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RE: [AV Media Matters] New Test Results

Tape, as well as discs are being damaged by the irradiation now being
on mail.

After giving a presentation at the National Archives in DC on disaster
recovery of magnetic tapes, I was approached by a government employee
asked if irradiation is likely to damage magnetic tape.  I mentally
the studies that have been done by various agencies and industries over
years and answered, as most experts would, "No, irradiation is not
likely to
seriously damage magnetic tape".  And, unless someone does something
most experts wouldn't consider because it is obviously ridiculous, the
answer was correct.

Of course, this government agency had recently received a number of
recordings through the mail that had been melted.

It was once safe to take magnetic media through airport security.  They
now added magnetic wands that can erase media.  Irradiation has been
used in
the past to kill fungus on media.  They now irradiate in such a way and
such intensities that it melts the media.  Another method rumored to be
under consideration for treating media, on site, that is suspected of
anthrax contamination is a 50% chlorine solution.  I'm no
microbiologist, so
I can't fairly evaluate if this would kill the spores.  I do know of a
number of media, however, that don't stand a chance of surviving the

So, yes, there are a number of instances where media has actually been
melted by the irradiation now being used on letters and envelopes.
Strangely enough, unless they have changed the policy recently, they are
only irradiating envelopes- not boxes.  Go figure.  I guess they assume
anthrax spores don't like boxes.  Until they change the policy, you
want to consider shipping all your media in boxes.  It may be more
for single units but it's a real pain trying to play back melted tapes

Peter Brothers
Tape and Disc Disaster Recovery

-----Original Message-----
From: Charles Repka [mailto:Charles.P.Repka@abc.com]
Sent: Friday, May 03, 2002 8:46 AM
To: AV Media Matters
Subject: RE: [AV Media Matters] New Test Results

But the heat generated by other sterilization processes will absolutely
the discs.  We have received a number of (promotional) CD here in our
that had been run through a sterilization process.  The discs heavily
discolored and warped beyond recognition.

Charles Repka
> Tests conducted by Media Sciences in early 2002 on CD-ROM discs,
> recorded CD-R discs, and unrecorded CD-R discs indicate that electron
> beam irradiation of the type used to sterilize U.S. mail does
> not impair
> media interchange. See http://www.mscience.com/faq29.html.
> Regards,
> J. Hartke
> Media Sciences, Inc.

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