Postal Service’s Decision to Abandon Mail Irradiation Is Right Choice

Sept. 24, 2002

Postal Service’s Decision to Abandon Mail Irradiation Is Right Choice

Statement from Wenonah Hauter, Director, Public Citizen’s Critical Mass Energy and Environment Program

Public Citizen was gratified to learn today that the United States Postal Service (USPS) has decided to abandon plans to irradiate the nation’s mail. While the anthrax attacks last fall were reprehensible, the use of this untested technology seemed to be an extreme response. At the outset, we had urged the postal service not to pursue this course of action because we were convinced that this technology would do more harm than good. We seem to have been proven correct, as there has been a steady stream of reports regarding problems with mail irradiation – from illnesses in those who handled irradiated mail to mail being destroyed by the application of this technology.

We strongly urge the postal service to continue searching for an alternative, safe detection technology that will protect both the postal workforce and the public from future attacks.

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