Advertisement

Remediation of a Biological Weapons Attack

  • Crystal R. WatsonEmail author
  • Francisco J. Cruz
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter provides an overview of the scientific, policy, and operational issues involved in environmental remediation of a biological weapons attack, with a significant focus on US programs and policies. The chapter introduces the topic of biological remediation by defining the process and exploring biological agents of concern and their persistence in the environment. Past biological remediation examples are briefly discussed, followed by a review of past and current remediation policies and practices, as well as knowledge gaps and future research direction.

Keywords

Remediation Decontamination Bioterrorism Wide-area contamination 

References

  1. 1.
    US Department of Homeland Security. The Biowatch program fact sheet. 2016. https://www.dhs.gov/publication/biowatch-program-factsheet. Accessed 27 Dec 2017.
  2. 2.
    US Environmental Protection Agency. ERLN overview. 2011. https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/documents/erln_general_fs.pdf. Accessed 27 Dec 2017.
  3. 3.
    National Research Council. Science and decisions: advancing risk assessment. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press; 2009.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    US Department of Justice. Amerithrax investigative summary. 2010. https://www.justice.gov/archive/amerithrax/docs/amx-investigative-summary.pdf. Accessed 25 Aug 2017.
  5. 5.
    Schmitt K, Zacchia NA. Total decontamination cost of the anthrax letter attacks. Biosecur Bioterror. 2012;10(1):98–107.  https://doi.org/10.1089/bsp.2010.0053
  6. 6.
    Franco C, Bouri N. Environmental decontamination following a large-scale bioterrorism attack: federal progress and remaining gaps. Biosecur Bioterror. 2010;8(2):107–17.  https://doi.org/10.1089/bsp.2010.0009
  7. 7.
    Canter DA, Sgroi TJ, O’Connor L, et al. Source reduction in an anthrax-contaminated mail facility. Biosecur Bioterror. 2009;7(4):405–12.  https://doi.org/10.1089/bsp.2009.0028
  8. 8.
    Canter DA. Remediating anthrax-contaminated sites: learning from the past to protect the future. Chem Health Saf. 2005;12(4):13–9.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chs.2004.12.001
  9. 9.
    Lesperance AM, Stein S, Upton JF, et al. Challenges in disposing of anthrax waste. Biosecur Bioterror. 2011;9(3):310–4.  https://doi.org/10.1089/bsp.2011.0033
  10. 10.
    NIAID. NIAID emerging infectious diseases/pathogens. 2016. https://www.niaid.nih.gov/research/emerging-infectious-diseases-pathogens. Accessed 27 Dec 2017.
  11. 11.
    Paton S, Thompson KA, Parks SR, et al. Reaerosolization of spores from flooring surfaces to assess the risk of dissemination and transmission of infections. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2015;81(15):4914–9.  https://doi.org/10.1128/AEM.00412-15
  12. 12.
    Layshock JA, Pearson B, Crockett K, et al. Reaerosolization of Bacillus spp. in outdoor environments: a review of the experimental literature. Biosecur Bioterror. 2012;10(3):299–303.  https://doi.org/10.1089/bsp.2012.0026
  13. 13.
    US Department of Defense. Review committee report: inadvertent shipment of live Bacillus anthracis spores by DoD. US Department of Defense. 2015.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    US Environmental Protection Agency. Persistence and decontamination testing of Brucella suis. US Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development; 2011.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    US Environmental Protection Agency. Persistence of categories A and B select agents in environmental matrices-TB. US Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development; 2014.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Inglis TJJ, Sagripanti J. Environmental factors that affect the survival and persistence of Burkholderia pseudomallei. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2006;72(11):6865–75.  https://doi.org/10.1128/AEM.01036-06
  17. 17.
    Sinclair R, Boone SA, Greenberg D, et al. Persistence of category a select agents in the environment. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2008;74(3):555–63.  https://doi.org/10.1128/AEM.02167-07
  18. 18.
    National Institutes of Health. Report of the blue ribbon panel to review the 2014 smallpox (Variola) virus incident on the NIH Campus. National Institutes of Health; 2017.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Khan AS, Swerdlow DL, Juranek DD. Precautions against biological and chemical terrorism directed at food and water supplies. Public Health Rep. 2001;116(1):3–14.  https://doi.org/10.1093/phr/116.1.3
  20. 20.
    Arnon SS, Schechter R, Inglesby TV, et al. Botulinum toxin as a biological weapon: medical and public health management. JAMA. 2001;285(8):1059–70.  https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.285.8.1059
  21. 21.
    Audi J, Belson M, Patel M, et al. Ricin poisoning: a comprehensive review. JAMA. 2005;294(18):2342–51.  https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.294.18.2342
  22. 22.
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Update: investigation of bioterrorism-related inhalational anthrax—Connecticut, 2001. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2001;50(47):1049–51.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Barakat LA, Quentzel HL, Jernigan JA, et al. Fatal inhalational anthrax in a 94-year-old Connecticut woman. JAMA. 2002;287(7):863–8.  https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.287.7.863
  24. 24.
    Congressional Research Service. The US postal service response to the threat of bioterrorism through the mail. 2002. Accessed 25 Aug 2017.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – US Environmental Protection Agency (CDC-EPA). Interim clearance strategy for environmental contamination with Bacillus anthracis. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – US Environmental Protection Agency; 2012.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Cutaneous anthrax associated with drum making using goat hides from West Africa—Connecticut, 2007. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2008;57(23):628–31. mm5723a3 [pii].Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Guh A, Heyman ML, Barden D, et al. Lessons learned from the investigation of a cluster of cutaneous anthrax cases in Connecticut. J Public Health Manag Pract. 2010;16(3):201–10.  https://doi.org/10.1097/PHH.0b013e3181ca650d
  28. 28.
    Joob B, Wiwanitkit V. Ebola virus in sterilized wastewater. Ann Trop Med Public Health. 2016;9(3):209.  https://doi.org/10.4103/1755-6783.179122
  29. 29.
    Bibby K, Casson LW, Stachler E, et al. Ebola virus persistence in the environment: state of the knowledge and research needs. Environ Sci Technol Lett. 2015;2(1):2–6.  https://doi.org/10.1021/ez5003715
  30. 30.
    Schonfeld Z. This is the cleaning company decontaminating the Dallas Ebola Patient’s apartment. Newsweek. 2014. http://www.newsweek.com/cleaning-company-decontaminating-dallas-ebola-patients-apartment-275208. Accessed 30 Sept 2017.
  31. 31.
    Cameron RA. Ebola virus response procedures regarding the remediation of dwellings for the 2014 Dallas Ebola outbreak. Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. 2014. http://www.protectusa.net/wp-content/uploads/Ebola-Virus-Response-Protect-Environmental-Services.pdf
  32. 32.
  33. 33.
    Campbell A, Kaczynski A. The con artist hired to clean Ebola. BuzzFeed News. 2014. https://www.buzzfeed.com/alexcampbell/how-new-york-city-hired-a-con-artist-to-clean-up-ebola?utm_term=.ltoeXPa2bl#.wwrqnd1J6O. Accessed 30 Sept 2017.
  34. 34.
    Raber E. The challenge of determining the need for remediation following a wide-area biological release. Biosecur Bioterror. 2011;9(3):257–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Schlegelmilch J, Carlin EP. Congress needs to act now to prevent another biodisaster like anthrax, Zika. The Hill. 2017. http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/defense/316897-congress-needs-to-act-now-to-prevent-another-biodisaster-like. Accessed 29 Sept 2017.
  36. 36.
    Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). Northwest Regional Technology Center for Homeland Security. 2017. http://nwrtc.pnnl.gov/projects/programs.stm. Accessed 29 Sept 2017.
  37. 37.
    US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Chemical, biological, radiological & nuclear consequence management advisory division 2016 annual report. US Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Land and Emergency Management; 2016.Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). About the National Homeland Security Research Center. US Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development; 2017. https://www.epa.gov/aboutepa/about-national-homeland-security-research-center-nhsrc. Accessed 29 Sept 2017.
  39. 39.
    US Environmental Protection Agency. Remediation following man-made or natural disasters – Homeland Security Research. US Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development; 2016. https://www.epa.gov/homeland-security-research/remediation-following-man-made-or-natural-disasters-homeland-security. Accessed 29 Sept 2017.
  40. 40.
    US Environmental Protection Agency Region 2 (EPA Region 2). EPA Region 2 Ebola Experience. US Environmental Protection Agency Region 2; 2016. https://www.nrt.org/site/download.ashx?counter=3098. Accessed 29 Sept 2017.
  41. 41.
    US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Assessment of the impact of decontamination fumigants on electronic equipment. US Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development; 2014.Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Evaluation of vacuum-based sampling devices for collection of Bacillus spores from environmental surfaces. US Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development; 2013.Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Rapid viability PCR method for detection of live Bacillus anthracis spores. US Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development; 2012.Google Scholar
  44. 44.
    US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Evaluation of surface sampling for Bacillus spores using commercially-available cleaning robots. US Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development; 2012.Google Scholar
  45. 45.
    US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Multiple daily low-dose Bacillus anthracis Ames inhalation exposures in the rabbit. US Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development; 2012.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Johns Hopkins Center for Health SecurityBaltimoreUSA
  2. 2.Environmental Protection AgencyWashington, DCUSA

Personalised recommendations