Updated on April 26th, 2023

The Washington Post published an article last month on the U.S. Postal Service’s screening process to check for pathogens in mail sent to Congress and federal agencies. Emily Chow and Cristina Rivero included a step-by-step process on how each piece of mail is screened for biological agents.

The process starts out with a machine, the size of an office copier, taking periodic air samples to track for biological agents. Next, USPS takes the mail to a New Jersey irradiation facility operated by Sterigenics, a company known for its medical sterilization equipment. The mail is then heated to temperatures often exceeding 150 degrees. Finally, large containers holding first-class mail is scanned by a high-energy electron beam or X-rays, killing potentially harmful biological agents such as anthrax.

But how is everyone else’s mail secured?

The USPS has posted details on how to keep incoming and outgoing mail safe and secure. This also includes x-ray scanning of mail at larger facilities, restricting drivers (rest areas) to an area that is separate from the production/mail center facilities and using video cameras inside and outside the facility/docks.

Of course, general postal mail isn’t under the same surveillance as federal mail, but the USPS has stepped up their security ever since the anthrax scare more than a decade ago.

Rest assured, since PostScan Mail takes extra special care of your mail, it adds to the security already provided by the United States Postal Service.

Do you think your mail needs even more security? Add a comment and tell us how you think America’s mail should be handled.

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