Use of DeconGel(R) for Beryllium Cleanup Wins Department of Energy’s Environmental, Security, Safety and Health (ESS&H) Achievement Award
HONOLULU, Feb. 9 /PRNewswire/ — CBI Polymers, a subsidiary of Cellular Bioengineering, Inc., is pleased to announce that National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) and Safety and Ecology Corporation (SEC) have won the Environmental, Security, Safety and Health (ESS&H) Achievement Award in recognition of their innovative use of DeconGelÃ‚® as a beryllium decontamination technique for the mitigation and abatement of hazardous particulate. DeconGelÃ‚® is a proprietary hydrogel used to efficiently and safely decontaminate surfaces of radioactive isotopes and other hazardous chemicals and toxins.
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NETL, part of DOE’s national laboratory system, is owned and operated by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). A DOE-NETL project manager stated in a letter to SEC, “In all my years with the federal government, I can honestly say that this has been the best project I have worked on.”
Led by Mr. Hector Rodriguez of NETL and Mr. Stace Johnson of SEC, NETL testing and use of DeconGelÃ‚® in beryllium decontamination reduced labor costs by a reported 70% compared to traditional methods due to decreased labor requirements, and significant reductions in the volume of waste generated. Using DeconGelÃ‚® SEC decontaminated 48,500 square feet of surface area, including office material, and laboratory equipment of significant value, historical artifacts and various items considered irreplaceable. Approximately 250 tons of beryllium-contaminated equipment was removed, making 27 laboratories and three high bay areas in 12 buildings become reusable.
In addition, DeconGelÃ‚® reduced harmful potential exposure to workers. Beryllium and beryllium compounds are classified as Category 1 carcinogens by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Traditional beryllium decontamination methods include the wet/wipe method, high detergent application and scrubbing technique, organic solvent application and removal, particulate vacuums, and sticky cloths. These methods are expensive, time consuming, and can be a safety hazard due to prolonged worker exposure and generation of airborne particles.
“I am extremely pleased that these two organizations have been singled out for exceptional performance while using our product. DeconGelÃ‚® has been proven effective on a wide variety of decontamination problems, and we have received requests from organizations to keep an ‘at the ready’ stockpile of DeconGelÃ‚® handy for emergency situations,” said Larry Stack, President and Chief Operating Officer of CBI Polymers. “The problem with beryllium and other toxic substances is that traditional cleaning methods simply don’t work well on rough porous surfaces to remove contaminants from microscopic pores. However, DeconGelÃ‚® works effectively on both smooth and rough hard surfaces, even with complex three dimensional structures, and can generally reduce contamination to below safe levels with one single application,” ended Stack.
DeconGelÃ‚® is a safe, non-toxic, peel away hydrogel that requires minimal training to use and has a stable shelf life. While DeconGelÃ‚® is gaining in use within the Department of Energy sites for remediation of radiological, nuclear, and hazardous chemical substances such as beryllium, it’s also an essential product to keep on hand for hazardous materials (HAZMAT) or Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) first responder units concerned about immediate clean up after a major incident from accidents or acts of terrorism such as a dirty bomb.
“Normal chemical cleaning solutions, power washers, and wipes simply will not be able to remove radioactive isotopes from sidewalks, buildings and streets in the case of an RDD or dirty bomb incident, not to mention the huge amount of contaminated waste such methods generate,” Stack said.
Development of DeconGelÃ‚® was funded by the Hawaii Technology Development Venture (HTDV) / Office of Naval Research (ONR). Additional R&D funding was secured through the USAF Force Protection Battlelab, the National Defense Center of Excellence for Research in Ocean Sciences (CEROS) under its contract with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and the Department of Energy.
CBI Polymers is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cellular Bioengineering, Inc., (www.cellularbioengineering.com) with a focus on developing easy-to-use and “green” peelable polymers for use in radiological, nuclear, chemical, and biological decontamination. CBI Polymers specializes in technology to clean nuclear power plants, research labs, decontamination and decommissioning sites, hazardous chemical spills, mold, and more.
In 2005, CBI was named a winner of the R&D 100 Award and was nominated for The 2009 National Medal of Technology and Innovation, the highest honor for technological achievement bestowed by the President of the United States on America ‘s leading innovators. In October, CBI was honored as one of three National Finalists for the Christopher Columbus Foundation Homeland Security Award for 2009.
About CBI: CBI invents, develops, and acquires disruptive technologies to transform novel ideas and innovations to commercial products. The Company has an Intellectual Property portfolio of over 25 patents and patent applications. Other divisions of CBI include:
1) Eyegenix(TM) is developing a bio-integrating artificial cornea which holds the promise of returning sight to 10 million people worldwide who are blind from corneal disease.
2) TruTag(TM) is a nanoporous silica microtag which can be used to authenticate valuable assets, from organic foods to pills and capsules to be ingested, protecting consumers from loss and the health risks of counterfeit products.
3) E Canary is a bio sensor comprised of living cardiac cells on a CCD chip which can detect both known and unknown harmful threats in the environment such as chemical contaminants and biologic weapons.
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SOURCE Cellular Bioengineering Inc.