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Risk Assessment of Anthrax Threat Letters
DEFENCE RESEARCH ESTABLISHMENT SUFFIELD RALSTON (ALBERTA)
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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 roomoffice environment. The data measured on the dispersion of the spores were used to estimate if letters containing anthrax spores posed a significant health risk.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE