Decontamination Options for Drinking Water Contaminated with 'Bacillus anthracis' Spores   [open pdf - 220KB]

"Developing a decontamination approach that can be safely and effectively applied to civilian water resources and facilities following a terrorist or catastrophic release of Bacillus anthracis (B. anthracis) spores poses many challenges. For example, if a municipal drinking water system were contaminated directly or indirectly during or after such an incident, it would be essential to assess the potential health risks posed by water consumption or other water uses (e.g., recreational and bathing) and then to apply one or more proven technologies, if deemed necessary, to decontaminate the water supply quickly and cost-effectively. Treatment of drinking water supplies implies the use of a decontamination approach that would not pose adverse health risks to humans or result in unacceptable damage to the environment. A major obstacle in killing spores of the Bacillus species (spp.) on or in virtually any matrix is their high level of resistance to treatments such as harsh chemicals, heat, desiccation, and ultraviolet light. Because of the substantial and widely reported resistance of Bacillus spores to inactivation, a decontaminant proven to be efficacious in killing such spores for site- specific applications is likely be effective against all other biological warfare agents as well." This paper discusses, in detail, the various studies performed in determining treatment options for water contaminated by anthrax.

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