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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 Anthrax.

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 microorganisms.

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."

Source: PRNewswire.
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