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Fact Sheet: Preliminary Results of Review of Brentwood Postal Employees

Last updated March 16, 2020

Approved by: Krish Tangella MD, MBA, FCAP

Preliminary Investigation Findings

Fact Sheet: Preliminary Results of Review of Brentwood Postal Employees

As part of its ongoing effort to protect the health and safety of postal employees in the wake of last fall's anthrax attacks, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is currently investigating deaths that have occurred over the past nine months among United States Postal Service (USPS) employees who were potentially exposed to Bacillus anthracis (anthrax) in the fall of 2001. These include employees from the Washington, D.C. USPS mail processing facility known as Brentwood.

Preliminary Investigation Findings

In addition to the two Brentwood postal employees who died from inhalation anthrax last fall, nine other Brentwood postal employees have died since Sept. 2001. A review of their death certificates indicates that:

five people died from heart disease;

two people died from malignant neoplasms (cancer); and

the cause of death two employees has not yet been reported.

Results from the preliminary investigation suggest that the number of deaths during this fiscal year among Brentwood employees is no different than would be expected during a typical year. The causes of death among the Brentwood employee population are consistent with expected causes based on data on deaths in the United States.

The CDC is working with the health departments of Maryland, Virginia and District of Columbia as well as the USPS Human and Resource Management Division in Wash., D.C. to evaluate the health and safety status of postal workers who were possibly exposed to anthrax and to identify and investigate deaths among postal workers. This investigation is part of the ongoing investigation triggered by last fall's anthrax attacks.

It's expected that an updated report from this investigation will be issued in the next several weeks.

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CDC protects people's health and safety by preventing and controlling diseases and injuries; enhances health decisions by providing credible information on critical health issues; and promotes healthy living through strong partnerships with local, national, and international organizations.

References and Information Sources used for the Article:


Reviewed and Approved by a member of the DoveMed Editorial Board
First uploaded: March 16, 2020
Last updated: March 16, 2020