application in large-scale, complex, building interiors. The technology has been proven effective at eliminating anthrax and other dangerous pathogens, and has been used previously to decontaminate facilities and other items by both government and industrial customers.

Source: STERIS Corporation

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