CDC interim recommendations for protecting mail handlers from cutaneous and inhalational anthrax associated with intentional distribution of Bacillus anthracis through the mail
Advanced Search
Select up to three search categories and corresponding keywords using the fields to the right. Refer to the Help section for more detailed instructions.

Search our Collections & Repository

All these words:

For very narrow results

This exact word or phrase:

When looking for a specific result

Any of these words:

Best used for discovery & interchangable words

None of these words:

Recommended to be used in conjunction with other fields



Publication Date Range:


Document Data


Document Type:






Clear All

Query Builder

Query box

Clear All

For additional assistance using the Custom Query please check out our Help Page


CDC interim recommendations for protecting mail handlers from cutaneous and inhalational anthrax associated with intentional distribution of Bacillus anthracis through the mail

Filetype[PDF-767.46 KB]

  • English

  • Details:

    • Description:
      Wednesday, October 24, 2001, 22:30 EDT (10:30 PM EDT)

      CDCHAN-00045-2001-10-24-ADV-N As of October 24, 2001, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is aware of five cases of inhalational anthrax among postal workers and mail handlers, including two fatal cases, as well as additional cases of cutaneous anthrax. These cases have been associated with exposure to mail contaminated with Bacillus anthracis. This document provides interim recommendations for protecting workers involved in mail sorting, distribution, and handling.

      A program to reduce skin or respiratory exposures to B. anthracis spores may decrease the risk of anthrax disease in mail handlers. These interim recommendations are based on the limited information available on ways to avoid infection and the effectiveness of various prevention strategies. These recommendations will be updated as new information becomes available.

      A hierarchy of measures should be used to control potential exposures to B. anthracis. These include, in hierarchical order, engineering controls to capture B. anthracis spores at potential points of release, housekeeping measures to reduce the spread of B. anthracis spores, and personal protective equipment to prevent worker exposure. The selection of these measures may be made after conducting a site-specific evaluation of the potential risk for B. anthracis exposure in each mail-handling facility. These recommendations should be incorporated into a comprehensive safety and health program for protecting mail handlers. A major source of dust in mail handling facilities occurs during the operation and maintenance of high-speed mail handling machines. The blowdown of these machines in the maintenance operation can aerosolize particles in the size range of B. anthracis spores. Pinch roller operations should be evaluated for their potential to force dust containing spores from envelopes.

      The following recommendations are provided for workers potentially exposed to B. anthracis spores while handling or processing mail. These recommendations do not address instances where a known exposure has occurred. Mail facilities should develop an emergency plan to contain the hazards; this plan should be put into effect when a known or suspected exposure to B. anthracis occurs.

      Event Type: anthrax terrorism event - Brentwood Postal Distribution Center

      Context: worker protection

      Event Type: Man-made

      Agent Type: bacteria

      Specify Agent (Name): anthrax

      International: no

      Intentional/Unintentional: intentional

    • Series:
    • Document Type:
    • Place as Subject:
    • Location:
    • Main Document Checksum:
    • File Type:

    Supporting Files

    • No Additional Files

    More +

    You May Also Like

    Checkout today's featured content at