Tissue Digestion - The Tissue Digestion Process

> Chemistry of the WR2 Process
> Composition of Animal Tissues
> Effects of Alkaline Hydrolysis
> Results of the WR2 Process
> Applications of the WR2 Process
> Aldehyde-Containing Fixatives and Embalming Fluids
> Infectious Waste
> Biological Warfare Agents
> Chemotherapeutic Agents
> Control and Safety Systems

Biological Warfare Agents

As recently as the mid 1990s, infectious agents and toxins that are potentially usable as biological-warfare agents could be purchased from suppliers of bacterial cultures, stocks, and biochemicals. Consequently, the US Congress passed legislation making it a Federal crime, in some instances punishable by death, to possess or transport certain agents without a proper license. In addition, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) was directed to prepare a list of agents that would be subject to these regulations. In a Final Rule published in the Federal Register 24 October 1996 (Vol. 61; #207) the agents were listed and classified as shown in Table III-3.

Those who are authorized to use such agents for legitimate research purposes must now demonstrate, before purchase or transfer of these agents, that they can be destroyed on site.

Table III-3 Agents Listed Under the DHHS Final Rule


Destruction of Biological-Warfare Agents by the BioSAFE/WR2 Process
Protein toxins would be hydrolyzed in the same manner as any other protein.

All of the non-protein toxins are described in the literature as sensitive to alkali even at room temperature and would be destroyed when heated to 120°C to 150°C in 1N - 2N NaOH or KOH as is the case in the BioSAFE/WR2 Process. Chemical warfare agents based on nitrogen mustard, as well as most nerve gases and tear gases, are also destroyed by a hot alkali solution.

The diagrams in Figure III-4 show examples of the sites in the toxin molecules that area attacked by the alkali.

Figure III-4


Recombinant Organisms/Molecules
Recombinant organisms and molecules that produce or encode for a factor associated with a disease would be destroyed in the same manner as are natural organisms. Recombinant organisms or nucleic acid sequences coding for any of the toxins listed above, or for their toxic subunits, would be destroyed in the same manner as are normal nucleic acids and nucleotides.