LAS VEGAS -- February 29, 2008 -- A substance found at a Las Vegas motelin a suspicious package may be the deadly toxin ricin. Lab tests on thesubstance are pending and seven people were taken to local hospitals as aprecaution.
BioDefense EVP Jonathan Morrone is available to reporters and broadcastjournalists to comment on the recent threat in Las Vegas and strategies todefend and protect both commercial businesses and government. Morrone candiscuss:
Please contact Scott Campbell at 512-423-4907 [email protected]
to schedule a briefing or interview withBioDefense.
Ricin is extremely lethal -- as little as 500 micrograms, the size of apin head, can kill a human, according to the CDC.
Tens of thousands of "suspicious substance" cases are reported every year.More than 150,000 anthrax hoaxes were reported between September 2001 andAugust 2002, and the number has increased since. As hoaxes the reports havefallen from national media attention. But the pranks have an immediateeconomic and social impact, causing panic and evacuations, stiflingproductivity, and draining already limited public safety resources.
BioDefense is currently the only company in the world to develop anddeploy technology that can detect, neutralize and destroy a biohazardoussubstance while maintaining the integrity of the tainted materials. Theprocess takes about 45 minutes and can be done in the field from the back of avehicle or in a small office environment. The BioDefense MailDefender(R)system was developed to give organizations increased control over apotentially uncontrollable situation -- the risk of bio-contamination throughthe mail. The system unit can sanitize 150 pieces of mail in less than 45minutes. This first-of-its kind system decontaminates mail at the point ofentry -- protecting employees from harm and organizations from the threats ofan actual attack or a disruptive hoax. The MailDefender(R) is currentlydeployed within the United Nations, Department of Justice, Department ofDefense, Department of ATF and several embassies worldwide.Portable, small-office detection devices can improve response time, prevent shutdown, Says Morrone