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MT. VERNON, N.Y. -- In the event of a chemical, biological, or "dirty nuke" attack, a room sealed with duct tape and plastic provides only a temporary refuge. Without a filtered air supply, the air trapped in a sealed room soon becomes stale and toxic. Without positive pressure inside the room, the air becomes contaminated when a door opens or by air leaking in as the barometric pressure changes.
Gaffco, Inc, a Mount Vernon, N.Y.-based company specializing in the installation of "safe rooms" since 1986, is offering a low-cost solution for continuously filtering the air within sealed rooms for apartments, offices, homes, and public buildings. Gaffco's solution, known as a "Biological Defense Unit" or "Bio Cell" costs as little as $1,600 for protecting a small space, such as a bedroom, an office or a vehicle.
The Bio Cell consists of an advanced air filtration system and an electric air pump that maintains a continuous positive pressure and flow of fresh, filtered air. The entry-level system can provide a 8-foot-by-8-foot room with a safe air supply capable of supporting eight adults. The Bio Cell uses a combination HEPA/Carbon/Adsorber "war-gas" filter to protect humans from a wide range of biological, chemical, and nuclear toxins, such as anthrax, hydrogen cyanide, phosgene, mustard gas, sarin, ricin, VX, and radioactive particulates.
In the event of a power failure, the Bio Cell can be quickly switched to operate from a backup battery. Further redundancy is provided by an emergency "bellows" pump, which is manually operated, requiring no power.
According to Gaffco CEO Thomas Gaffney, his company has installed air filtration systems in Safe Rooms for many years, but the cost of these systems is now dramatically lower because the technology has advanced and demand has grown in the face of increased terrorism. Gaffco, which provides a range of security-related systems, such as safe rooms, bomb detectors and bullet-resistant doors, windows and paneling, has seen a dramatic increase in the demand for its products and services since September 11, 2001. In the face of war and heightened potential for terrorism, Gaffco expects to install more than 100 self-contained, entry-resistant safe rooms this year, including many that will be equipped with Bio Cell systems.
Source: Gaffco, Inc