Risk assessment of anthrax threat letters

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Authors
  1. Kournikakis, B.
  2. Armour, S.J.
  3. Boulet, C.A.
  4. Spence, M.
  5. Parsons, B.
Corporate Authors
Defence Research Establishment Suffield, Ralston ALTA (CAN)
Abstract
In recent years an increasing number of letters alleging to contain anthrax have been sent to health clinics, government offices and other locations. While such "anthrax letter" incidents to date have proven to be hoaxes, all incidents must be treated as real until proven otherwise. Since no experimental studies on which to base a realistic assessment of the threat posed by these "anthrax letters" could be found, Defence Research Establishment Suffield (DRES) undertook a series of experiments to determine the extent of the hazard. In the experiments, envelopes containing Bacillus globigii spores ( a simulant for anthrax) were opened in a mock mail room/office environment. The data measured on the dispersion of the spores were used to estimate if letters containing anthrax spores posed a significant health risk.

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Keywords
Biological warfare;Hoax letter;Air circulation;Mail processing centres;Mailrooms
Report Number
DRES-TR-2001-048 — Technical Report
Date of publication
01 Sep 2001
Number of Pages
34p
DSTKIM No
CA011931
CANDIS No
516525
Format(s):
Hardcopy;Document Image stored on Optical Disk

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