Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.


Letter: Fighting CJD

Sir: Medical experts are considering scrapping surgical instruments after each contact with a CJD-carrying tissue, including possibly tonsils. While conventional sterilisation techniques, using overheated steam, are obviously ineffective in killing off the prions, which survive up to 360C, electrothermal appliances would probably offer a satisfactory solution while not melting the instruments - an induction annealing furnace, or an industrial microwave oven.

The stake, in terms of cost to the NHS, is so huge, that a departure from conventional medical techniques towards metallurgical technologies seems to be warranted. I am certain British Steel would be more than happy to rise to the challenge.


London, W5