The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Irradiated Mail:
A Slight Discrepancy with the Truth

Jan 21, 2002

At least 11 workers became ill on January 10 at the U.S. Commerce Department Building in Washington, D.C. Apparently the illnesses resulted from inhaling toxic fumes from irradiated mail.

Since the anthrax attacks, the U.S. Post Office has started to irradiate all federal mail in order to kill any potential biological agents. As usual, the public was told that irradiating mail poses no health concerns, nor would it damage the mail. And, as usual with official claims, there was a slight discrepancy between reality and what the officials said.

It turns out that the irradiation process causes the release of hydrocarbons from plastic, and plastic is, for example, widely found in envelopes with address windows or shrink-wrapped mail. In the case of shrink-wrapped mail, the gases are trapped inside until someone cuts open the bag to release the toxic fumes–making people sick.

The irradiation was also said to have messed up computer disks, computer chips, medicine, food, and photographic items.

When they wrote up the job description for bureaucrat, they must have put at the top of the list: “able to create new problems.”