EPA releases results of BOTE decontamination study

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released on Wednesday the results of the Bio-Response Operational Testing and Evaluation project, a multi-year project to evaluate the most effective biological decontaminants.

The project was run by the EPA, along with federal partners, and was established to help create effective emergency response plans in the event of national chemical, radiological and biological emergencies. The project took various decontamination techniques and tested their efficacy during real-life situations.

"The information gained from this project gives communities tested decontamination methods and real world guidance to inform future response efforts," Acting Assistant Administrator of EPA's Office of Research and Development Lek Kadeli said. "Results of this collaborative research effort [are] helping make the United States and our communities more secure, better prepared, and increasingly resilient."

The BOTE study observed the effectiveness, cost and associated clean-up costs of each decontamination method to determine the best methods to use in the event of a chemical, biological or radiological emergency. The study recruited more than 300 participants, including representatives from the National Guard Civil Support Teams and various on-scene coordinators from around the U.S.

The findings have already been incorporated into national decontamination guides, including decontamination procedures that were used during the 2013 ricin incidents. The results of the study will be used by a number of national response teams, including waste managers, on-scene coordinators and state and local leaders.