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On October 16, 2001, the University Community was alerted to take special precautions with handling mail in view of the recent cases of Anthrax mailings (see first link below). These precautions are still in effect; however, the Centers For Disease Control (CDC) has issued updated recommendations for protecting workers where mail is handled or processed (see last link below).
These new recommendations endorse the use of protective gloves and, in some high-risk operations, disposable respirators. The University does not use any of the high-risk machinery listed in the CDC advisory; however, an operation which could meet the high-risk definition is the dumping of batches of mail to or from hoppers or large containers. These new recommendations may apply to the University mailroom and other locations where large volumes of mail are received directly from the US Postal Service. We have been keeping them advised as necessary.
Disposable gloves and respirators are available through Fisher Scientific which is an approved vendor on UDMart. Nitrile or latex free nitrile gloves are recommended. Where respiratory protection is indicated (high- risk operations), a disposable respirator meeting the NIOSH N95 requirements is recommended. Please note that the respirators can come in three different sizes. Users must be trained and fitted by Department of Environmental Health & Safety staff.
Please continue to take precautions and screen for suspicious mail. If a suspicious letter or package is identified, call Public Safety at extension 2222 to report the item. Questions concerning this update and personal protective equipment may be directed to Environmental Health & Safety at extension 8475.