EPA OKs License for Anthrax Pesticide Peridox

The Environmental Protection Agency has approved the first registration, or license, of an antimicrobial pesticide product to deactivate anthrax spores on hard surfaces.

"Peridox with the Electrostatic Decontamination System" can decontaminate buildings, structures, vehicles, ships, aircraft, personal protective equipment, and other items infected with anthrax spores. Its use is limited to dry, precleaned, hard, nonporous surfaces.

The agency reviewed extensive data provided by the manufacturer, Clean Earth Technologies, to be sure that the product will be effective and not cause unreasonable adverse effects. EPA also reviewed the labeling of Peridox and associated training materials to ensure that they are consistent with EPA's Pesticide Registration Notice 2008-2, which specifies the terms and conditions that would apply to anti-anthrax products.

The notice provides guidance to prospective applicants of antimicrobial products that claim to deactivate anthrax spores. The availability of such products will better prepare the United States to respond to anthrax incidents. The guidance ensures that anthrax-related products are registered, bear appropriate labeling, and are effective when applied as directed. The use of anthrax-related products will be limited to federal on-scene coordinators, the U.S. military, and persons trained and certified competent by the manufacturer.

Peridox is the first pesticide registered to deactivate anthrax spores. EPA previously issued crisis exemptions allowing use of unregistered antimicrobial chemicals to clean buildings and any contents contaminated with anthrax spores. Anthrax is a disease caused by Bacillus anthracis. Both humans and animals are susceptible. Anthrax, if untreated, can cause acute illness or death.

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