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Danbury, Conn. Anthrax Clean Up

Emergency response at  a private residence in Danbury, Conn. for naturally-occuring anthrax.

Public health officials confirmed this is not a contagious condition and there is no community public health concern.


"EPA's emergency responders are highly trained and experienced to protect public health and our environment by carrying out a comprehensive clean up at this property," said Robert Varney, former regional administrator of EPA's New England office.

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EPA is leading a coordinated effort between federal, state and local officials to clean a private residence in Danbury, Conn. from naturally-occuring anthrax. The public at large, including residents of Danbury and immediate neighbors, are not at risk from this situation.

On Wednesday, September 5, 2007, EPA was notified about two individuals with confirmed cases of cutaneous (skin) anthrax who lived in Danbury, Conn.  The two individuals had been exposed to naturally-occuring anthrax which originated from imported animal hides.  One of the people who contracted cutaneous anthrax used the animal hides as drum skins in the assembly process of making traditional African drums in a backyard shed. The other person who contracted anthrax was a family member.

Response officials, including EPA, the Conn. Dept. of Public Health, the Conn. Dept. of Environmental Protection, the City of Danbury, the FBI, the Conn. National Guard Civil Support Team and other police and fire agencies, quickly coordinated to perform sampling at the residence, work shed and yard area to determine whether and where anthrax was present. Based on that sampling, which took place between Sept. 6-7, contaminated areas on the property were confirmed to include the two-story primary residence, the separate backyard workshop shed and the trunk of the car used to transport the hides.  

The responding agencies, operating under a Unified Command structure and in consultation with EPA's National Decontamination Team, the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, developed a clean up plan for the areas with anthrax contamination. The clean up plan was carried out between Sept. 14-16, and follow up sampling was performed in the house, the work shed and the automobile. Pending the results of that sampling, decisions will be made about what types of follow up clean up activity will be employed.

Press Releases

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Location: Danbury, CT
Start date:  09/12/2007
End date: 12/22/2007
Contact: Claudia Deane (deane.claudia@epa.gov)

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