Fwd: IMPORTANT, READ THIS, postal service precautions

Subject: Fwd: IMPORTANT, READ THIS, postal service precautions
From: "Tom Tarrant" <>
Date: Wed, 07 Nov 2001 09:50:39 -0000
--- In  "Nigel Blake" <> wrote:
Hi All

 I am forwarding this mail that came to me via an aviation photography 
web ring that I belong to, I don't know if it is a bit of an over 
reaction or scaremongering, but I feel it is important enough for our 
members in the U.S. to be made aware of.

Since photography is such an important part of these lists and, 
therefore, to
their members, I thought I'd better draw this to your attention, 
those who live in, visit, or do business (such as buying film or 
getting it
processed) in the U.S.

A hot discussion on several of the pro photography lists I susbcribe 
concerns steps being taken by the U.S. Postal Service to deal with the 
problem and other potential cases of bio-terrorism.

They are now installing "sanitizing" machines that will irradiate mail 
enough power to kill anthrax spores and other pathogens. The amount of 
radiation required to do this will *completely fog* unprocessed film. 
If you
were concerned about airport x-ray machines before, then you should be
extremely concerned about these. One pass will ruin your film. It's 

Film sent through the mail, either when purchased new by mail order or 
sent to labs by photographers, is all at great risk. Some of the 
machines have
already been installed and put into use and many more will be added 
all the
time. People on the other lists have been trying to get definitive 
answers from
the post office, film manufacturers, labs, and the makers of the 
machines regarding how to protect film, how to arrange for it to by 
and bypass the machines, etc and there are no clear answers for any of 
it from
anyone at all.

They're also trying to find out what courier companies such as UPS, 
FedEx, etc
plan to do and they can't even get straight answers about whether they 
anything now or not, let alone whether they plan to as a result of 
September 11
and the anthrax problem, so switching to couriers may not be the 
choice. No one seems to know if the courier companies will start 
everything, too.

To pick just one of them, calls to various FedEx offices, marketing 
reps, etc
to ask for the "Do Not X-ray" labels that some people had obtained in 
the past
resulted in replies ranging from "we've never had those" to "how many 
do you
want". However, as one photography list subscriber who once worked for 
courier pointed out, such labels are frequently ignored due to the 
volume of
packages that each employee handles, so they're no guarantee that a 
plastered with "Do Not X-ray" labels won't get nuked.

If you have mail ordered film in the past few weeks, be sure to shoot 
a test
roll and get it processed before using the rest of it on anything 
Better to find out ahead of a base visit or air show that all your 
film is
ruined than after you shoot it all.

Oh other thing. Don't shoot the messenger.  :-)

Jeff Rankin-Lowe

Nigel Blake
Nigel Blake
Web-site:  wildlife images from around the 
ICQ No:  111210043
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