Report: More Anthrax Testing of USPS Not Needed

Repeat testing for anthrax is unnecessary in facilities decontaminated following the 2001 anthrax (search) attacks, a new analysis said Friday.

The report came from a group of federal health, safety and security agencies working with the Postal Service (search).

Five people died and several were sickened following the anthrax-by-mail attacks and postal facilities in Washington, New Jersey and elsewhere were decontaminated. No one has been arrested in the cases.

The Government Accountability Office (searchhad asked the post office to reassess the risk levels to employees and customers in affected facilities.

The new report, concluding further testing is not needed, was prepared by the Postal Service working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Environmental Protection Agency, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, American Postal Workers Union, the National Association of Letter Carriers, the National Postal Mail Handlers Union and the National Rural Letter Carriers Association, postal officials said.

Continued illness tracking by the Postal Service and federal, state and local health agencies found no evidence of inhalation or cutaneous anthrax in postal employees or customers since November 2001; the post office said.

The agency is installing anthrax detection equipment in mail handling facilities across the country in hopes of detecting any future attack early and preventing spread of the disease.