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Union Wants Masks Approved for U.S. Border Agents Checking Travelers

WASHINGTON -- A labor union wants the federal government to let border officers wear masks and other personal protective gear while checking travelers who might have been exposed to swine flu.

The union says Customs and Border Protection officers carry masks in their pockets and wear them only when they encounter someone with swine flu symptoms.

Union president Colleen Kelley says the government should allow workers to wear protective gear at all times and to take frequent breaks to wash their hands, a precaution recommended by health experts.

As of Wednesday, 49 people with flulike symptoms had been stopped at U.S. borders. Forty-one were sent on their way after tests showed they did not carry the virus. Eight were awaiting test results.