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US decontamination wipe could help coronavirus clean-up

Mar '20
Pic: Texas Tech University
Pic: Texas Tech University's
Seshadri Ramkumar, a professor of chemical countermeasures and advanced materials in the Texas Tech University’s department of environmental toxicology, had invented FiberTect, a three-layer, non-woven decontamination wipe to clean up toxic agents. Researchers now claim that wipe can also be used to clean up bodily fluids contaminated with the novel coronavirus.

FiberTect features an activated carbon core sandwiched between absorbent top and bottom layers.

“It is widely used as the primary dry decontamination method in hospitals and ambulances,” a Texas Tech press release quoted Corey Collings, a training specialist for First Line Technology, which markets FiberTect TM, as saying.

Hospitals use it in bulk and in rolls, and ambulances use it in a kit called the FastGrab to do immediate decontamination of patients contaminated with a wide variety of substances, Collings said.

Ramkumar said the wipe’s structure is effective in containing bodily fluids like saliva and mucus through which viruses could be transmitted. Its activated carbon also can absorb particles transmitted in vapour phase through the air.

As a wipe or mitt, FiberTect TM holds great potential for cleaning in settings where transmission of the novel coronavirus is a paramount concern, said the press release.

“Highly porous carbon in the structure can trap the vapors and aerosols in which microbes are contained. The wipe structure is flexible and can take the shape of the objects to be cleaned. The three-ply structure without glue helps this effective cleaning,” said Ramkumar.

FiberTect TM previously has been used successfully by the US military to decontaminate both personnel and equipment, for oil spill cleanup during the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and by emergency response teams across the country in dealing with highly dangerous chemical substances, including Fentanyl.

Its development and testing was sponsored by the US Department of Homeland Security and managed by the Technical Support Working Group, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defence for special operations or low intensity conflict. Product testing was conducted by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. FiberTect TM proved superior in all testing results against 30 comparable products for decontaminating against toxic chemicals, the press release added.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk (DS)

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