USPS Postpones Biohazard Detection System

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The U.S. Postal Service said that the national Biohazard Detection System deployment is being halted temporarily.


The system is designed to provide an early warning for anthrax.


The USPS said yesterday that it recently experienced more non-determinate test results in its BDS than it thinks it should at two sites where new systems are being installed. Non-determinate means only that the test result is inconclusive, the USPS said.


In the preproduction phase, 15 pilot sites nationwide were chosen to allow the postal service to calibrate the system and establish a baseline for future reference. Compared with that baseline, the USPS said it is seeing a rise in non-determinate results on several machines.


"Our objective throughout this whole process has been to provide a scientifically valid approach to detecting threats in the mail," the USPS said. "The Biohazard Detection System does that. And we're taking every step necessary to make sure the BDS is working properly before it is rolled out nationwide."


The USPS said it expects to resume deployment soon.


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