Responding to biological incidents - What are the current issues in remediation of the contaminated environment?

T. Pottage*, E. Goode, S. Wyke, Allan Bennett

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Since 2000 there have been a number of biological incidents resulting in environmental contamination with Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax. These incidents include the US anthrax attacks in 2001, the US and UK drumming incidents in 2006-2008 and more recently, anthrax contamination of heroin in 2009/2010 and 2012/2013. Remediation techniques used to return environments to normal have varied between incidents, with different decontamination technologies being employed. Many factors need to be considered before a remediation strategy or recovery option can be implemented, including; cost, time (length of application), public perception of risk, and sampling strategies (and results) to name a few. These incidents have demonstrated that consolidated guidance for remediating biologically contaminated environments in the aftermath of a biological incident was required. The UK Recovery Handbook for Biological Incidents (UKRHBI) is a project led by Public Health England (PHE), formerly the Health Protection Agency (HPA) to provide guidance and advice on how to remediate the environment following a biological incident or outbreak of infection, and is expected to be published in 2015.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-139
Number of pages7
JournalEnvironment International
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2014


  • Anthrax
  • Bacillus anthracis
  • Bioterrorism
  • Decontamination
  • Remediation


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