The Code of Federal Regulations (30 CFR 233.11) provides the Chief Postal Inspector with the authority to screen mail reasonably suspected of being dangerous to a person or property.
Postal Inspectors use multi-tiered field-screening to declare mail as non-hazardous. Postal Inspectors are requested to conduct mail-screening as valued partners who convey an “envelope of safety” by protecting mail delivered to high-profile venues, designated as at National Special Security Events, including the Olympics, Super Bowl, or other large-scale events where terroristic threats are possible.
In the wake of the biological attacks of 2001, the U.S. Postal Service installed biological detection systems (BDS) to safeguard postal employees and the public from future incidents. BDS serves as an early warning system for the presence of dangerous biologicals. Since the inception of BDS, there have been more than 7 million tests, but not one positive or false-positive result.
Postal Inspectors trained as Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (Hazwoper) Specialists regularly participate in drills with federal, state, and local partners to test response protocols in the event BDS detects a dangerous substance. Due to the vigilance of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the U.S. Mail continues to be one of the safest forms of communications in the world.