MIAMI — As Japan’s nuclear crisis escalates, emergency workers are finding protection in a unique safety suit created in South Florida.
More than 200 full-body nuclear radiation protection suits manufactured in Medley have been donated to aid power plant workers and rescue teams in Japan, and the company, Radiation Shield Technologies, is working full-time to keep up with orders from companies in Japan.
The suits are in high demand because of their unique material, called Demron, invented by Coral Gables anesthesiologist and pain-management specialist Dr. Ronald DeMeo. The radiation-blocking material offers protection against multiple threats, including infrared radiation, extreme heat, nuclear fallout, biological and chemical agents.
DeMeo has been selling Demron products to military and rescue staff around the globe for several years, but he first invented the fabric for medical personal. After using a continuous X-ray machine with his patients, he saw sunburn-like skin damage on his arms and hands. And he also saw many colleagues in his field afflicted with different types of skin cancers.
“I didn’t think we were taking this X-ray machine seriously enough. I started to look into better shielding,” said DeMeo, who runs the medical practice Meridian Pain & Diagnostics in Coral Gables. “I didn’t realize I was venturing into something that hasn’t been invented before.”
After nuclear reactors following the earthquake and tsunami in Japan were damaged, DeMeo directed his Hong Kong distributors to send suits in stock to Japan. They are expected to arrive this weekend.
DeMeo made calls to donate the gear as soon as he saw footage of first responders who lacked protective clothing.
To read the complete article, visit www.miamiherald.com.