By Dr. Christina Baxter, CEO, Emergency ResponseTIPS
Posted on July 28, 2017
Since 2013, greater than 30,000 people per year have died of opioid overdose in the United States. This problem has become an epidemic with drug overdoses finally exceeding all other causes of death for persons under fifty years of age in the United States. The main culprits behind this epidemic are fentanyl and it’s analogues.
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid primarily used for anesthesia, post-surgical pain, and pain management in opioid-tolerant patients. It is 100 times more powerful than morphine and 50 times more powerful than heroin. Fentanyl and fentanyl analogues (such as carfentanil, remifentanil, sufentanyl, and others) are highly toxic organic solids (UN 2811). However, they can be found as powders, pills, liquids, nasal sprays, eye drops, aerosols, etc. Unfortunately, the illicit production of fentanyl and the associated analogues are responsible for the recent tripling of opioid related overdoses.
A fentanyl (or fentanyl analogue) overdose is presented by respiratory depression, which if not quickly counteracted with Naloxone (Narcan), results in death. In addition, it is thought that several first responders to fentanyl overdoses have themselves been exposed to toxic levels of the opioids. The main route of exposure to first responders is inhalation, followed by ingestion, and potentially, dermal absorption. However, in order to receive a toxic dose via the skin, a continuous high-level exposure must occur which is not likely operationally. In March of 2015, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) sent out a nationwide alert to warn law enforcement and first responders of the dangers of Fentanyl. It is critical that any residual fentanyl/analogues be destroyed. Research has shown that the optimum material for the destruction of fentanyl is peracetic acid.
First Line Technology has licensed a solution from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) to help combat this drug that is infecting our country and many others: Dahlgren Decon, a three-part solution with peracetic acid as it’s active ingredient, that is a part of the DeconTect family of products. It reacts instantly and effectively for up to 6 hours after being chemically mixed. This, along with other members of the DeconTect family, provides decontamination products that are used to decontaminate chemical warfare agents, toxic industrial chemicals, and also biological agents from personnel, protective and sensitive equipment, and critical infrastructure.
According to a recent test, Dahlgren Decon oxidizes Fentanyl with a 100% efficacy in two minutes or less. Dahlgren Decon has a shelf life of 10 years with a non-corrosive pH of 6.64, which prevents materials from being damaged and makes it a suitable solution for the decontamination of personal protective equipment, sensitive detection equipment, ambulances, critical infrastructure, and more. With the Fentanyl epidemic on the rise, Federal Resources will continue to work alongside our core partner, First Line Technology, to provide critical solutions needed to minimize the impact of this epidemic on the U.S. government, military, and first responders.
To learn more about First Line Technology visit their website.