Dear Fedlink members,

I am forwarding two messages about possible alternatives for irradiation of
mail.   Our Laboratory has some ideas that may be an alternative to
irradation of the mail.  We are in contact with the Postal Service but do
not have an agreement with them to start work on this yet.  I thought you
would like to know that there is some  hope for the future.  There is also
a short paper that goes into slightly more detail about the carbon dioxide
process.  If anyone is interested, I can forward that also.  The second
message below was just sent yesterday.

>Julie Blankenburg, Librarian
>Forest Products Laboratory
>One Gifford Pinchot Drive
>Madison, WI  53705

>Customer comment card:
>Phone: (608) 231-9491
>Fax: (608) 231-9311
>Alternate e-mail: [log in to unmask]

To: Ted Wegner
January 15, 2002


Thank you for forwarding the memo from Julie Blankenberg and Robert
Mohrman.  Bill Kenealy, John Klungness and I have discussed the issue of
mail sterilization with representatives of the Postal Service, and we have
come up with several ideas for sterilization procedures that might be less
destructive. Bill thinks that a combination of supercritical extraction
combined with surfactants might be more effective and less damaging (please
see attached).  I think that a combination of chemical and physical
treatments might also be effective.

If you think that this would be a useful area for longer-term research or
if you think that we might be able to obtain funding from either the Postal
Service or the Department of Defense to explore new routes for mail
sterilization, please let me know.

tom jeffries
>----- Forwarded by Julie Blankenburg/FPL/USDAFS on 01/31/02 03:00 PM -----

>                    Thomas W

>                    Jeffries             To:
[log in to unmask]
>                                         cc:     Julie
Blankenburg/FPL/USDAFS@FSNOTES, Bill R
>                    01/31/02             Kenealy/FPL/USDAFS@FSNOTES,
Theodore H Wegner/FPL/USDAFS@FSNOTES, John H
>                    02:56 PM             Klungness/FPL/USDAFS@FSNOTES,
[log in to unmask]
>                                         Subject:     Sterilization of

>Dear Robert,
>It was good to chat with you on the telephone for a few minutes about the
>decomposition problems that you are experiencing with the irradiation of
>mail. Apparently the meeting that you had Monday with the Postal Service
>did not really resolve anything, and you are stuck with the situation for
>the time being.
>We have been in contact with several people in the Postal Service,
>including Raj Kumar and George Laws, about developing less destructive
>methods for sterilization.  Although it would probably take a few weeks to
>get initial data, we think that at least one process - the use of
>supercritical carbon dioxide -- should be evaluated further.  It does not
>involve the use of extremely hazardous materials, it would probably be far
>less destructive than irradiation, and it might well present a satisfactory
>solution for the sterilization of letter and package surfaces.  It probably
>would not penetrate completely into sealed packages, but it would probably
>be very effective on journals, magazines and other bulk items.
>A scientist on my staff, Bill Kenealy has put together a brief proposal to
>examine the effectiveness of this technology, and we would like to try to
>help with the problem if there is still a need.  The costs of the initial
>trials would be rather modest, and they could tell us whether or not the
>idea is worth pursuing.
>Please let me know if we can be of further assistance.
>Thomas W. Jeffries, Director
>Institute for Microbial and Biochemical Technology
>USDA, Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory
>One Gifford Pinchot Drive, Madison, WI 53705
>Tel: (608) 231-9453; Fax: (608) 231-9262
Julie Blankenburg, Librarian
USDA Forest Service
Forest Products Laboratory
One Gifford Pinchot Drive
Madison, WI  53705-2398

Phone: (608) 231-9491
Fax: (608) 231-9311
E-mail: [log in to unmask]
Alternate e-mail: [log in to unmask]