Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Pentagon Anthrax Experiment

PostedDecember 9, 2007

Download File (mp3)

Randy Atkins:  The bacterial spores -– called Bacillus subtilis -– are harmless, says Paul Benda of the Pentagon Force Protection Agency.

Paul Benda:  It is a commercial product.  It's sprayed literally by the ton in California.  It's used in organic farming.

Randy Atkins:  Several pounds, prepared like terrorists might do, were blown into the air from a vehicle as it drove near Route 395 on the south side of the Pentagon.

Paul Benda:  We had that bacteria flow over the cars and volunteers that we had in the area, as well as over the roadway and the building, and then we tested where that material went.

Randy Atkins:  Detectors throughout the Pentagon grounds tested positive.

Paul Benda:  We figured some of that stuff would get down into the Metro at the Pentagon.  It did.

Randy Atkins:  But Benda says spores didn't seem to pass between stations.  With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, WTOP Radio.

The findings weren't all bad, as you'll hear in Randy's next piece: Part 2 next Sunday.