National Postal Mail Handlers Union - Unity · Democracy · Strength - Division of LIUNA - AFL-CIO

National Postal Mail Handlers Union A Division of LIUNA (AFL-CIO)

Media Center / News

Apr 17

USPS Updates NPMHU Leadership on Possible Ricin Letters

(April 17, 2013) – Following news reports regarding suspicious and potentially dangerous letters that were addressed to the White House and to Congressional offices, the USPS provided a briefing this afternoon to the leadership of all postal unions.  Early media reports suggest that the letters may have been laced with the poison ricin, but at this point, there are still many unanswered questions regarding these letters.  The NPMHU will remain engaged in these discussions and investigations, and will provide additional details as they become available.

Initial tests indicate that the letters located yesterday and today tested positive on field tests for ricin.  It will be necessary for further, detailed tests to be conducted to verify those initial findings.  According to the Postal Service, there is no immediate cause for concern, and employees are not currently at risk.  In an abundance of caution, USPS management is contacting employees who have called in sick from the affected Memphis, Washington DC, or Maryland facilities to ensure that they are not experiencing symptoms related to ricin poisoning.

We are continuing to monitor this situation closely, and will provide updates as more information becomes available.

In the meantime, please review the following attachments from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website for more information on the properties of ricin.

Facts About Ricin

Questions and Answers About Ricin


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