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[AV Media Matters] Irradiation of mail
Here is an informal report on irradiation of
packages as regards magnetic media and CDs.
It is clear that significantly
powerful irradiation will destroy CDs and erase magnetic
Postings to the AV listserv and various
postings are a bit confusing. Information has developed as this became an
issue, and many postings are dated last November or not at all.
The general consensus seems to be that
dosage occurs as mail enters the recipients' system. Large US
Government addresses for buildings where there is great concern have
the most stringent processes. This includes the Library of
Congress, Smithsonian, Congressional offices, etc. No special
precautions seem to have been taken at less massive installations.
I was told the Smithsonian has a special address
which bypasses their normal mailroom processing, but I don't know what it
The Library of Congress has had problems with
irradiation of the US mail. Packages arriving by private carrier (UPS, Fed
Ex, etc.)are arriving OK.
It is unclear what the post office is doing in the
normal course of its business. The same can be said for UPS which
me they can't inform us as it is a security matter, although, as mentioned
above, materials shipped through them are arriving OK.
Fed Ex has acknowledged the issue
and offers a
Susan Carr, the Fed Ex Webmaster, sent
me an email
which I here condense.
"We do not x-ray our packages or use scanning
devices that will affect magnetic media.
It is recommended that shippers mark their packages
"Keep Away from Magnetized Material" to avoid close proximity with
magnetized and radioactive items.
The FedEx small box (12-1/4 x 10-7/8 x
1-3/8") is a
self assembling box. Mark "FedEx Box" on the airbill."
FedEx recommends the use of bubblewrap
cushioning. The recipient should be advised to unpack the media and let it
sit at room temperature 6 to 8 hours before use (presumably to
"The FedEx letter or courier pak envelope cannot be
used for shipping any kind of magnetic media. For more info,
Great, except that the box is to large
to fit into
their shipping bins as found on the street. I note some folks leave their
big packages next to the Fed-Ex mailbox which raises security issues. I
leave mine at Staples which has a daily pickup at no extra cost. I
assume other, similar services are available where you are. They also pick
up when called.
Presumably, the private carriers have no
problems with CDs.
Please note. This is a survey, not a
Smolian 301-694-5134Smolian Sound
Studios---------------------------------------------------CDs made from
old recordings,Five or one or lifetime hoardings,Made at home or
hall,Text and pics explain it all.at <A
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