WARNING: Don't post any film in the US!

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Just saw this on the BBC's web site:


Basically the US are going to 'bombard'the mail with radiation. Eek!

-- Gavin Walker (gavin.walker@japan.bnpparibas.com), October 23, 2001



-- wdnagel (wdnagel@home.com), October 23, 2001.

Probably won't help:

From a Pro Photo list"

"The USPS is going to start treating all mail with a radiation device which, in addition to killing anthrax spores, pretty much is guaranteed to kill film, also. In the paraphrased words of the Postmaster General as spoken on TV, any effect these devices will have on photographic film is one of the sacrifices we all have to make in the name of security.

Fedex and UPS are X-Raying random packages, per news accounts. Probably once the USPS is fully on-line with its devices, the alternative shippers will follow, simply because they would be negligent if they did not also irradiate all packages."

-- Tim Atherton (tim@KairosPhoto.com), October 25, 2001.

Great! So, you can't carry it with you, and you can't send it in the mail. Wunnerful.

There's still the option of traveling by boat, train, bus, or car. Are there other options?

-- neil poulsen (neil.fg@att.net), October 25, 2001.

A system will have to be devised to allow certain films through the mail. X-rays are frequently shipped overnight, as well as a variety of magnetic media. Electron beam irradiation has a degrading effect on digital media such as hard drives, photo-discs, CDs etc. The only option I can think of off hand is that UPS and FED-EX will probably set up a system to have your parcel designated for hand inspection for an additonal charge, thus bypassing the need for x-ray or irradiation.

-- James Chinn (Jim1341@DellEpro.com), October 25, 2001.

Or they could require that one show several forms of identification (this doesn't eliminate the possibility of fake i.d.'s) or fingerprints. :-) Then at least the parcel could be traced to a source.

-- James Chow (dr_jchow@yahoo.com), October 26, 2001.

After following this thread from the beginning I took the opportunity of chatting woith our local postmaster this afternoon. While hat he said may not apply universally I tend to think it will be pretty much the rule. Bottom line, what we have read so far is more urban mythology. The US Postal Service is NOT subjecting 99% of the mail to any additional screening or inspection of any sort ... thre MAY be some exceptions in a few urban aras (on a temporary basis) where there have beent threats). For most of us the following applies:

1) Clerks are instructed to look closely at packages without return addresses when they do not know the senders.

2) Clerks are instructed to look closely at packages that are large and heavy and for which the postage has been paid with lots of stamps instead of being affixed by them at the counter.

3) Clerks are instructed ot look closely at packages wehre the return address is different from the city in which they are located.

All of the above sorts of packages MAY be more closely inspected but not necessarily.

As a general rule the mail will continue to go on without any additional inspections or examinations.

Tht is the conversation as best I remember it.

He also mentioned that if you see any posts on a newsgroup mentioning specifics of screenings and inspections to let your local post office know so they cna do their best to get the rumors squashed.



-- Ted Harris (slberfuchs@aol.com), October 26, 2001.

If UPS and FEDEX start iradiating all packages then this will eliminate ordering film from B&H and other volumn discount sellers.

-- Ron Mc (rnrmcelroy@aol.com), October 26, 2001.

How do you think B&H and your local retailer get the film from the distributor or manufacturer? Usually by UPS ground shipments. If UPS ground shipment is not a safe means of transporting film, then there is no way to get film to the retailer or the consumer.

-- Michael Feldman (mfeldman@qwest.net), October 26, 2001.

Since film is shipped to big wholesalers like B&H straight from the factory there is no reason to expect that these shipments will ever be subjected to ionizing radiation. Major package shippers like UPS and Fedex are not worried about shipments whose origins and contents they know - for example the Kodak factory or the B&H warehouse. The shipping companies concern is with packages and letters dropped off by individuals who are essentially unknown. Companies like Fedex and UPS can use their barcode and radio frequency identification technologies to segregate sensitive shipments and bypass any ionizing treatment where the origin and contents is assured. I expect that shippers like B&H will have to undergo a certification by the USPS or Fedex to be able to ship without being subject to radiation, provided that they demonstrate that their shipping areas are secure and possibly that their employees are subject to a background check. I cannot believe that shipping companies would be so stupid as to voluntarily destroy a portion of the shipping business that probably directly and indirectly represents tens of billions of dollars to the economy. However, my guess is that it will no longer be possible for individuals to ship unexposd film through the mail. In my opinion, the decision to irradiate mail is damnably bad policy. The question of biosafety should be looked on a systemwide basis and not through piecemeal policies. Postal irradiation would offer only a token amount of protection while wreaking unintended havoc on sectors of the economy.

-- Phil Glass (phi_glass@yahoo.com), October 27, 2001.

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