October 30, 2001
Xenon Asserts Anthrax Bacteria Can Be Killed with SteriPulse
One Second UV Pulses
Xenon Corp., a
company involved in the manufacture of mercury-free, ultraviolet (UV) pulsed
light may have the answer to solving many contagion problems, including
It's done with Xenon's SteriPulse XL system, which is capable of delivering
extreme intensity UV light pulses of a very short duration.
To eradicate bacteria, the Xenon SteriPulse XL system can be used to perform
an environmental sweep with UV pulsed light over an object in question, such
as keyboards, envelopes, and other work-related surfaces.
In laboratory tests, it was found that in Xenon's SteriPulse XL system,
mercury-free UV light output is suitable for inactivation of most
microorganisms that cause diseases. Just several pulses in a one second
exposure of the SteriPulse XL system's UV light energy exceeds the UV energy
necessary for 99.9% destruction of many bacteria, including Staphylococcus
aureus and Bacillus anthracis (anthrax causative). The short pulses keep the
surface temperature from elevating, thus limiting the opportunity for
bacteria to multiply.
The Xenon SteriPulseXL system can sterilize various infectious
disease-contaminated surfaces by attacking bacteria, viruses, fungi, and
protozoa on a molecular level and modifying the cell structure of the DNA.
This modification results in incorrect codes being transmitted from the
modified DNA, thus causing irreversible destruction of the microorganism.
According to Lou Panico, CEO of Xenon, "This is just the tip of the iceberg.
Our SteriPulse XL system is already being applied in tests to the
sterilization of food, air, water, medical devices, and pharmaceuticals. The
products and materials we can sterilize with UV pulsed light, are limitless.
Above all, the short, intense light pulses can be applied in a safe manner
for both the operator and environment."
Recent news articles have disclosed that the proliferation of computers in
various settings provides a new source of potential lethal infections. One
of the major contributors to spreading bacteria is the computer keyboard. In
fact, acts of terrorism have resulted in traces of anthrax being identified
on a keyboard. Computers generate static electricity, dust, and heat, and
their keyboards can become an ideal environment for the breeding of
In hospital settings, it has been found that some methods of spreading
infection from one person to another include computer keyboards in intensive
care units (ICUs) used by doctors and nurses who don't wash their hands.
A team of infectious-disease specialists discovered that when they cultured
10 computer keyboards in intensive-care units, eight times over a two month
period, about 25 percent of the samples harbored bacteria that hospitals
fear most: the multidrug-resistant, Staphylococcus aureus.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Staphylococcus
aureus bacteria, once easily vanquished by penicillin, is responsible for
about 95 percent of hospital-acquired infections nationwide. It spreads
rapidly, particularly among patients with weakened immune systems.
"We know," Panico said, "the Xenon SteriPulse XL system kills most bacteria
instantly. It has sufficient energy to destroy Staphylococcus aureus and the
Anthrax causative Bacillus anthracis. Our mercury-free, SteriPulse XL system
could be the answer we've been looking for."
When asked about the size of the SteriPulseXL unit, Panico explained that
the unit is compact, similar to the size of a microwave oven. "In fact," he
added, "the unit could be made to easily fit into a small office or be
reconfigured to fit over a mail-handling production line, and if necessary,
could also be made portable."
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