Guidelines for Handling Suspicious Parcels/Mail
This is an information bulletin from Security Services, Department of Occupational Health and Safety and York Mail Services regarding heightened safety and security precautions when receiving and identifying suspicious mail, and what to do if you think you've been exposed to anthrax. Please distribute to all staff.

What constitutes a "suspicious parcel/mail"?
Some typical characteristics that should trigger suspicion, include parcels that:
Are unexpected or from someone unfamiliar to you.
Are addressed to someone no longer with your department or the University or otherwise outdated (e.g., improper title).
Bear no return address, or one that can't be verified as legitimate.
Are of unusual weight, disproportionate to its size, or is lopsided.
Are marked with restrictive endorsements, such as "Personal" or "Confidential".
Exhibit protruding wires, strange odours, stains, or powders.
Indicate a city, province or country in the postmark that doesn't match the return address.
Have excessive string or tape to hold together.

What should I do if I've received a suspicious parcel/mail?
Do not try to open the item, but isolate from other mail.
Are addressed to someone no longer with your department or the University or otherwise outdated (e.g., improper title).
Notify your supervisor.
Call Security Services at extension 33333 or 416-736-5333 to report that you've received a parcel in the mail that is suspicious.
Security Services will conduct a threat assessment to determine and coordinate the appropriate response.

What should I do if I receive an anthrax threat by mail?
Notify your supervisor and Security Services.
Security Services will contact the Department of Occupational Health and Safety, and Toronto Police Services for threat assessment and response.
Do not attempt to clean up any powder that may have spilled.
Keep staff out the area in which the parcel is contained.
Isolate anyone who has been exposed directly to or touched the parcel/mail or powder.
Wash your hands with soap and water.
Ensure that all persons who have touched the letter wash their hands with soap and water only.
List all persons who have touched the letter or package including their contact information and provide the list to the investigating agency.
Remove contaminated clothing as soon as possible and place in a plastic bag, or other sealed container and have available for the Police, should they request.
Shower with soap and water.
Seek medical attention as soon as possible.

How To Handle Mail In Your Area That Will Enhance Safety:
Do not leave mail unattended.
Secure mail whenever possible.
Be alert to any suspicious activity or persons who are in the vicinity of mail.
Report suspicious activity immediately to Security Services at extension 33333 or 416-736-5333.

There have been three reports of suspicious parcels on campus to date. They have been investigated and determined to have been either hoaxes, or unfounded, and posed no danger to the community

For specific health and safety related concerns please call the Department of Occupational Health and Safety at extension 55491 or 416-736-5491.

For information about Anthrax please see Health Canada’s website at:
http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/english/index.htm

The University will continue to monitor this situation.
http://www.ssp.yorku.ca/security