Skip to main content /HEALTH with /HEALTH


A dozen tips for handling mail packages suspected of anthrax contamination

(CNN) -- The following steps about what to do if you suspect mail is contaminated with anthrax are provided courtesy of the United States Postal Service.

1. Do not handle the mail piece or package suspected of contamination

2. Notify your supervisor, who will immediately contact the Inspection Service, local police, safety office or designated person

FBI guide to suspicious mail 

In Depth: The anthrax investigation 

3. Make sure that damaged or suspicious packages are isolated and the immediate areas are cordoned off

4. Ensure that all persons who have touched the mail piece wash their hands with soap and water

5. Call a postal inspector to report that you've received a parcel in the mail that may contain biological or chemical substances. An inspector will collect the mail, assess the threat situation and coordinate with the FBI

6. Designated officials will notify local, county and state health departments

7. Designated officials will notify the state emergency manager

8. List all persons who have touched the letter and/or envelope. Include contact information. Provide the list to the postal inspector

9. Place all items worn when in contact with the suspected mail piece in plastic bags and have them available for law enforcement agents

10. As soon as practical, shower with soap and water

11. If prescribed medication by medical personnel, take it until otherwise instructed or it runs out

12. Call the Center for Disease Control Emergency Response at (770) 488-7100 for answers to any questions.


See related sites about Health
Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.


Back to the top