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Tuesday, 6 November, 2001, 17:44 GMT
Oil industry spray could kill anthrax
Firefighters rehearse dealing with anthrax, AFP
An anti-anthrax spray would make things easier
A disinfectant developed to kill bugs in oil pipelines could go on the market as an anti-anthrax spray.


It does not have any side-effects, which means it could be used in the treatment of people

Apostolos Georgopoulos
Vienna General Hospital
Researchers in Austria are looking for human volunteers to complete the testing of the product.

They are keeping the formula secret until they have a patent, but they say that the polymer-based substance killed dried, powdered anthrax spores in an envelope in the laboratory.

Apostolos Georgopoulos of Vienna's General Hospital told Reuters news agency that the spray was no help to people already infected with anthrax, but was an effective preventative measure.

'Low toxicity'

"In comparison with all other disinfectants it is not toxic.

"It does not have any side effects, which means it could be used in the treatment of people, but it still needs approval for this," he said.

Dr Georgopoulos' colleague Athanasios Bogiatzis said that the team had been working on the substance since 1985 and was looking for volunteers to help with final testing.

"Once the tests are finally over, everything will happen very fast. We are already in contact with a company to produce it, and the production is set to begin," he added.

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