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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 201755 Find in a Library
Title: Securing the Mail Against Attack
Journal: Homeland Defense Journal  Volume:1  Issue:5  Dated:August 2003  Pages:12-14
Author(s): Mickey McCarter; Christina Holden
Date Published: August 2003
Page Count: 3
Type: Best Practice/State-of-the-Art Review
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article describes a new system designed to detect biohazards traveling in the United States Postal Service (USPS).
Abstract: The Biohazard Detection System (BDS) was developed to prevent deadly biohazards from infecting the U.S. mail system. The BDS contract was awarded to the Security Systems LLC unit of Northrop Grumman Corporation in May of 2003. The system monitors pieces of mail within the postal service facilities and detects whether particles of biopathogens are coming off of those pieces of mail using a polymerase chain reaction technology. Currently, the BDS only tests for the presence of anthrax, but the system is expandable to other biological agents. The system is designed to detect biohazards and contain contaminated mail; it does not treat the mail. The article describes the 30-day testing procedure of the BDS, which was undertaken in 14 facilities chosen by the USPS to represent a variety of climates and environmental conditions. One concern is that a lot of mail bypasses the BDS because it is presorted. Other solutions to protecting against mail contamination are also offered in this article, including the use of HEPA filters and products developed to track the chain of custody of parcels making their way through the USPS.
Main Term(s): Hazardous substances or materials; US Postal Service
Index Term(s): Postal crimes; Postal security
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