Postal Inspector Says Mail Is Safe

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CHICAGO -- Paul J. Trimbur, a Washington-based postal inspector, told a group of mailers yesterday at the Direct Marketing Association's 84th Conference & Exhibition here that despite the current anthrax scare, mail is safe and they should not expect delivery delays.


Trimbur, who spoke with a panel of experts at a session called "Direct Mail in Adverse Circumstances -- Gaining Consumer Trust in Your Mail," also gave the audience an update on the irradiation equipment the USPS has recently purchased.


Earlier this week the USPS selected Titan Corp. to provide systems to sanitize mail and eliminate the threat of anthrax contamination. The USPS will buy eight systems for about $40 million, with an option to buy 12 more, Titan said. In addition to providing the equipment, the company said it would operate and maintain the systems.


The USPS expects to receive the first systems in the Washington area in November.


Trimbur said he did not know about USPS plans to place the systems throughout the country.


Trimbur, however, said that direct mail probably would not go through these machines right now. Instead, the USPS will focus on mail that is suspicious.


"We will use the machines to clean mail that is suspicious first," Trimbur said. "[And in most cases] it is First-Class, hand-written, and hand-stamped mail that is dropped in a collection box."


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