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Anthrax found in Federal Reserve mail bin

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A mail bin at a Federal Reserve mail processing facility tested positive for anthrax Thursday, a Fed spokeswoman said.

The anthrax was discovered during routine testing of mail at the facility, which is outside the main Federal Reserve Board building, said spokeswoman Michelle Smith.

She said it is not clear which piece or pieces of mail may have caused contamination of the bin, which can hold up to 150 pieces of mail.

More tests will be conducted on the bin Friday in the hope of tracking down any contaminated mail.

"Any mail found to be contaminated will be sent to a military facility for analysis by the FBI," the Fed said in a statement.

The mail facility is a secure area, Smith said. Three Federal Reserve employees and three contractors process mail at the facility in safety suits to avoid direct contact with incoming mail.

Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan and board members were notified about the discovery late Thursday.

As a precaution, the board delayed Friday's planned meeting at the Federal Reserve building in Washington, but the Fed emphasized its regular operations would go on as normal Friday.


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