USPS Awards Contract to Sanitize Mail

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The U.S. Postal Service awarded a contract to Ion Beam Applications Inc. to sanitize mail from possible anthrax contamination, the USPS said yesterday.


IBA's irradiation facility in Bridgeport, NJ, will sanitize mail beginning later this week. The USPS did not say what mail would be sanitized through this facility.


The three-month contract is for about $2.4 million and includes an option to extend it for an additional three months.


IBA will sanitize the mail using its high-performance electron beam/X-ray technology. The USPS would not say how much mail is expected to pass through the technology.


The announcement follows the postal service's purchase last month of eight electronic pasteurization systems for $40 million from Titan Corp. to kill anthrax and other bacteria on mail. The USPS may buy up to 12 more units to install in mail-processing centers nationwide.


"[The IBA plant] is an additional facility to ease the backlog," said Greg Frey, a USPS spokesman.


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