USPS Processing Center Tests Negative for Anthrax

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Testing done July 29 of the U.S. Postal Service's Brentwood Processing and Distribution Center in Washington came back clear of anthrax, the postal service and District of Columbia Department of Health announced yesterday.


"The engineering worked as designed," said USPS vice president of engineering Thomas Day.


The test was done in an enclosed environment over Line 17, the most contaminated equipment in the building. Preparations for the full building fumigation will continue. Plans for a community meeting to explain the process and answer the public's questions will be announced in a few weeks.


Meanwhile, the USPS is investigating whether anthrax found in a Princeton, NJ, mailbox last week had been there since tainted letters surfaced last fall, and it also is testing to see whether anthrax has spread through the mail streams.


Samples were collected Wednesday evening at post offices in Hamilton, West Windsor and South River, NJ, and results are expected Monday. Similar testing was done last weekend at the Monmouth Processing and Distributing Center in Eatontown, NJ, and the Kilmer General Mail Facility in Edison, NJ. All five sites handled material from the mailbox in Princeton.


No evidence of anthrax was found at either facility tested over the weekend, said Vito Cetta, the postal service's district manager for central New Jersey.


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