Policy ForumPUBLIC HEALTH

Is Safe Mail Worth the Price?

Science  22 Feb 2002:
Vol. 295, Issue 5559, pp. 1467-1468
DOI: 10.1126/science.1068835

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Summary

In response to the anthrax episode of October 2001, the U.S. Postal Service is evaluating a variety of technologies and procedures for making the mail more terrorism-resistant. Early optimism has given way to the realization that most currently available safety measures have both uncertain benefits and serious drawbacks including high costs, inconvenience, intrusion, and damage to mail contents. Whether or not to accept these drawbacks for an uncertain measure of added safety is a value judgment best made with full participation of the public and postal workers.

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