METSS Develops Novel On-site Room Decontamination Technology
METSS is currently conducting a Phase II SBIR project for the EPA to develop a safe, robust, rapid, and effective chlorine dioxide (ClO2) gas dispersion system to be used for on-site room decontamination in hospital and non-hospital settings. This technology will meet the demands of the health care market to decontaminate porous materials and sensitive equipment in rooms or vehicles used for patient care or transport. This need was evident during the care and treatment of Ebola patients in the United States several years ago. At that time, it was clear that many facilities did not have the means to properly disinfect large items, like furniture, on-site; therefore, the items required transport off-site for proper treatment and disposal; a process that has inherent safety risks and associated costs. The ability to decontaminate a room containing porous materials and sensitive equipment on-site and in a non-destructive manner would be invaluable to the health care industry and meet a critical need for low-cost, simple solutions to decontaminate non-medical spaces as well. In the Phase I project, METSS demonstrated the feasibility of a novel ClO2 gas dispersion system to achieve >4 log inactivation levels of an Ebola surrogate in a full-scale room using a proof-of-concept prototype. In the Phase II project, the technology will be further developed and tested to optimize the disinfection treatment conditions and operating parameters to achieve >6 log inactivation levels of virus and bacterial spores at full scale. Based on feedback from potential end-users and results of development testing conducted during the first year of the project, a functional prototype will be carefully designed, constructed, and tested during the second year. The prototype will then be tested in accordance with an EPA-approved protocol entitled “Efficacy of a Disinfectant Applied to a Room Via a Fogger or Misting Device” against a panel of organisms. The results will be submitted to the EPA to register the technology as a room disinfection device and claim “hospital and broad-spectrum” and “virucide” efficacy.