Analytical Laboratory Support for Mass Transit Decontamination Research
CSS helped advance EPA’s body of knowledge for restoring subway systems after a biological incident.
Providing Fixed and Mobile Laboratory Analysis of Chemical and Biological Samples
Returning service to mass transit systems after a chemical or biological attack is essential to the recovery of affected cities and their residents. Through our analytical laboratory support contract with EPA, CSS supports research into methods and technologies that can be used to decontaminate mass transit systems after such an attack.
- We mobilized on site at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), where a subway rail car was contaminated with an anthrax surrogate, then fumigated with methyl bromide to treat the contamination. Our chemists tested 22 air monitoring samples over four days, providing results to EPA within an hour after sample analysis was completed. Our prompt turnaround of the air samples confirmed that the area was safe for workers conducting the demonstration.
- CSS set up and operated a biosafety level 2-enhanced (BSL-2E) laboratory for EPA. This BSL-2E lab supported EPA’s research during the Underground Transportation Restoration – Operational Technology Demonstration (UTR-OTD). Samples were collected from a mock subway system after multiple rounds of contamination with an anthrax surrogate and decontamination using diluted bleach. Over a five-week period, our microbiologist processed 300 wash samples of surface materials by microbiological culture. EPA used the data resulting from the analysis of 4000 bacterial culture plates to determine the effectiveness of the decontamination methods. Our work helped advance EPA’s body of knowledge for restoring subway systems after a biological incident.