Sunday, June 07, 2015

March 23, 2005, Press Release, Bio-ONE Solutions, LLC,

March 23, 2005, Press Release, Bio-ONE Solutions, LLC, Country's Final Anthrax Decontamination to be Completed This Month by Bio∙ONE™; Project Will Be Largest Scale Decontamination of Building Contents in US History, Archived,

BOCA RATON, FLORIDA — March 23, 2005 — John Y. Mason, President and CEO of Bio∙ONE™, a Sabre/Giuliani Company, announced plans to decontaminate the contents of the former AMI building, site of the first recognized anthrax incident in 2001. The company will decontaminate the contents, which had been boxed up and sealed, awaiting a decision on their disposition.

"This is the final anthrax decontamination of any kind in the country related to the anthrax attacks of 2001. Our company is pleased to be responsible for another safe and highly effective decontamination," John Mason said. "We will be applying everything we've learned to enable us to decontaminate half a million documents a day."

The document decontamination will be on a scale 20 times bigger than Sabre's last document decontamination on Capitol Hill. The equipment needed for the work was built in just five days and was designed by Sabre's engineers and scientists.

Bio∙ONE™, a Sabre/Giuliani Company, will make the former AMI building its headquarters. A re-opening event is planned for June. Former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani will attend the re-opening and be among the first to enter the building.

Sabre Technical Services began the former AMI building decontamination last March and completed it in July, 2004. Disposition of the contents remained a question until recently, and was resolved by a decision to go forward with decontamination.

Sabre Technical Services uses a unique chlorine dioxide-based technology and has extensive experience cleaning up anthrax-contaminated buildings with no residual toxicity. The company was responsible for the decontamination of multiple buildings on Capitol Hill, including the Hart Senate Office building, as well as major postal facilities in Washington, D.C. and Brentwood, New Jersey.

The American Media Inc. building was the first place where anthrax was discovered in October 2001. This contamination resulted in the death of an AMI photo editor, Robert Stevens. The building has remained under quarantine since. David Rustine, a Boca Raton based developer, purchased the three-story, 67,500-square-foot building in April 2003, with the goal of restoring it as a safe workplace.



Debbie Abrams
Bio∙ONE Solutions LLC

March 10, 2005, Washington Post, Editorial, page A20, An Acidic Message,

WHEN 758 microbiologists send an open letter to the director of the National Institutes of Health, protesting the premise of a $1.7 billion research project, everyone should sit up and take notice. Just such a letter was recently dispatched, complaining that unprecedented increases in NIH funding for biodefense projects not only had diverted funds from more basic and important microbiological research -- a claim that NIH disputes -- but corrupted the NIH peer-review process. A system that in the past awarded grants to the best scientists, the critics suggested, now awards grants to any scientists, good or bad, who study anthrax.

There are good reasons to criticize NIH for its management of the biodefense money that Congress granted after the 2001 anthrax attacks. NIH had never before funded anything other than basic research and had never involved itself directly in the production of specific vaccines or therapies. It is doing so because Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, argued that his institute, and not the Defense Department -- which has failed to produce vaccines in the past -- was the best place for that work to be done. Mr. Fauci believed (and still does) that there would be spinoffs for other areas of science. But while scientists doing basic research don't like the change, some in Congress have precisely the opposite set of concerns: namely that the NIAID is wasting money pursuing multiple research projects with unclear goals and hasn't figured out how to focus on the nation's more specific biodefense needs.

If it were intended only to get the government to think harder about the best ways to define, fund and manage biodefense work, the open letter would serve a useful purpose. If the letter were intended to point out that some basic research in microbiology, immunology, genetics and other fields could prove, in the long term, more important to the nation's biodefense than specific work on anthrax or plague, we would also agree. That, certainly, is a message that Congress and the administration need to hear.

Where we lose sympathy for the authors is when they state that funds have been diverted from "projects of high public-health importance" to "projects of high biodefense but low public-health importance." This country has already experienced one anthrax attack. Security officials have stated repeatedly their belief that al Qaeda and others continue to search for more lethal bioweapons. Surely that makes biodefense projects of "high public-health importance." That this is not more widely understood means that there is still too little contact between the scientific community and national security and intelligence agencies. This letter, which was written and published in an openly confrontational manner, won't help solve that problem.

March 15, 2005, AP Worldstream, Signs of anthrax detected at two Defense Department mailrooms, by John J. Lumpkin, Associated Press Writer,

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Sensors at two military mail facilities in the Washington area detected signs of anthrax on two pieces of mail Monday, but Pentagon officials said the mail had already been irradiated, rendering any anthrax inert.

Officials weren't sure if this was an attack. Additional tests and other sensors at the two facilities, one of them at the Pentagon and the other nearby, found no presence of the bacteria, which can be used as a biological weapon. There were no initial reports of illness.

The Pentagon's mail delivery site, which is separate from the main Pentagon building, was evacuated and shut down Monday after sensors triggered an alarm around 10:30 a.m. EST, spokesman Glenn Flood said. It was expected to remain closed until at least Tuesday while the investigation continued.

It was not clear when sensors at the second Defense Department mailroom were triggered Monday, and Pentagon officials only said a nearby satellite mail facility was closed. But firefighters in nearby Bailey's Crossroads, Va., reported that a military mailroom had been shut down after a hazardous material was detected, and no one was allowed to leave that building.

Pentagon spokeswoman Lt. Cmdr. Jane Campbell said mail at both facilities were irradiated before arriving at either one. The radiation treatment would kill any anthrax bacteria, but sensors would still be able to detect it.

She had no information about the origin of the two pieces of mail.

About 175 people work at the Pentagon's mail facility, and another 100 may have been in contact with deliveries for the Pentagon, officials said.

Medical personnel took cultures from anyone who may have had contact with those deliveries, and those people were also offered a three-day course of antibiotics and told to watch for the signs of anthrax exposure: fever, sweats and chills.

Follow-up tests were being conducted at the U.S. Army Research Institute for Infectious Diseases at Fort Dietrich, Md., officials said. They would take two to three days to complete.

General operations at the Pentagon appeared unaffected.

Anthrax can be spread through the air or by skin contact. Officials noted that sometimes anthrax sensors can give false-positive results.

Several cases involving letters laced with killer substances remain unsolved.

In October 2001, someone sent anthrax in letters through the mail to media and government offices in Washington, Florida and elsewhere, raising fears of bioterrorism. Five people were killed and 17 more sickened.

In October 2003, two letters containing the poison ricin, sent to the Transportation Department and White House, were intercepted before they reached their destinations. The letters objected to new rules for long-haul truckers.

A small amount of ricin was discovered Feb. 2, 2004, on a mail-opening machine in the office suite of Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn. The discovery led to a shutdown of three Senate office buildings for several days, and about two dozen staffers and Capitol police officers underwent decontamination.

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