Anthrax-Environmental Health & Safety - Carnegie Mellon University


Since September 11, 2001, concerns over the threat of Anthrax as a potential means of terrorist attack in America have remained constant. Hoaxes involving “white powder” continue to make the news. Many universities and organizations are trying to make information and resources available to their constituents to help them understand and cope with this latest development in the post-Sept. 11 context. Be assured that Carnegie Mellon has taken measures to increase security and take appropriate precautions at the university. See below for useful guidelines and links to federal and other expert Web sites with more information about possible threats. Please remember that Anthrax is generally treatable with antibiotics and is NOT contagious.

Also keep in mind some general guidelines when dealing with any suspicious letters or packages coming to you through the mail:

Characteristics of a "suspicious" letter or package:

  1. Unexpected packages or packages from someone unfamiliar to you.
  2. Outdated address (ie. someone who no longer works with your organization), improper title or addressed to a position (ie. safety manager.)No return address or one that can't be verified/Marked with restrictive endorsements (ie. "personal" or "confidential").Unusual weight given its size, or lopsided. Strange odors, stains or protruding wires.
  3. Postmark city and state does not match return address.

If you receive a suspicious letter or package:

  1. Do not try to open the package. If there is a spilled powder, do not try to clean it up.
  2. Isolate the package and evacuate the immediate area. Wash hands and exposed skin with soap and water.
  3. Call University Police at 8-2323 and give them your exact location.

* University Police will respond and will contact all appropriate authorities.*