December 8, 2022

EPA Tests Solutions Containing Peracetic Acid, Other Products for Fentanyl Remediation

Recent EPA research focuses on remediation of fentanyl-contaminated indoor environments, according to an article published last week in EPA’s Science Matters newsletter. Agency researchers tested multiple products, including some containing the organic chemical compound peracetic acid, for their ability to degrade fentanyl on common building materials contaminated with fentanyl powder, including glass, plastics, laminate, and painted drywall. They also tested special solutions containing peracetic acid while studying methods for decontaminating personal protective equipment worn by first responders. EPA’s article explains that this research is intended to address some of the limits of available information regarding methods to degrade fentanyl or remediate areas contaminated by fentanyl in real-world scenarios.

“EPA researchers investigated methods to degrade fentanyl safely in real-life remediation efforts by determining what effective and efficient mechanisms exist to clean an area contaminated with fentanyl and whether such technologies can also be used for decontamination of [PPE] materials used during emergency responses,” the agency says.

According to researchers, a “peracetic acid or activated hydrogen peroxide, and acidified hypochlorite containing solution” was the most effective decontamination solution for the cleanup of fentanyl-contaminated surfaces. When it comes to first responders’ PPE, the results of EPA’s study “demonstrated that special solutions containing peracetic acid are highly effective in degrading fentanyl on PPE in only a few minutes,” according to Science Matters.

EPA intends for further research to include studies of fumigation methods for more complex contamination scenarios as well as studies focused on assessing potential harm posed by decontamination degradation products.

To learn more, read EPA’s Science Matters article.

Related:Protection in an Uncontrolled Environment,” an article published in the December 2017 issue of The Synergist, discusses opioids exposures among emergency responders. An article published in January 2021 explores sampling and use considerations for peracetic acid, and an earlier article from 2016 focuses on the many uses and hazards of peracetic acid.