Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro) officials are prepared to respond to biological threats in its bus and rail car fleet should a threat be realized in the Washington metropolitan region. Viruses such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), smallpox, influenza, TB and similar biological threats can be minimized through its newly devised Vehicle Decontamination Program. Metro has more than 1,000 gallons of hospital grade cleaner/disinfectant at its bus garages and rail yards ready for immediate use. The product, EcoTru, developed by Envirosystems Inc., contains the active ingredient that the World Health Organization recommends for killing SARS. The product, which takes only minutes to disinfect vehicle interiors, has proven effective against other serious biological illnesses as well. The decontamination agent would be applied using three-foot tall stainless steel mobile spraying units that use an electrostatically charged decontamination system to spray the agent. Metro officials who tested the device this spring have invested approximately $125,000 on the biological decontamination program and have enough decontamination units to treat Metro's full fleet of approximately 900 rail cars and 1,400 buses.
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