Sanitec Mobile Bio-Waste Disinfection System Passes Crucial Avian Flu Containment and Disposal Test

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Sanitec Industries announces the successful completion of a large-scale Avian Flu containment and disposal test involving a unique truck-based mobile system that completely eliminated the biological threat from 2,000 pounds of turkey carcasses. U.S. EPA and state emergency management officials who monitored or reviewed the test concluded that the truck-based mobile system would be a powerful weapon in what many believe may be an all-out effort to stop the spread of H5N1 in the US. The unique mobile emission-free bio-medical waste treatment system is currently in use by more than 1,000 US healthcare facilities. Worldwide, Sanitec systems have treated over 300 million pounds of infectious waste.

Sanitec Industries, Inc. -- On a far corner of North Carolina State University’s sprawling Animal & Poultry Waste Management Center, federal and state emergency management officials and microbiologists in protective coveralls watched and waited as equipment inside a Ferrari red tractor trailer churned through a crucial test in what is expected to be an all out assault to contain an outbreak of Avian Flu should it reach the United States.

“The test at NC State confirmed for federal and state officials what thousands of hospitals and health care facilities across the country already know, that the Sanitec system is an effective and environmentally friendly solution to the problem of disposing of bio hazardous waste,” said Russell Firestone, Executive Vice President of Sanitec Industries.

Designed to exceed the requirements of an H5N1 outbreak within a large scale poultry plant, the March 15th test, the results of which were released today, involved processing tissue samples infused with Salmonella bacteria and a type of bacterial spore related to Anthrax along with over 2,000 lbs of turkey carcasses.

“In the event of a foreign animal disease (FAD) outbreak in livestock or poultry it will be critical to respond quickly and in a bio-secure manner. Often this is accomplished using depopulation and disposal as the primary means of disease control and eradication,” according to Dr. Bethany Grohs, a veterinarian with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Emergency Management. “Sanitec's self-contained, mobile system for carcass disposal is an important tool to have in the emergency response tool kit. Sanitec’s mobile system can be brought on-site, thus reducing the risk of disease spread via animal transport and a self-contained system reduces the risk of environmental contamination,” said Dr. Grohs, who responded to the 2001 outbreak of Foot-and-Mouth Disease (FMD) in the United Kingdom as well as the U.S. Capitol Hill Anthrax Incident.

Unlike incineration, which merely transforms biohazard material into other dangerous waste products, Sanitec systems are the only self-contained disposal units that utilize a patented microwave disinfection system that eliminates bacterial and viral pathogens.    

“Sanitec is a fascinating weapon in our arsenal against an Avian influenza outbreak,” said Ed Krisiunas, a medical waste disposal expert and microbiologist who helped design and oversee the test.

“The Sanitec system effectively inactivated the bacterial pathogens and we have every reason to believe it would be effective against the H5N1 avian influenza. We were very pleased with the results,” said Dr. Mark Cosby, Chief Microbiologist with the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services who was involved with the microbiological assessment of the test samples.

The Sanitec system first shreds the infected matter and then adds high-pressure high temperature steam. The shredded material is then moved through an auger where six industrial microwaves ovens cook the material from the inside out, exposing the waste to heat of more than 212 degrees for up to seventy-five minutes. According to experts, heating H5N1 infected tissue to between 131 - 145 degrees Fahrenheit is sufficient to render the virus harmless. Each Sanitec unit can process over 100 tons per week of bio hazardous waste including birds infected with Avian Flu.

“We were honored to have so many federal and local and private sector experts involved with this crucial test and look forward to working closely with them as they take measures to control an expected outbreak,” said Jim Harkess, President of Sanitec Industries, Inc.

“Among the advantages of the Sanitec system is that it is mobile, fully self-contained and transforms dangerous waste into harmless, unrecognizable matter that can be composted on site or disposed of in any municipal landfill without the need for further treatment or permitting,” said Harkess. Currently, it is up to each state to decide how infected poultry is treated and disposed of. Microbiologists are concerned that disposal methods by European and Asian nations may only be a temporary solution. “We really don’t know what would happen to buried H5N1,” said Dr. Cosby. “Culling and burying infected animals leaves open the very real possibility that infected material could percolate into the water supply or be unearthed by rodents or other scavengers,” Dr. Cosby said.    

In the case of an outbreak of Avian Flu in the US, “speed will be paramount,” said Dr. Cosby. “The Sanitec system is the only onsite processing system that is entirely emissions free and capable of doing highway speeds,” Cosby said. Most other disposal processes involve transporting highly pathogenic waste on public roads to off-site processing facilities.

About Sanitec Industries, Inc.

Sanitec Industries, Inc. is the global patent holder for the Sanitec® Microwave Healthcare Waste Disinfection System™. Over one thousand healthcare facilities in the US, ranging from large Veteran’s Administration hospitals to single practitioner doctors’ offices, that utilize Sanitec systems to transform dangerous healthcare waste into low-volume, unrecognizable non-infectious material that requires no further treatment and can be safely disposed of in municipal landfills. The on-site and truck-based Sanitec™ units are fully automated, self-contained and are approved for use in all 50 states and DC. Worldwide, Sanitec systems have treated over 300 million pounds of infectious waste.

EDITORS: For a detailed description of the Sanitec® Microwave Healthcare Waste Disinfection System™ including graphics and Web-quality computer animation of system available please visit

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