Track 1: Building and Sustaining Resilient Communities
llicit fentanyl activities cause unique contamination incidents and risk to law enforcement, first responders, remediation contractors, and the public. Risk is a function of the chemical characteristics and amount of fentanyl involved, the area contaminated, the type of surface contaminated, moisture and ventilation, and the human activity patterns within the contaminated environment. This presentation will provide an overview of EPA’s role in a fentanyl response and will contain the results from research that was initiated to fill select gaps identified during the development of EPA’s Fact Sheet for on-scene coordinators (OSCs): Fentanyl and Fentanyl Analogs (Fentanyl Fact Sheet). The presentation will be followed by a hands-on demonstration to guide public health practitioners on how to efficiently sample a fentanyl surrogate contaminated surface and how to clean it effectively.
Fentanyl is fast-acting, but the life-threatening effects can be reversible if detected and treated early. Controlled human studies using oral exposures identified blood fentanyl levels associated with toxicity. Surface contamination levels associated with these dermal exposures might be used as a benchmark for decontamination goals and analytical detection capability.
Characterizing the contamination includes separate operations of sampling and analysis (for accurate identification and quantification of the contaminant). Both surface and media-specific sampling and analysis methods are needed to assist decision-makers before and during remediation efforts to guide decisions regarding protection from contamination, and following decontamination to ensure that sites are remediated to levels acceptable for civilian reoccupation. Analytical detection capabilities for surface matrix types (e.g., surface materials) will be discussed.
Decontamination operations will benefit both from in situ neutralization options for fentanyl, its analogs and derivatives on building materials. Current remediation knowledge is limited to the core chemistries of several oxidizers such as hydrogen peroxide, peracetic acid or hypochlorite (bleach). EPA has collected data describing the efficacy of several decontamination options. These data describe results from decontamination tests using nonporous surface materials contaminated with solid fentanyl salt. They included spray application of multiple decontamination solutions that are identified in the Fentanyl Fact Sheet as well as more recently identified decontaminants of interest. A successful approach to ensuring the safety of law enforcement, first responders, remediation contractors, and the public can be developed by coordinating the separate approaches to estimating the toxicity/risk, remediation efficacy and analytical detection capability for fentanyl, its analogs and derivatives.