26 January 2004

Smiths Detection launches new Anthrax mail screening system

High speed system uses DNA analysis to protect facilities and staff from biological contamination

26 January, 2004, Edgewood, MD Smiths Detection, the world-leader in detection security, announces an exciting new development in the battle against terrorist threats. It has launched Bio-Seeq Mail Sentry, an on-site system that screens letters and packages for the biological threat of Anthrax.

The technology at the heart of Mail Sentry is Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), which detects the presence of Anthrax spores and provides extremely accurate results by analyzing the DNA of an organism. It is the same technology used in the United States Postal Service screening system and the Smiths Detection Bio-Seeq biological agent detector. PCR technology possesses exquisite sensitivity and has the ability to detect a single bacterial cell. In addition, a highly sophisticated processing cartridge, manufactured by Cepheid, Inc., enables samples to be automatically processed, eliminating false positives that lead to evacuations.

President of Smiths Detection US Defense & Intelligence, Robert Judd, said: "Anthrax attacks on public offices and private buildings are a reality. The Mail Sentry helps to protect a facility and its staff from biological contamination, before it becomes a serious health and cost crisis."

In operation, the touch screen interface guides the user through the necessary steps for simple operation. All mail is contained within a protective cabinet maintained under negative pressure to prevent the spread of contamination. Flat mail is automatically processed at a rate of 2000 per hour and larger packages are screened manually, both affording protection from Anthrax exposure.

ENDS