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After 4 years, American Media is anthrax-free / Jossip
After 4 years, American Media is anthrax-free
— Mon, Nov 28, 2005 —

Take a trip down memory lane with us for a moment. Remember back to 2001, when just weeks after the Twin Towers fell and the plot was born for a new DVD, various parties started receiving anthrax-filled envelopes.

A Senate building in D.C. Tom Brokaw's NBC outpost. Oh, and American Media Inc.'s building in Boca Raton, Florida.

The incident cost at least one life: The Sun photo editor Bob Stevens. But it also meant the building was cordoned off, staffers were left without desks (and all their work, potentially contaminated, abandoned inside) and AMI without a headquarters. AMI, of course, has since relocated here in New York.

But the de-anthraxing (it's a technical term, if you're unfamiliar) of AMI's former haunt in Boca Raton has been going on ever since. And thanks to MARCOR Remediation, the process is all but complete — once they disinfect the exteriors of boxes filled with celebrity photos, they'll call it a day.

And those boxes, we gleefully report, will be returned to AMI.

So should Joe Dolce ever decide to run a "Before & After" of Sean Penn, a "Look Who's Thin, Again!" of Kirstie Alley or "Someone got work done" on Demi Moore without the help of a wire image service, you can thank MARCOR Remediation. They're helping repair the building blocks of American culture, one paparazzi shot at a time.

The full release, after the jump.

Related: Anthrax Alarm [Newsweek]

MARCOR Remediation, Inc. a national environmental contractor, is decontaminating more than 8,500 boxes of anthrax-laden archival photos, clippings, and other files stored here at the former home of the National Enquirer, Star, and other tabloid newspapers and magazines.

In what may be the final chapter of the cleanup of the former headquarters of the publishing firm, American Media, Inc. (AMI), MARCOR Remediation is painstakingly disinfecting the exterior of the boxes and then transporting them offsite to be sterilized. The boxes contain millions of photos of celebrities taken over decades, which will be returned to the building's owner after cleaning.

The AMI building was the first target in a series of anthrax attacks in the weeks following the September 11, 2001 attack on the World Trade Center. Soon afterward, the Hart Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C. was also attacked. MARCOR Remediation is the firm that helped clean up the Senate Building anthrax, and now brings its expertise to Boca Raton. The AMI building was vacated several days after its photo editor died from inhaling anthrax.

A crew of technicians garbed in protective suits is first disinfecting the exterior of the boxes. They will be transported off-site, where they will be sterilized through high pressure and heat in an autoclave. MARCOR Remediation will then return to the parking garage where the boxes were stored and decontaminate that area, as well. The focus is getting the boxes, treated, and either properly disposed or returned to the owner to take over possession of them. The process should take about three months.

MARCOR, marking its 25th anniversary, was the first contractor in the U.S. to be licensed to perform asbestos abatement, and the first contractor to be licensed to perform mold remediation. Currently, the company - with 16 offices - is providing a wide variety of environmental services resulting from the ravages of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in the South. Other services include industrial cleaning, building decontamination, gun range cleanup, plant/process decommissioning and demolition, emergency spill response, and storage tank management.

Clients include industrial and commercial concerns and government agencies, as well as industrial hygienists, environmental consultants, real estate development and property management firms, the hospitality industry, educational institutions, and health care facilities. The website is http://www.marcor.com.





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