Bio-Terror Scares (2012)

BIOTERRORBIBLE.COM: The following bio-terror scares occurred within the calendar year of 2012. While some of the following reports may have been legitimate cases, most if not all of them appear to be generated man-made scares with the overall goal of convincing American and the world that it is on the precipice of a major pandemic. The fact that these bio-terror scares exist in mass confirms that an upcoming bio-terror attack is in the cards and may be played in a last ditch effort to regain political, economic and militarial control of society.

Title: White Powder Scare In West Virginia Office Building
Date: January 2, 2012
Source: Bio Prep Watch

Abstact: The discovery of a white powdery substance in an envelope caused a scare on Thursday at a downtown Charleston, West Virginia, office building.
Members of the Hazmat team of the Charleston Fire Department were called to Travelers Insurance on Virginia Street shortly after 9 a.m. The firemen couldn't find any of the substance after testing the envelope and the counter for anthrax. They found no traces of any hazardous material, WCHS Radio 58 reports.
"The person handling the envelope had gotten something on their hands," Owen Hawk, the assistant fire chief, said, according to WCHS Radio 58. "Basically, she thought there was something in the envelope."
The origin of the letter remains unknown and officials said that other than the scare, nothing harmful was found. The office worker who noticed the powder will be monitored to see if she suffers any ill effects in the upcoming days.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and prevention, anthrax was used deliberately as a weapon through the postal system in 2001. The powder was spread by sending letters that caused 22 cases of anthrax infection in total and five deaths. Humans can also become infected with anthrax by handling products from infected animals or by breathing anthrax spores from animal products that have been infected (Bio Prep Watch, 2012).

Title: Carbon Monoxide Leak Found At U.S. Merchant Marine Academy
Date: January 9, 2012

Fox News

Abstract: Nassau County police say about 38 people have been taken from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point to area hospitals for evaluation after carbon monoxide was found to be leaking at the facility.

Newsday says that authorities responded to reports of a "positive rating" for carbon monoxide shortly before 10 p.m. Sunday.

A police spokeswoman told The Associated Press early Monday that no one is seriously ill and that officials have wrapped up their investigation. She says the leak was in the Academy's Barry Hall.

The Merchant Marine Academy prepares students for careers in the maritime industry. Its 82-acre campus is on Long Island, about 20 miles east of New York City (Fox News, 2012).

Title: White Powder Scares On The Rise In Florida
Date: January 17, 2012
Bio Prep Watch

Abstract: Hazmat teams in Palm Beach County have responded to at least six calls in the past three months to determine if white powder found in letters, envelopes and even on an airplane contained anthrax.

While recent local incidents involving white powder appear to signal an increase in these type of incidents, the number has remained constant at approximately 300 incidents per year nationally since 2008, according to statistics from the FBI. Recent incidents have occurred at the state attorney’s office and the home of Vice President Joe Biden’s brother, the Palm Beach Post reports.

“The ones recently are a little more high-­profile,” Ray Carter, the Boynton Beach fire rescue chief, said, according to the Palm Beach Post. “So they attract a little more attention. People have their guard up and they should, rightfully so, because you never know when that white powder is going to be something significant.”

While a few of the incidents are deliberate threats or hoaxes, most of them are harmless and unintended.

“Sometimes they’re marketing mailers sending out a sample of some type of free product to people and it happens to be a light powder,” Mark Anderson, a battalion chief with Palm Beach County Fire Rescue, said, according to the Palm Beach Post. “And there you have a white powder and nobody knows how it got there.”

The public began reporting white powder everywhere and hoaxers began taking advantage after the October 5, 2001, anthrax attack that left the Boca Raton-based American Media Inc. photo editor Bob Stevens dead.

“That became the next type of threat you could do,” Allan Ortman, the director of West Palm Beach’s Division of Emergency Management, said, according to the Palm Beach Post. “It’s become the new bomb threat.”

Authorities are hopeful that the reports of white powder will decline as the public learns how to take precautions when carrying powdery substances.

“Whether it be coffee creamer, talcum powder, baby powder, just use common sense,” Capt. Don DeLucia, a spokesman for the county fire-rescue department, said, the Palm Beach Post reports (Bio Prep Watch, 2012).

Title: Israeli Diplomatic Missions Get 'Anthrax' Threat Mail
Date: January 24, 2012
Source: Hindustan Times

Abstract: Envelopes containing white powder initially feared to be anthrax arrived at six Israeli diplomatic missions in Europe and the US, Israeli media reported on Tuesday.

According to reports, embassies in The Hague, Brussels and London and consulates in New York, Houston and Boston on

Monday received envelopes with the word "anthrax" on them, containing what turned out to be harmless white powder.

The Israeli foreign ministry would not comment on the reports.

"We do not address issues pertaining to security," spokesman Yigal Palmor told AFP.

Anthrax is a potentially lethal bacterium that exists naturally in the soil and can also occur among cattle. It is also, more notoriously, a potential bio-terror weapon (Hindustan Times, 2012).

Title: Powder Sent To Israeli Consulate In Boston Not Anthrax
Date: January 25, 2012
Source: Bio Prep Watch

: Preliminary testing on a suspicious powder found outside of an Israeli Consulate building in Boston has come up negative for hazardous substances, including anthrax.

The Boston Fire Department said on Tuesday that the powder was not hazardous and that they are doing further tests to determine what the powder might be. The substance caused the diplomatic building to be put on lock-down for several hours on Monday, My Fox Boston reports.

Fire and police crews locked down the building and the surrounding area on Columbus Avenue after two envelopes were found with the word “anthrax” written on them. The incident became Level 2 hazmat when the envelopes, sent from New York as part of a hoax, were found to have a residue on the outside and a powder on the inside. There were approximately 20 workers in the building when the incident occurred.

Hazmat teams are performing further tests to determine what the powder might be. There were no special meetings or events going on in the building at the time of the incident and the name listed in the return address is presumed to be a fake name.

The agency stated that it was not concerned by the scare tactics and it has confidence in emergency officials and their training in dealing with the situation (Bio Prep Watch, 2012).

Title: Students Receives Anthrax Scare From Textbook
Date: January 27, 2012
Source: Bio Prep Watch

Abstract: A student at MidAmerica Nazarene University in Olathe, Kansas, ordered a textbook for a class on terrorism from and received a scare when a bag containing a white substance fell out.

Sophia Stockton had ordered the book, “Understanding Terrorism: Challenges, Perspectives and Issues,” and was flipping through it when a clear plastic bag with a white substance inside fell out, NCN reports.

“I was just flipping through the book and it kind of just fell out,” Stockton, said, according to KCTV-5. “My little brother was there and he said, ‘Wow, that’s creepy.’”

Stockton feared that the powder might be anthrax and took the book and its contents to the police department in Gardner, Kan.

“It was white powder,” Stockton said, according to KCTV-5. “It fell out of the page that was talking about [terrorists] sending bombs through the mail. I was a little nervous.”

According to WPTV, the police investigated the powder and determined that it was approximately $400 worth of cocaine.

“He put some gloves on and put it in a plastic bag, he took it back to test it and like 10 minutes later he came back and said, ‘Did you happen to order some cocaine with your text book?’ I was like ‘No…,’” Stockton said, according to KCTV-5.

The police are still investigating the origin of the package (Bio Prep Watch, 2011).

Title: White Powder Dumped On France Presidential Candidate
Date: February 1, 2012
Source: Fox News

Abstract: A woman dumped white powder -- apparently flour -- on the leading candidate in France's presidential elections during a campaign appearance.

The woman ran to the side of the podium where Socialist Francois Hollande stood on Wednesday to sign a "social contract" in favor of housing for all.

Body guards who jumped in to protect Hollande also took a dusting.

The powder attacker, who later said she was 45, was immobilized then carried from the stage by her hands and feet.

Hollande, his glasses, hair and suit covered in white, remained calm throughout the incident.

After the attack, the woman screamed that she was suffering from injustice but wasn't specific.

Hollande has consistently led polls, well ahead of President Nicolas Sarkozy (Fox News, 2012).

Title: E. Coli Vials Found In Arkansas Apartment Used To Treat Aliment
Date: February 13, 2012
Fox News

Abstract: Two dozen vials of E. coli were left in the refrigerator of two Arkansas college students when they vacated their apartment are now being tested by state health officials, though the bacteria isn't thought to pose a health threat.

The bizarre discovery Friday set off a storm of panic, as state and federal agencies sent HazMat teams to the apartment complex in Jonesboro, Ark. Two of the vials were unsealed, and the samples are to be tested Monday at a state Health Department lab as a precaution, county officials said.

One of the tenants was located by authorities and said that his roommate, who returned a week ago to his native home of South Africa had the vials to treat an ailment, officials said.

“We spoke to his roommate, who told us that he used it to treat an illness and that it was a common treatment in his country,” David Moore, director of the Craighead County Office of Emergency Management told “We looked into it and we were satisfied with the fact that it was used for medical reasons."

Certain strains of E. coli are used to treat a number of gastrointestinal ailments, including irritable bowel disorder.

A maintenance worker who was cleaning out the apartment found the vials, marked “E-Coli,” inside a foam container after opening the refrigerator, officials said. He notified the building manager, who called the Arkansas Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Local authorities, along with the National Guard, immediately shut down the area and spent a majority of the day securing the medical-grade vials for removal.

The apartment complex was not evacuated at the time, and tenants were told there was no danger posed from the discovery. Representatives from the Willow Creek Apartment Complex, where the bacterium was found, did not immediately return calls for comment (Fox News, 2012).

Title: White Powder Threats Sent To Boehner, Other Members Of Congress
Date: February 24, 2012
Bio Prep Watch

Abstract: Several members of Congress received threatening letters this week at their home offices containing a suspicious powder.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Senate’s top law enforcement officer announced that, in all cases, the powder proved to be harmless, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Sergeant-at-Arms Terrance Gainer said that the letters were mailed to three state and home district congressional offices.  A district office of House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) was among those targeted by the threats.

“The author of these letters has indicated that additional letters containing a powdery substance will be arriving at more Senate offices and that some of these letters may contain an actual harmful material,” Gainer said in a memo to Senate offices, the Wall Street Journal reports. “Although all letters received thus far have proved harmless, it is essential that we treat every piece of suspicious mail as if it may, in fact, be harmful.”

The letters all bore a return address from “the MIB,” were mailed from Portland, Oregon, and told recipients that there was a 10 percent chance that they had just been exposed to “a lethal pathogen,” according to the Wall Street Journal.

“So far, none of the letters have contained a hazardous substance,” FBI Special Agent Jason Pack said, the Wall Street Journal reports. “We are working with those law enforcement agencies affected to determine if the mailings are related. We take these matters seriously and will investigate fully” (Bio Prep Watch, 2012).

Title: More Anthrax Hoax Letters Sent To Lawmakers
Date: February 27, 2012
Bio Prep Watch

Abstract: Several letters filled with suspicious powder were recently sent to more Senate state offices, though the Senate’s top law enforcement official said the messages were tested and found to be harmless.

The latest incidents followed a string of mailings to congressional offices and media outlets that also proved to be harmless, according to CBS News.

“It is clear that the person sending these letters is organized and committed, and the potential to do harm remains very real,” Sergeant-at-Arms Terrance Gainer said, CBS News reports. “Although all letters received thus far have proved harmless, it is essential that we treat every piece of suspicious mail as if it may, in fact, be harmful.”

Last week, three state and home district offices received threatening letters, including a district office of House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).

The sender wrote that he wants an end to “corporate money and lobbying” and calls for a new constitutional convention. He said that he would place a pathogen randomly into the letters and that he was unsure of who would actually receive something dangerous.

“So far, none of the letters have contained a hazardous substance,” FBI Special Agent Jason Pack said, CBS News reports. “We are working with those law enforcement agencies affected to determine if the mailings are related. We take these matters seriously and will investigate fully” (Bio Prep Watch, 2012).

Title: Powder Incidents Reported At Three N.Y. Locations
Date: March 7, 2012
Source: Bio Prep Watch

Abstract: The New York Police responded to three suspicious powder incidents over the course of 24 hours on Monday and Tuesday, including incidents at the Guggenheim Museum, P.S. 290 Manhattan New School and the Neue Galerie.

On Tuesday, police were called to the Guggenheim and P.S. 290 on the Upper East Side due reports of mysterious substances. In both cases, the powder was enclosed in letters mailed to the addresses. The powder’s makeup was undetermined at the time of the report, Gothamist reports.

The substance at P.S. 290 was later determined to be harmless, DNA Info reports. The package at the Guggenheim was localized in the museum’s cafe at approximately 12 p.m. The eatery was open and safe approximately four hours later.

Another incident occurred on Monday at the Neue Galerie, a museum devoted to German and Austrian art and design from the twentieth century, in which a powder was received in the administrative offices. The powder in the incident was also later found to be harmless.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, anthrax is caused by the spore-forming Bacillus anthracis bacterium. Early treatment with antibiotics can cure cutaneous anthrax, which is when anthrax comes into contact with the skin. Gastrointestinal and inhalation anthrax are more severe (Bio Prep Watch, 2012).

Title: Authorities Investigate White Powder Mailed To Connecticut School
Date: March 7, 2012
Source: Fox News

Abstract: Schools across New England, including three in Connecticut, have reportedly received envelopes containing white powder.

In each case, according to, the arrival of the envelope has disrupted class and prompted responses by fire and police officials. No injuries have been reported and FBI officials continue to investigate.

Two Massachusetts schools -- Dedham Middle School and Memorial Elementary School in Milford -- received letters postmarked from "North Texas, TX." Similar letters also arrived at schools in Warwick, R.I., Fort Kent, Maine and Goffstown, N.H., the website reports.

Envelopes also arrived at John F. Kennedy Middle School in Enfield on Monday, and at Anna Reynolds School in Newington and Island Avenue School in Madison on Wednesday (Fox News, 2012).

Title: White Powder Sent To Rhode Island Elementary School
Date: March 8, 2012
Source: Bio Prep Watch

Abstract: According to the Rhode Island Health Department, preliminary tests on a suspicious white powder that led to the closure of Greenbush Elementary in West Warwick, R.I., exhibited no bioterror agents.

A spokeswoman for the health department said that the powder that was delivered to the school on Tuesday tested negative for ricin, anthrax and other biothreat agents. The results will be considered conclusive if nothing grows in the samples after five days, Associated Press reports.

At the urging of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and state environmental offices, Kenneth Sheehan, the school superintendent, ordered that the school remain closed on Wednesday. Greenbush was one of several schools around the country that received similar packages of a suspicious nature on Tuesday.

The package caused the school to be locked down and for its 500 students to be kept in their classrooms for over four hours on Tuesday.

Thomas Cooper, a parent of two children who attend Greenbush Elementary, said that parents should have received word about the lockdown much earlier than three hours after it began, ABC 6 Providence reports.

“You’re thinking whose hurt,” Cooper said, according to ABC 6 Providence. “You’re hoping it’s not your own child or someone else’s. There should be a better response time. If there’s a code red, you should immediately notify every parent instead of waiting three hours.”

Sheehan said that he had no other choice than to delay the message.

“Because the state agencies at that particular time were called in and they were calling the shots,” Sheehan said, according to ABC 6 Providence. “Quite honestly, they did not want a lot of parents there. Their children were safe.”

Powder-filled envelopes from Texas showed up this week at schools in Madison, Connecticut, and Clinton, Massachusetts, as well (Bio Prep Watch, 2012).

Title: Law Enforcement Investigating Multiple Powder Threats Sent To New England Schools
Date: March 9, 2012
Source: Bio Prep Watch

Abstract:  Law enforcement agencies are looking into why multiple schools in the state of Connecticut received envelopes this week containing suspicious white powder.

The incidents are similar to those that occurred throughout the country and caught the attention of the FBI. Island Avenue Elementary School in Madison told police on Wednesday that an envelope with an unknown powder was delivered to the school. The powder was later determined not to be harmful, the New Haven Register reports.

A similar situation occurred this week at Anna Reynolds School in Newington and at Kennedy Middle School in Enfield. Incidents similar to these have been reported in Texas, Rhode Island, Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. In the Madison incident, a secretary opened the envelope and notified authorities before 9 a.m. on Wednesday.

“It’s the normal task of the secretary to sort the mail in the morning, and when she got to that envelope, she opened it and right away she realized something was wrong,” Anita Rutlin, the interim superintendent of schools in Madison, said, according to the New Haven Register. “There was powder. And of course, things had been on the news about Enfield.”

The school went into lockdown and state police, the town’s fire marshal, emergency management teams, and the state’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection came to the scene.

All of the schools involved in the Connecticut mailings have since been declared safe by health officials.

“All the authorities we needed were there,” John Drum, Madison’s police chief, said, according to the New Haven Register. “The danger, if any, is minimized to the student population. Tests conducted so far show it wasn’t anything hazardous, but they’re probably doing additional testing. Paramount for us is the concern of people and children, and everybody’s fine” (Bio Prep Watch, 2012).

Title: Pennsylvania Powder Scare Declared Safe
Date: March 16, 2012
Source: Bio Prep Watch

Abstract: Federal and local investigators in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, have determined that an envelope sent to an office building that contained a strange white powder last Friday meant no harm.

Approximately 200 workers were evacuated from the Lancaster County Assistance office on Manor St. for several hours. At the time, the block was closed to traffic while investigators examined the envelope that had arrived in the office’s mailroom, Lancaster Onlinereports.

Six office employees who were in contact with the envelope were taken to the hospital to be decontaminated and examined as a precautionary measure. The county’s Hazmat team and the Federal Bureau of Investigation became involved in the investigation. The Hazmat team found that there were no biohazards such as ricin and anthrax present.

The envelope was sent to the office by one of its local clients.

“He was not disgruntled,” Chris Strayer, the chief of the Hazmat team, said, according toLancaster Online. “There was no reason to believe he had issues.”

The Hazmat unit passed the investigation to the FBI, which found no cause for concern.

“There was no threat associated with this letter,” Nancy Norris-O’Dowd, an FBI special agent with the bureau’s Philadelphia office, said, according to Lancaster Online.

On Thursday, another suspicious letter sent to the Armstrong World Industries headquarters on Columbia Ave. raised concerns. Workers were evacuated from the offices there and an investigation of the case continues (Bio Prep Watch, 2012).

Title: Reason Behind Maine Anthrax Hoaxes Remains A Mystery
Date: March 19, 2012
Source: Bio Prep Watch

Abstract:  Federal authorities have found no motive for why two elementary schools in York, Maine, recently received letters containing a white powder.

The two schools were among several in New England that received the threatening mail. Local officials said that they have no information that the letters were intended for any specific school or person, according to

“I don’t think there’s any rhyme or reason,” York Police Chief Doug Bracy said, reports.

“I don’t know what’s behind it, or any specific reason it was York,” York School District Superintendent Henry Scipione said, reports.

Four Maine schools, including York’s Village and Coastal Ridge Elementary, received white powder letters. They were all postmarked from Dallas, Texas, and sent within the past two weeks.

FBI Special Agent Greg Comcowich said that schools in New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Rhode Island were also targeted. In all cases, the white powder turned out to be a hoax.

“Preliminary tests indicated no threat to public safety,” Comcowich said, reports.

Comcowich also said that threatening mailings have become an ongoing, nationwide phenomenon since the 2001 anthrax attacks.

“It happens all too frequently,” Comcowich said, according to “We pursue it vigorously because of the nature of the crime. We treat all as if they’re real. It takes up a substantial amount of investigative resources” (Bio Prep Watch, 2012).

Title: Kim Kardashian Gets Flour-Bombed On Red Carpet
Date: March 23, 2012


Abstract: Kim Kardashian is making headlines again. At a fragrance launch event in Los Angeles on Thursday for her new perfume, True Reflection, the reality starlet was assaulted with a bag of flour.

Kardashian was walking the red carpet at the London Hotel in West Hollywood when someone flour-bombed her. According to the Los Angeles Times, police and authorities were called to the scene.

The assailant — who may or may not be the same person who shouted "fur hag" at the E! star — was taken into custody but later released after Kardashian decided not to press charges. Instead of making a big fuss over the incident, Kardashian went back to the carpet, where she continued to do interviews.

"That probably is the craziest, unexpected, weird thing that's happened to me," Kim told E! News afterward. "Like I said to my makeup artist, I wanted more powder and that's a whole lot of translucent powder right there."

The site also reported that it was Kardashian's publicist who held down the suspect until authorities arrived. Kim's mom, Kris Jenner, laughed off the incident, telling E! News, "If anybody comes at me with something, call security."

In the end, Kim apparently wasn't too upset by any of it. On Twitter, she posted a lighthearted message: "Thx everyone who came last nite 2 support my new perfume True Reflection & the amazing women from Dress 4 Success! Last nite was eventful" (MTV, 2012).

Title: Authorities Feared Anthrax In Kim Kardashian Flour Bomb
Date: March 26, 2012
Source: Bio Prep Watch

Abstract:  After a reality television star was hit with a flour bomb during a perfume event last week, authorities were called in to make sure the white powder was not anthrax.

Kim Kardashian, a reality television star, was on the red carpet at the London Hotel in West Hollywood, California, promoting a new fragrance called True Reflection. Kardashian was hit with a burst of white powder and was rushed back to a room where she changed her jacket. Authorities determined the powder was wheat flour and was harmless, NVO News reports.

The woman who attacked Kardashian with the flour was originally detained by police officials. She was let go by the police after Kardashian decided not to press charges.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, anthrax is a disease caused by the spore-forming Bacillus anthracis bacterium. The three types of anthrax are cutaneous, inhalation and gastrointestinal, of which cutaneous is the least deadly. Humans can become infected with anthrax by handling products from infected animals or by breathing in spores of anthrax from infected animal products. Eating undercooked meat from infected animals can also lead to gastrointestinal anthrax.

Anthrax was used as a weapon in the United States in 2001 when it was deliberately spread through the postal system in letters containing anthrax powder. Twenty-two infections and five deaths resulted from the attacks (Bio Prep Watch, 2012).

Bag Odor Makes TSA Workers At Logan Airport Sick
Date: March 26, 2012
CBS News

Abstract: A luggage room at one of Logan Airport’s terminals was evacuated Monday morning after a strange odor was detected in a bag.

Authorities cleared out the screening room at terminal A, which serves Delta and Continental Airlines, after security searched the piece of luggage and found a chemical around 8:30 a.m.

It turned out to be camphor, which can be used for a number of things.

The owner of the bag was taken off his flight and questioned.  He told investigators he was
flying to Beijing, China and was going to use the camphor as rat repellent.

A hazardous material team was called in, along with state police and the fire department, as a precaution.

MassPort spokesman Phil Orlandella told WBZ-TV four TSA employees were taken to the hospital for treatment.

Several had complained about eye irritation, headaches and scratchy throats.

Orlandella said luggage was hand-checked until the bag room re-opened.

The man who had the bag was allowed to continue on his trip, but without the camphor  (CBS News, 2012).

Title: Anthrax Fears Halt Construction Of British Housing Development
Date: March 26, 2012
Source: Bio Prep Watch

Abstract: Anthrax fears helped to end a plan to build 80 new homes on an undeveloped parcel of land in Shavington, United Kingdom.

Wain Homes Developments had to cancel its plans after they were thrown out by Cheshire East Council’s strategic planning board, who feared the land could contain the carcasses of cows killed by the deadly disease, according to

“There’s contaminated land there,” Shavington First Councilor David Brickhill said, reports. “We believe there are dead cattle buried and a risk of anthrax. We have got to refuse it for that reason alone.”

Anthrax spores can remain potentially deadly for decades after cattle have died from the disease. The bacterium Bacillus anthracis forms the outer coating to protect itself from harsh conditions that would normally kill bacteria, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The tiny spores of the infectious pathogen are known to be able to survive drought, bitter cold and other harsh conditions for decades, yet still be able to germinate almost instantly to infect and kill once inside an animal or human host.

Because of their resilience and lethality, anthrax spores are considered a potential bioterrorist weapon. In 2001, Bacillus anthracis spores were intentionally distributed through the United States postal system. Five people died as a result of anthrax infection (Bio Prep Watch, 2012).

Title: Anthrax Scare Hits San Jose Post Office
Date: March 28, 2012
Source: Bio Prep Watch

Abstract: Emergency personnel responding to a package on Tuesday covered in white powder at the Saint James Park Post Office in San Jose, California, have confirmed that the substance was not anthrax.

After the area was cleared for safety, the post office was reopened upon learning that the powder was an herbal remedy from Taiwan that was ordered by a father for his child. Two employees reporting headaches and sore throats were decontaminated as a safety precaution. The post office was reopened at 11 a.m., San Jose Inside reports.

Employees spotted the package at 8 a.m., just before the facility was supposed to open and hazardous materials crews were called to the building. Police interrupted service on North First Street between St. John and St. James streets, Mercury News reports.

Police in San Jose went to the address on the package and brought the resident to the post office to confirm that the substance was an herbal remedy for his child. After hearing the man’s story and allowing the hazmat team to clear the substance, the building was declared safe. The incident was the second time in four months that a post office in San Jose was temporarily shut down due to a false alarm. The previous incident involved a CrossFit exercise trainer wearing an odd mask who stuffed a package into an outside mail slot. Bomb squad members detonated the package, which was later found to be a bundle of oversized calendars (Bio Prep Watch, 2012).

Title: Poison From Suicide Attempt Shuts Down Florida Emergency Room, Sickens Paramedics
Date: April 1, 2012
Source: Fox News

Abstract: The emergency room at a Florida hospital was temporarily shut down Sunday morning after a man who had attempted suicide vomited up poison, sickening three paramedics.

Emergency rescue workers responded to the Coconut Creek home of a man who tried to kill himself by drinking the pesticide malathion at around 1:30 a.m. local time, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported. Margate Fire Rescue division chief Dan Booker said they found the man on his front lawn.

As the paramedics transported the man to Northwest Medical Center in nearby Margate, about 14 miles northwest of Fort Lauderdale, he vomited, causing the rescuers "to become dizzy, nauseous" and suffer headaches, according to Booker.

The man was brought into a containment area and the emergency room was closed as a precaution. The vehicle that transported the man to the hospital was put into quarantine.

A hazardous materials team from the Broward Sheriff's Office was called to the scene, and the three paramedics were treated for contamination sickness.

The emergency room was cleared for reopening by the hazmat workers and the Florida Department of Health at 9:00 a.m.

A commercial cleaning firm was working Sunday to decontaminate the emergency vehicle and hospital equipment, according to the Sun-Sentinel.

The man who attempted suicide was conscious and talking later Sunday morning, Booker said (Fox News, 2012).

Title: Michelle Gets Slimed: First Lady Caught In Green Goo Attack At Children's Awards
Date: April 1, 2012
Source: Daily Mail

Abstract: Michelle Obama got more than she'd bargained for when she turned up at last night's Kids' Choice Awards.

But perhaps it should have been no surprise when she was splattered with slime at the conclusion of Hollywood's zaniest awards show.

Drenching celebrities with green goo is a hallowed tradition at the KCAs, and the First Lady was lucky not to be directly in the firing line.

But sitting close to the stage at the awards, she did pick up a bit of slime when Will Smith and Justin Bieber were caught in the gooey crosshairs.

Mrs Obama, who attended the awards with her daughters Sasha and Malia, seemed to take the mess in good humour, laughing along with the raucous crowd and even dancing in her seat.

Host Will Smith opened the 25th annual Kids' Choice Awards in Los Angeles promising a record amount of the show's trademark green gunk.

Though some 20 awards are presented at the KCAs, the real suspense isn't who will take home a 'Blimp' (the show's Oscar), it's when and on whom the slime will spill.

It's like a baptism into kid-dom that can come at any moment: from a hidden bucket, dumped from the rafters or exploded from little orange blimps.

'No one is safe from the slime!' screamed Mr Smith. 'You have to earn the slime! It's an honour.'

The KCAs are Nickelodeon's annual celebration for kids, and it's often the most-watched children's programme of the year.

They draw a considerable roster of stars looking to thank their smallest fans and cater to their youngest demographics (Daily Mail, 2012).

Title: White Powder Sent To Inmate At Colorado Prison
Date: April 4, 2012
Source: Bio Prep Watch

Abstract: An envelope containing white powder was found on Monday in an Englewood, Colorado, prison where ousted Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich is serving a 14 year sentence.

The powder was found in the prison’s mail room in a letter addressed to an inmate at the Denver-area prison. Officials with the Federal Bureau of Prison have not revealed whether or not the intended recipient of the letter was the ex-governor of Illinois, ABC 7 Chicago reports.

Hazmat units, fire equipment and ambulances were rushed to the prison on Monday morning after a routine mail screening revealed the powdery white substance in an envelope. While there were no evacuations, prisoner security was stepped up for a short time. Though most white powder occurrences since Sept. 11, 2001, have been benign and have not been anthrax, authorities do not take such situations lightly.

The powder at the prison was tested and found to be harmless. Authorities have not revealed why the substance was mailed to the inmate. Prison inmates have been known to send powdery substances to themselves for attention or to be transferred to a new facility, though there is no indication that this is what happened in Monday’s situation, according to ABC 7 Chicago.

Ex-governor Blagojevich started his sentence at the Englewood prison less than three weeks ago (Bio Prep Watch, 2012).

Title: White Powder Threat Shuts Iowa Capitol Building
Date: April 4, 2012
Source: Bio Prep Watch

Abstract: The Iowa capitol building was recently placed on lockdown after a legislator opened a threatening letter containing a white powder.

Approximately 300 lawmakers, staffers and observers were later released after a hazardous materials team tested the material and found it to be harmless. House Speaker Kraig Paulsen said that crews planned to test the material further to confirm their initial assessment, according to the Washington Post.

The letter was sent to Rep. Ako Abdul-Samad (D-Des Moines), who opened it on the House floor in the middle of a debate. Abdul-Samad called the language in the letter threatening, but declined to discuss its contents further because of the investigation, according to the Des Moines Register.

“I cannot talk about what was in the letter at this point, because it’s turned over now to the State Patrol and also to [the state Division of Criminal Investigation], but it was a threatening letter,” he said, the Des Moines Register reports. “This has now become a very serious legal matter.”

State Patrol Captain Mark Logsdon declined to identify the substance, but said the envelope had been hand delivered to the capitol.

Rep. Abdul-Samad opened the letter at approximately 3:45p.m. and the entire building was closed almost an hour later, with many of its occupants sequestered on the House floor. The 71st Civil Service Team, an inter-agency cooperative responsible for dealing with biohazard agents, completed testing and gave the all-clear at approximately 8 p.m.

Lawmakers resumed considering legislation before the all-clear was given. They finished debate and held a final vote on a bill to bar cities from using traffic cameras.

“Continuation of this debate tonight is dumb, disrespectful and in poor taste,” Rep. Nathan Willems (D-Lisbon) said, the Des Moines Register reports (Bio Prep Watch, 2012).

Title: White Power Threat In Iowa House Not Handled Properly, Experts Warn
Date: April 5, 2012
Source: Bio Prep Watch

Abstract: According to public safety officials and lawmakers, an incident in which white powder spilled from an envelope opened on the floor of the Iowa House was not handled properly.

While the powder was later determined not to be anthrax or any other harmful substance, the situation highlighted the need to review public safety policies at the Capitol building. Hazardous materials teams held approximately 300 lawmakers, staffers and others who had potentially been exposed to the substance on Tuesday night, the Des Moines Register reports.

“I would say, like anything, it was a very learning experience and that it will be handled differently next time,” Rep. Steve Olson (R-De Witt) said, according to the Des Moines Register.

A lack of containment was the biggest issue according to experts, as it took more than an hour for a hazmat team to arrive after the substance was released at approximately 3:45 p.m. According to experts, the correct response would have been to quarantine the substance and limit the exposure to as few people as possible. Security at the building thought the situation could be handled by a postal inspector but called in hazmat crews after some people began complaining of headaches.

While state mail typically goes through an eradication process before being distributed to state offices, the letter was hand delivered to Rep. Ako Abdul-Samad. The FBI and other agencies are now investigating the incident to determine who delivered the letter.

“I just think it was a learning experience for us,” Abdul-Samad said, according to the Des Moines Register. “It brought up a point how accessible we are as legislators and it’s something we need to look at because we are up here serving the people. That’s our job” (Bio Prep Watch, 2012).

Title: Pennsylvania Walmart Evacuated After Discovery Of White Powder
Date: April 12, 2012
Source: Bio Prep Watch

Abstract: A Westfall Township, Pennsylvania Walmart was evacuated and closed on Tuesday after the discovery of an unknown white powdery substance.

The powdery substance was found in a self-checkout lane at approximately 1 p.m. A front end manager found the powder after cleaning out a machine. The store called in emergency responders as employees were evacuated from the building during a five to 10 minute span, the Pocono Record reports.

A federal government hazmat team that was part of the Picatinny Arsenal Fire and Emergency Services department from New Jersey responded to the incident. Shohola and Matamoras fire departments also came to the store to investigate.

Four men in sealed hazmat suits tested the powder. After a series of six tests, the team found that the powder was not a toxic substance. The store was reopened at approximately 5 p.m., the Pocono Record reports.

William Koferl, the Westfall Fire Department chief, said that since the September 11, 2001, terror attacks and the following anthrax scare, all cases involving unidentified white powders are treated as potentially hazardous.

Since the situation occurred as some employees were about to end their shifts, some of them regretted leaving their keys inside when they had to evacuate. This left the employees stranded in the parking lot for hours without coats to keep them warm.

“This is the most exciting thing that has happened in the three years I’ve been working here,” an employee said, according to the Pocono Record (Bio Prep Watch, 2012).

Title: Senate Received 383 Cases Of Suspicious Mail In 2011
Date: April 19, 2012
Source: Bio Prep Watch

Abstract: More than 10 years since the first anthrax mail attack against the media and the U.S. Senate, there were 383 incidents in which suspicious and potentially dangerous mail were sent to the Senate in 2011.

Terrance Gainer, the Senate Sergeant at Arms and Doorkeeper, announced the figure during budget testimony. There have as of yet been no injuries in the 10 years since the attacks, the Washington Examiner reports.

“(The Senate Post Office intercepted mail) addressed to senators with the intent to disrupt Senate business,” Gainer said, according to the Washington Examiner.

All internal and incoming mail is searched and scrubbed of contaminants before it is delivered, with more than 300,000 items tested in 2011. There were 18.4 million pieces of mail delivered to Senate offices last year.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, anthrax was deliberately spread through the postal service in 2001 when letters were mailed that contained anthrax powder. The anthrax spores infected 22 people in all, with five deaths. Anthrax is caused by the spore-forming Bacillus anthracis bacterium that can infect through the skin, lungs or digestive system. Anthrax can be spread by handling products from infected animals, breathing in anthrax spores from infected animal products or by eating undercooked meat from infected animals (Bio Prep Watch, 2012).

Title: Suspicious Package Leads To Evacuation Of Ontario Post Office
Date: April 19, 2012
Source: Bio Prep Watch

Abstract: An unidentified and suspicious looking package prompted an emergency evacuation of the Timmins Post Office in Timmins, Ontario, Canada, on Wednesday shortly after 4 p.m.

The Timmins Fire Department and the Timmins Police Service arrived on the scene after the package was reported. The building, which is located on Birch Street South near Second Avenue, was evacuated and several employees gathered outside. Mike Pintar, the fire chief, and Gerry Sabourin, the deputy chief, were on hand to investigate the incident, the Timmins Times reports.

The emergency workers determined after approximately 15 minutes that the package was not hazardous. They left the scene of the incident at approximately 4:35 p.m.

A similar incident occurred on October 23, 2001, in the same city when a person sent a package to the Timmins Post Office that was labeled as containing spores of anthrax. The package was dusted with an unidentified powder. While the situation was a hoax, the package was treated as a potential hazard because of the highly infectious nature of the anthrax disease. Timmins firefighters used hazardous material suits to go into the post office and remove the package before the safety of the parcel was determined.

Pintar said on Wednesday that the workers at the post office were being cautious and alert during the unidentified package situation, the Timmins Times reports (Bio Prep Watch, 2012).

Title: Suspicious Package In Houston Found To Be Harmless
Date: April 24, 2012
Source: Bio Prep Watch

Abstract: Hazmat officers in Houston’s Kingwood neighborhood have determined that a white powdery substance delivered to an area woman in a padded envelope on Friday was inert.

The woman visited the Kingwood annex police station after receiving an envelope with a Charlotte, Va., return address that was forwarded from her spring address. The suspicious letter was forwarded by the postal service to her current Kingwood address, Your Houston News reports.

“She came in with the envelope and showed it to the officer at the front desk,” Lt. Paris Ponton said, according to Your Houston News. “She opened it and inside was a white, powdery substance. The envelope contained nothing else – no threatening note, no letter.”

Local officials called Hazmat and the Houston Fire Department and quarantined the building’s occupants inside.

“Hazmat did a series of tests before they actually moved the substance, then they moved it to an instrument where they checked the protein content of the substance,” Ponton said, according to Your Houston News. “They said the substance was inert, but couldn’t say what it actually was. It will be taken to the health department for further examination.”

The quarantine was lifted and business resumed as usual in the annex at approximately 2 p.m.

The woman said that a possible motive for the suspicious package was that she used to be a case worker in another state for an adult protective services agency. She had worked multiple high profile cases during her employment.

“It’s a serious matter, because of the anthrax scares in the past,” Ponton said, according toYour Houston News. “We’ll be doing a full investigation with our Criminal Intelligence Division” (Bio Prep Watch, 2012).

Title: Anthrax Threat Sent To French Embassy In Jakarta
Date: April 25, 2012
Source: Bio Prep Watch

Abstract: The French embassy in Jakarta was recently placed on alert after receiving a suspicious package.

Three embassy staff members were placed in isolation after arrival of the package, which was labeled “#ANTRAC.” Intelligence chief Lieutenant General Marciano Norman said that the package was suspected of possibly containing anthrax, but was determined to be harmless, according

“It has been confirmed that it’s not anthrax,” Marciano said, reports. “It was just a threat. It was just the writing, but we will investigate it further.”

The three staff members who came in close contact with the package were kept quarantined in the embassy for several hours after the package’s arrival. According to embassy communications head Jean-Louis Bertrand, they were released the next day after the package tested negative for harmful substances.

“The three staff members were kept in isolation for a few hours and are in good shape,” Bertrand said, reports. “They were confined in line with normal security procedures.”

Police reported earlier that two staff members were sent to the hospital, but the embassy later said that three were confined to the premises.

In March, a homemade bomb exploded outside the Indonesian embassy in Paris, causing minor damage, but no injuries (Bio Prep Watch, 2012).

Title: Green Clouds Over Moscow Spark Disaster Fears
Date: April 26, 2012
Source: Russia Today

Abstract: Mysterious green clouds have been spotted over the Russian capital, sparking fears of a chemical disaster and even some doomsday theories.

But the Emergencies Ministry is advising the public to calm down. It says the clouds are actually composed of birch pollen, not of chemicals from an allegedly burning factory in the Moscow region, as some reported. 

Some people, however, got so scared that even the official comments could not convince them. Russian Twitter users have been posting alarming messages like “Moscow schools are closed because of the blast! Children are sent home,” “Sky has turned completely green in Moscow’s south!” and “The factory in Kaluga is destroyed!” A flood of 911 calls was also registered. 

Others believe that the authorities are hiding information from the public: “Pollen is just an excuse. It might as well be the beginning of the Apocalypse!” one popular Russian blogger posted to his readers. 

The odd natural phenomenon mystically coincided with the 26th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster, which caused further speculation about the authorities withholding information.

Biologists say birch trees started blooming yesterday, which would also explain why Muscovites have started sneezing. Birch pollen is a strong allergen, so people suffering from hay fever are strongly advised to take the necessary steps.

This pollen can stay in the air for quite a long time – around four weeks,” biologist Vladimir Murashov told Ria-Novosti. “The wind can carry it ten kilometers from the tree” (Russia Today, 2012).

Title: Anthrax Threat Closes City Building In Western Australia
Date: April 27, 2012
Source: Bio Prep Watch

Abstract: Dozens of workers were recently evacuated from a city administration building in Albany, Australia, following an anthrax threat.

An unidentified city council employee was reportedly behind the hoax. The man allegedly sent an email to several staff members of Albany’s North Road administration building claiming an anthrax attack would be undertaken against the building and even gave a specific time the attack would occur, according

The man who sent the email is in police custody. The city of Albany has declined to provide any details on the nature of the threat or the possible motive for it. A meeting scheduled to take place the same evening was relocated, but the office was reopened by the next morning.

Albany Mayor Denis Wellington said that police and ambulance services were ready when the threat occurred and were prepared to evacuate the building.

“We received a time-specific threat to the City of Albany administration building this morning and obviously our first priority was the safety of all staff, so the threat was taken seriously and the police were immediately called,” the mayor said, reports.

Albany, a city of approximately 34,000 people, is located on the coast of Western Australia and is the oldest permanently settled city in the region (Bio Prep Watch, 2012).

Title: Delta Flight Delayed Over Monkeypox Fears
Date: April 28, 2012

Abstract: For passengers on Delta Flight 3163, it felt like something out of a Hollywood movie: a passenger with an unknown rash, members of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) investigating the scene and the use of the word “quarantine” while the plane remained on the tarmac.

This is exactly what happened at Chicago’s Midway Airport Thursday as the flight from Detroit to Chicago was quarantined for nearly three hours because a woman returning from Uganda had a suspicious rash on her body.

After the two-plus hours of melee, passenger fears were quelled when it was determined that Minnesota resident, Lisa Sievers, only had a bug bite and suffered from scabies.

Unlike it’s eradicated cousin smallpox, which is strictly a human disease, monkeypox not only spreads from animal to animal but also from animals to humans.

is a relatively rare virus found primarily in central and western Africa. The disease is caused by Monkeypox virus. It is closely related to the smallpox virus (variola), the virus used in the smallpox vaccine (vaccinia), and the cowpox virus.

Infection with monkeypox is not as serious as its cousin, smallpox, however human deaths have been attributed to monkeypox.

According to the CDC, the symptoms of monkeypox are as follows: About 12 days after people are infected with the virus, they will get a fever, headache, muscle aches, and backache; their lymph nodes will swell; and they will feel tired. One to 3 days (or longer) after the fever starts, they will get a rash. This rash develops into raised bumps filled with fluid and often starts on the face and spreads, but it can start on other parts of the body too. The bumps go through several stages before they get crusty, scab over, and fall off. The illness usually lasts for 2 to 4 weeks.

People at risk for monkeypox are those who are bitten by an infected animal or if you have contact with the animal’s rash, blood or body fluids. It can also be transmitted person to person through respiratory or direct contact and contact with contaminated bedding or clothing.

There is no specific treatment for monkeypox (Examiner, 2012)

Title: Wall Street Journal, News Corp. Receive Suspicious White Powder Letters
Date: May 1, 2012
Source: Huffington Post

Abstract: UPDATE: The Associated Press has corrected its initial report, clarifying that Fox News did not receive an envelope containing white powder. News Corp. received two letters, at least one of which was addressed to The Wall Street Journal.

ORIGINAL STORY: The Wall Street Journal and News Corp. headquarters received letters containing a suspicious white powder on Tuesday.

The powder was later revealed to be cornstarch, according to police spokesperson Paul Browne.

The Associated Press reports that the letters were stored in a basementm and the News Corp. building was not evacuated.

The letters were among a total of ten that arrived at New York City organizations on Monday and Tuesday. Various banks also received envelopes with powder.

Browne said that some contained notes saying "This is a reminder that you are not in control" and "Happy May Day." Police believe that "the messages indicated a link to today's May Day demonstrations" (Huffington Post, 2012)

Title: U.K. Army Base Evacuated After Servicemen Fall Ill
Date: May 2, 2012

Abstract: It was recently revealed that the headquarters of the British Army Land Forces in Andover, United Kingdom, were evacuated in late March over fears of a biological attack after four staff members collapsed from a mysterious illness.

Commanding officers thought that a package, possibly containing the bioterror agent anthrax, might have infiltrated the $71 million complex when the staff simultaneously fell ill with flu-like symptoms. A portion of the base was sealed off while Ministry of Defense Police investigated the possible security breach, according to

“It was panic stations,” an anonymous source at the base said, reports. “Their symptoms were so bad there were immediate fears that they had been exposed to an outside biochemical agent. Rumors spread like wildfire that there had been an anthrax attack in the building.

“People rushed outside and then the place was evacuated. There was a genuine belief that something was terribly wrong.”

The U.K. Ministry of Defense recently confirmed that base was evacuated on March 30. A thorough investigation revealed no evidence of foul play.

British Army Land Forces headquarters is the service’s main intelligence station and is considered a prime target for a terrorist attack. The incident highlights the risk posed to security forces by biochemical agents.

There are more than 2,000 civilian and military personnel working at the site, which coordinates all of the Army’s activities in the United Kingdom.

The affected servicemen have since recovered from the illness, but its cause has yet to be diagnosed, according to (BioPrepWatch, 2012)

Title: Authorities Still Looking For Cause Of Chemical Odor In Central Israel
Date: March 3, 2012
Source: Haaretz

: Authorities were still searching for the cause of a 
mysterious chemical odor that enveloped central Israel on Thursday, discounting reports that it originated in chemical ground disinfection operations in the south of the Sharon region.

Earlier in the day, residents of Tel Aviv, Gush Dan and central Israel complained of a harsh chemical substance that could be felt in the air.

Many people described the smell as similar to the smell of chlorine. Initially, the Home Front Command believed the source of the smell could be gas drilling near Nitzanim in southern Israel. However, the claims were proven wrong. No special instructions were given to the residents, as the Ministry of the Environment stated that no dangerous substances were detected.

At some point, a Channel 2 report claimed the odor's source was a ground disinfection operations in Hakfar Hayarok youth village, a process in which poisonous gas is inserted into the ground.

However the Environmental Protection Ministry have since denied the report.

Residents who attempted to call the Tel Aviv Municipality to complain received an automated message according to which professionals were checking the issue of an “unknown smell,” and that there is “no need to report it, as media outlets will update throughout the day” (Haaretz, 2012)

Title: Flight Attendants Fall Ill After Wearing 'Toxic' Uniforms Which 'Make Their HAIR Fall Out'
Date: May 4, 2012
Source: Daily Mail       

Abstract: Hundreds of Alaska Airlines flight attendants say their new uniforms are making them ill. 

The attendants have complained that the outfits, which may be contaminated with a toxic chemical, have caused itching, hair loss and other unpleasant reactions. 

In a letter to the company’s president, union leaders representing Alaska Airlines employees demanded that the uniforms are changed.

The Association of Flight Attendants says that 280 flight stewards - roughly one in 10 of the total workforce - have suffered from the side effects since the new uniforms were introduced last year. 

One of the flight attendants told KING5 on Thursday night, 'I’ve never had a uniform like this. I broke out this week. I broke out on my back first, then on my legs.’

The attendant said he didn’t know whether the uniform was definitely the cause of the rash but added: ‘I didn’t have it until I flew six, seven days in a row and then I started breaking out.’  

It is thought that the smart navy blue suits, made by TwinHill, may be contaminated with the chemical tributyl phosphate, a toxic substance used in synthetic textile manufacturing. 

An airline spokesman said that two alternative uniforms have been provided to those employees who have suffered any outbreaks. 

Andy Schneider, Alaska Airlines vice president of inflight services, said in a statement to KING5 that tests on the uniforms had been carried out in three different laboratories but that the source of the problem had not been discovered. 

The statement read: 'The safety of Alaska Airlines employees is paramount, and we’ve been working closely with our people and the two unions that represent them to resolve this issue.’ 

Last year attendants for Virgin Blue complained that their new uniforms were impractical in an emergency as the arms could not be lifted above shoulder height. 

The material, made from 100 per cent polyester, also meant in the event of a fire ‘it would be like having plastic melted on to the skin’, reported the Huffington Post (Daily Mail, 2012).

Title: Doctor Pulled From Cruise Over Fake Bioterrorist Message
Date: May 11, 2012

Abstract: A Nashville neurosurgeon was taken off of a Carnival cruise after an imposter account on Twitter posted a message that the doctor was planning to commit a bioterrorist attack.

Jack Kruse was planning to speak to the passengers of a Carnival Magic cruise on Monday as part of the 5th Annual Low-Carb Cruise. The ship was to launch on Sunday from a Galveston, Texas, port. Kruse was escorted off the cruise after the suspicious tweet was detected, the Houston Chronicle reports.

“Security confiscated dynamite,” the fake Twitter account said, according to the Houston Chronicle. “Talk won’t be as explosive as one at PaleoFx. Still have vial of Legionnaires for epic biohack. #lccruise12.”

In addition to the tweet, the cruise line received a call alleging that the doctor planned to engage in a viral biohack on the ship. The U.S. Coast Guard, the Galveston police, the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI were all informed about the tweet.

“It was like being in a movie, and it was surreal,” Kruse said, according to the Houston Chronicle. ”Having the room completely trashed, and I was asked all of these crazy questions. I had no idea what they were talking about.”

Officials cleared the doctor before the ship left the port, but the captain would not permit Kruse to re-board.

“Since the safety and well-being of my guests and crew is my number one priority, every security threat is taken seriously and fully investigated,” Captain Giovanni Cutugno said, according to the Houston Chronicle. “It is for this reason that I felt it was in the best interest of all my guests to err on the side of caution and not allow him to set sail as planned.”

The investigation is ongoing into the identity of the person who created the account and posted the tweet (BioPrepWatch, 2012).

Title: Suspicious Powder Found At Oregon Mall Deemed Harmless
Date: May 9, 2012

Abstract: A suspicious powder found in an envelope on the third floor of the Lloyd Center Mall in Portland, Ore., on Tuesday was found to be harmless after the floor was evacuated for precautionary measures.

The envelope, which was found in a mail room, will be tested to determine exactly what the substance is, but police have confirmed that it is not anthrax or any other harmful substance. The seven employees who came into contact with the envelope were briefly isolated and checked, reports.

The letter was discovered just before 5 p.m. The mail room on the third floor of the mall was evacuated. It took less than an hour for officials to determine that the substance was not harmful. At approximately 6 p.m., an all-clear was called, Koin Local 6 reports.

Police investigators said that the powder was suspicious and that someone may have been targeted by an anthrax hoax.

Portland officials recently responded to another suspicious powder incident on April 26. A hazmat team visited the federal courthouse between Second and Third Avenues when one person was exposed to a white powder spilling from an envelope in a parking garage. The tests on the powder determined that the substance was non-toxic (BioPrepWatch, 2012).

Title: Oregon Envelopes Labeled As Anthrax Being Examined
Date: May 10, 2012

Abstract: Two envelopes containing white powder and marked “anthrax” were found in Portland, Ore., on Wednesday and have been examined for possible toxic substances.

The preliminary tests on the first envelope, found at the Portland International Airport, found no dangerous substances. The second envelope, discovered at a downtown Hilton hotel, has yet to undergo conclusive tests, Reuters reports.

Offices at the airport were evacuated upon the discovery of the letter, though airport operations were not disrupted. The Hilton offices were also evacuated, but the hotel remained in operation. Earlier in the week, a similarly marked envelope was found in the offices of Lloyd Center shopping mall in Portland. The envelope was found to contain no harmful material.

Paul Corah, a fire department spokesman, did not know if the incidents were related or if the letters were sent through U.S. mail, according to Reuters.

Beth Anne Steele, an FBI spokeswoman, said the bureau is looking into the incidents.

In April, a Vancouver, Wash. nurse pleaded not guilty to allegations that he sent more than 100 threatening letters containing a benign substance to the news media and members of Congress in February. The incident represented the largest postal security scare in Washington since anthrax-laced letters were sent to U.S. Senate and news organization offices in 2001. Five people died and 17 were sickened as a result of the incident (BioPrepWatch, 2012)

Title: $500,000 In Stolen Pathology Equipment May Have Hazardous Materials [Flesh Eating Bacteria]
Date: May 11, 2012
Source: Orlando Sentinel

Abstract: Whoever stole some discarded equipment from outside a pathology lab may have gotten more than he or she bargained for.

Orlando police say the equipment, worth about $500,000, is contaminated with a substance that could eat away at human skin.

A pickup hauling a trailer pulled up to Florida Hospital Center for Diagnostic Pathology, 2855 N. Orange Ave., on May 3 and took the equipment from an enclosed area near a large garbage bin, police said. The theft was not reported until Friday, said St. Vince Ogburn, a police spokesman (Orlando Sentinel, 2012)

Title: FBI Thinks Oregon Powder Scares Have Been Curbed
Date: May 14, 2012

Abstract: (FBI officials say that they have halted a series of threatening letters containing white powder, though no comment was made on whether or not an arrest had been made in the case.

The bureau assured the public that the white powder inside the envelopes delivered to multiple Portland, Ore., locations is harmless. Tests have shown the substance to be non-toxic. Despite the fact that the powder is not a biological agent, anyone responsible for the threats would face up to 10 years in prison for mailing a threatening communication and up to five years for the hoax, KATU reports.

“The FBI and its local partners believe they have stopped the sender or senders’ ability to continue this stream of threats,” Beth Anne Steele, an FBI spokeswoman, said, according to KATU.

The most recent Portland threats occurred on Thursday when a letter was found in the Market Center building near Market Street and Southwest Fourth Avenue and another was found at the Marquam Plaza Building on Southwest Third Avenue.

Two additional envelopes were found on Wednesday and two more on Thursday. The FBI is investigating white powder incidents that occurred at the Mark O. Hatfield Federal Courthouse on April 26 and the Lloyd Center Mall on Tuesday.

In all of the incidents, the envelopes were addressed to human resources offices and had the term anthrax written in a two page letter in the envelope or directly on the envelope (BioPrepWatch, 2012)

Title: Connecticut Schools Reopen After White Powder Scare
Date: May 15, 2012

Abstract: A white powder used to threaten an elementary school in Manchester, Connecticut, is not believed to be a hazardous agent.

Manchester Fire Chief Robert Bycholski said that a second round of laboratory tests confirmed that the powder was not anthrax and it is now believed that it did not contain any hazardous materials, according to

Keeney Street Elementary School was briefly locked down on Thursday last week and classes were cancelled on Friday after the school’s main office received an envelope containing a white powder and a message stating, “Al-Qaeda is back.”

School secretary Judy Delong was praised for her quick thinking after she discovered the white powder. Delong immediately placed the contents of the envelope into a plastic bag, then placed that bag into another plastic bag, double sealing the powder inside.

Bycholski said that the second round of testing has led Manchester Director of Health Maryann Cherniak Lexius to authorize the reopening of the school building. Interim Superintendent Richard Kisiel authorized classes to resume Monday.

A similar white powder letter resulted in classes being cancelled at nearby Ruth Chaffee School in Newington, Connecticut. The school was also reopened Monday, according to

Other white powder scares occurred at Newington schools in March (BioPrepWatch, 2012).

Title: Two New Portland Powder Scares Occupy Hazmat Squads
Date: May 16, 2012

Abstract: Two additional matters involving suspicious white powder on Thursday kept Portland, Oregon, hazmat teams occupied, with both situations involving letters labeled with the word “anthrax.”

A total of six letters containing a threat and a harmless substance have been discovered in Portland since April 26, though police are unsure if the incidents are related or not. The letters on Thursday were found in the Market Center building near Market St. and Southwest 4th Ave. and the Marquam Plaza Building on Southwest 3rd Ave., KATU reports.

“It’s too early to say if they are related but it is certainly an area investigators will look at,” Beth Anne Steele, an FBI spokeswoman, said, according to KATU. “People who perpetuate hoax attacks can face very serious penalties, including time in federal prison.”

The first Thursday letter was delivered to room 518 of the Market Center building, which is used by the human resource department of Portland State University. Of the eight people in the room, only two were exposed to the powder. The two workers were isolated until the powder was found to be non-toxic. The second Thursday incident exposed 15 people to the suspicious powder in the human resource division of the Oregon Health & Science University.Two new Portland powder scares occupy hazmat squads (BioPrepWatch, 2012).

Title: Green Water Found Flowing Out Of Taps In Toms River, N.J.
Date: May 16, 2012
CBS New York

Abstract: Residents in a 
New Jersey neighborhood have turned on their faucets of late and been shocked to see a green water mystery waiting for them.

CBS 2′s Elise Finch spoke with residents of Toms River who are not happy with water flowing from their taps.

“The water is green coming out of the tap,” Ed Lefebvre said.

The green color doesn’t stand out in small amounts, but when residents use it in large volumes to fill up pools and bathtubs, it becomes very noticeable.

Lefebvre said he first noticed it when he was filling up his pool, two weeks ago. He told CBS 2 that he cleaned, drained and refilled the pool several times. He attempted to treat it chemically but could not make the water clear.

Lefebvre’s neighbors have had the same problems, with their bath tubs and hot tubs.

“Four different products. We bought a new filter, that cost $65, and this continues,” Elsa Hill said.

A representative from New Jersey American water told CBS 2 that it has sent a water quality expert to Toms River to take samples.

New Jersey American told CBS 2 that the water is still safe and drinkable, and that “it meets the standards established by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and the USEPA.” Preliminary tests have shown that the water contains iron that could be turning the water green.

In spite of assurances from the EPA that the water is drinkable, residents remain unconvinced.

“I’m not convinced what they’re saying is the gospel truth,” Lefebvre said.

Residents said until they see further results and action from the water company, they will not be drinking the water.

Final analysis of the water is due by Thursday. A representative from the water company told CBS 2 that it plans to notify residents and take appropriate action (CBS New York, 2012)

Title: Wilkesboro Doughnut Shop Customers Warned Of Hepatitis A
Date: May 18, 2012
My Fox 8

Abstract: Health officials said people who ate at a doughnut shop in Wilkesboro earlier this month may have been exposed to hepatitis A.

The Wilkes County Health Department said an employee at Dixie Donuts was diagnosed with the virus Sunday.

Authorities said people at the most risk would have eaten at the business in the morning on May 8 or May 9, or in the afternoon and evening on May 10 or May 12.

Hepatitis A attacks the liver and is contracted through food, drink or close contact with an infected person.

A vaccine can reduce the risk of contracting the disease if taken within two weeks of exposure. Otherwise, doctors often let hepatitis A run its course.

Symptoms like nausea, diarrhea and yellowing of the skin can last for weeks (My Fox 8, 2012).

Title: Ft. Lauderdale Airport Terminal Open After Brief Evacuation
Date: May 18, 2012
CBS Miami

Abstract: A major mess due to a hazardous materials scare at the Fort Lauderdale Hollywood International Airport Friday shut down a terminal and caused hundreds of passengers to be stranded for nearly two hours.

More than a dozen outbound flights were delayed and several inbound flights were also delayed, according to airport spokesperson Greg Meyer.

Security officials cleared Terminal 2 after airport officials say an aerosol can discharged in the security checkpoint and dozens of passengers had reactions to it. Walda Woods said she was one of the first to have a reaction.

“We just all started coughing — like a tickle in your throat and sneezing,” Woods told CBS 4′s Carey Codd, adding that she felt better as soon as she went outside.

Minutes later, Woods said, emergency workers descended on the terminal. Several people were taken to the hospital.

Officials say it’s still not clear what was sprayed or where it came from. They continue to evaluate the situation.

“The air samples have back inconclusive,” said Broward Sheriff’s Office Spokesperson Mike Jachles. “There is not anything that has been detected.”

For passengers forced to wait in a parking garage and outside the terminal, it was a challenging situation.

“It’s hot,” said Alyssa Bandoni. “There’s nowhere to sit. It’s been raining. The stairs are nasty and wet. It’s just not fun.”

Miami Dolphin running back Reggie Bush was among the stranded.

He tweeted, “Currently stuck at Ft. Lauderdale airport standing outside underneath the airport with hundreds of people. They won’t let us leave! “

Many of the stranded passengers wondered if they would ever leave the airport and complained of a lack of information by airport officials.

“It’s very frustrating and we don’t know what’s going on,” said Siri Saramout, who was headed to Washington, D.C. and was concerned about making her connecting flight.

Despite the frustration, airport officials and some travelers said in these times you can never be too careful — especially at an airport.

“I’d rather have my flight delayed and have them real thorough in there,” said Woods.

Around 7 pm, passengers were allowed back in the terminal. But the wait was not over. They had to wait in a lengthy line at the airport counter and security to get to their next destination.

An airport worker said all the flights waited for the delay to be over before taking off.

An airport spokesperson told CBS 4 News that airport officials will meet with fire rescue personnel and others on Monday to determine if the correct decision was to shut down the terminal (CBS Miami, 2012)

Title: No Confirmation On Chemical At Fort Lauderdale International Airport
Date: May 18, 2012

Abstract: Broward County authorities continue to investigate the unknown chemical that closed a terminal at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

Sheriff's Fire Rescue spokesman Mike Jachles told The Associated Press Saturday that the source has not yet been confirmed, calling it an ongoing investigation. Airport spokesman Greg Meyer said earlier that it appeared to have been an aerosol can that exploded in someone's luggage.

Terminal two, which includes the Delta Air Lines concourse, was evacuated for about two hours Friday as hazardous materials technicians investigated. Five people were sent to the hospital with respiratory complaints, including three Transportation Security Administration agents and two passengers.

Airport officials say more than 1,000 passengers and 14 departing flights were delayed.

A terminal at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport has been reopened after an unknown chemical sent five people to the hospital with respiratory complaints.

Terminal two, which includes the Delta Air Lines concourse, was evacuated for about two hours Friday as hazardous materials technicians investigated what caused several people to become ill.

Broward County Sheriff Fire Rescue spokesman Mike Jachles says three Transportation Security Administration agents and two passengers were affected by the irritant.

Investigators collected air samples and determined it was safe for people to re-enter. More than 1,000 passengers have been delayed and several inbound flights were diverted to other airports.

The cause of the incident remains under investigation, though an airport spokesman says it appears an aerosol can discharged (WPTV News, 2012)

Title: RAF Base May Be Contaminated By Mustard Agent
Date: May 22, 2012

Abstract: A Royal Air Force airbase located in northern Scotland may be contaminated with mustard agent.

RAF Kinloss, located in Moray, Scotland, is currently being investigated for radioactive contamination, but a land quality assessment obtained by BBC Scotland suggests that it could also be tainted by mustard agent, which can cause severe burns and lead to cancer if released into the atmosphere, according to UKPA.

The report identified the potential mustard agent contamination in 2004, when construction work began on a new pipeline for a water treatment project.

The base is currently scheduled to be the home for an additional 930 personnel from the 39 Engineer Regiment (Air Support) in the coming months.

“Our investigations to date suggest there is no indication of significant risk to public health or the environment associated with the past storage or disposal of chemical weapon agents in the UK,” a Ministry of Defense spokesman said, UKPA reports. “Work undertaken indicates the sites are suitable for their current use, provided that any management systems, restrictions or procedures remain in place.”

Thomas Docherty MP, a member of the Commons Defense Select Committee, has demanded that the U.K. government issue a statement.

“The MoD has had a culture over seven decades of not sharing information,” Docherty said, UKPA reports. “There’s an arrogance about the MoD that is not new, but it has to be tackled once and for all” (BioPrepWatch, 2012)

Title: Tractor-Trailer Cargo Leak Causes I-285 Rush Hour Shutdown
Date: May 24, 2012

Abstract: What was thought to be a hazardous material spill shut down a busy stretch of Interstate 285 in East Point Wednesday evening.

A tractor-trailer was hauling canisters of material when the driver noticed something was leaking out of the truck. He called 911 and officers realized the substance had leaked onto two miles of the interstate between Camp Creek Parkway and Washington Road.

Authorities feared the substance was hazardous and shut down the interstate.

The incident prompted a nightmare commute beginning at 5:30 p.m. for drivers on I-285 south and drivers stuck on Camp Creek Parkway trying to get onto the interstate. The exit was eventually shut down and drivers were forced to take an alternate route.

Jordan White said the traffic backup caused her to miss her flight, but other drivers said the delay was just a part of life.

Authorities later determined the material was not toxic or hazardous as first feared.

Traffic began to move slowly late Wednesday after four hours of gridlock
(WSB TV, 2012)

Title: Hazmat Called After Kids Exposed To Pesticide On Bus
Date: May 25, 2012

Abstract: Hazmat and EMS crews responded to a school in Lake County early Friday after 27 children and adults said they weren't feeling well on a school bus.

Lake County Sheriff's Office deputies said the Minneola Charter Elementary students were coughing and had watery eyes after noticing an odd smell on the bus.

Witnesses said, the household pesticide Malathion, was used by the bus driver to clean up an area on the school bus where a student had previously been sick.

Officials decontaminated the children and adults by washing them down with hoses.

The bus driver, Pablo Areas, is on paid leave while school officials investigate the incident.

One female staff member was taken to the hospital but was released later Friday afternoon (WESH News, 2012)

Title: Shelf Collapse Prompts Hazmat Call At Institute For Genomic Biology
Date: May 29, 2012
The News-Gazette

Abstract: One person received minor injuries on Monday night after being splashed with chemicals that were sent falling after a shelf collapsed in a third-floor laboratory storage area inside the Institute for Genomic Biology.

That man rinsed off in a safety shower, was checked out in a decontamination area, and refused medical treatment, said UI police Lt. Todd Short. The mixing of chemicals that resulted from the collapse prompted a hazardous-materials warning from the University of Illinois.

The materials release, which happened just before 10 p.m., was confined to the one lab. The Urbana Fire Department was on the scene until about 2:20 a.m. Tuesday working with the UI Division of Research Safety to clean the affected area, Short said.

The building was declared safe enough to open for business Tuesday and a private contractor, hired by the UI, was expected to remove the remains of the cleanup. 

Urbana Division Chief Brian Nightlinger said fire officials were quickly able to identify five of the chemicals "but after they broke, we weren't sure of what all they were."

"All were solvent-based," he said, meaning flammable. They were in four-liter bottles in a storage closet. Nightlinger said people working in the lab immediately knew of the spill. He was not certain how many people were in the building but said firefighters sounded alarms in the building twice to make sure everyone was out. There are people working there around the clock, he said.

Given the chemical cocktail the firefighters were facing, Nightlinger said they chose the most cautious response.

"We used the fully encapsulated suits with air. The guys look like they were walking on the moon," he said. 

Two suited firefighters go in at a time and work for up to an hour - the amount of oxygen they have - while two suited wait on the outside to relieve them or rescue them if something should go wrong, Nightlinger explained.

Nightlinger said fire officials set up a decontamination area outside the building, standard protocol in a hazardous materials spill. The area's hazardous material decontamination truck, stored at Champaign's Windsor Road fire station, was there as was a hazardous materials trailer.

Firefighters routinely train on campus to handle just the kind of situation they faced Monday night. Nightlinger said lab personnel, the building manager, the department head and the chemical safety people from the UI all huddled with firefighters to decide the best way to handle the situation. UI police cordoned off the area.

According to the institute's website, researchers there study areas including bioenergy, climate change, regenerative medicine, drug development, and understanding cancer at the cellular level.

Officials sent out an Illini-Alert warning people to escape the area of the institute, which is at 1206 W. Gregory Dr. in Urbana. The UI sent an alert at 11:10 p.m. saying that spill had been contained inside the building and the area outside the building was safe. The UI sent another alert at 11:28 p.m. to say the building had been safely evacuated and that firefighters were "mitigating the hazard," emphasizing the area around the building was still safe. 

"If we think there's an imminent threat to health, life or safety, we're going to push out an Illini-Alert immediately," Short said.

He said UI police did not know the extent of the chemical release when they first heard of the spill and would rather take the more cautious approach. The first alert urged people to "escape" the area.

"Without knowing the circumference of this hazmat release, we sent the whole kit and caboodle," Short said.

It was the second Illini-Alert officials sent out within 24 hours after a reported shooting prompted an alert early Monday morning. It turned out that the shooter had inflicted a gunshot wound on himself.

"I'm not taking a chance," Short said. "If there's someone who's hit, I'm not taking the chance" (The News-Gazette, 2012)

Title: Powder Found At Dallas Hospital Identified As Baby Formula
Date: May 30, 2012

Abstract: Emergency crews scrambled to Children’s Medical Center in Dallas after a plastic bag filled with white powder was found at the hospital’s main campus this week.

First responders received an emergency call when the substance was found in the hospital’s Ambulatory Care Pavilion. The powder invoked fear among employees, but turned out to be harmless baby formula, according to

Since the beginning of May, police and emergency crews have been called to several white powder incidents in the Dallas area, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation and U.S. postal inspectors recently offered a $150,000 reward for information about a person they believe is responsible for sending hundreds of hoax letters throughout the region.

Last week, Dallas Fire-Rescue investigated an incident where a white powder was found at a Dallas mall in front of a movie theater. In this case, no evacuations were necessary and the powder was identified as cocaine, reports.

In 2001, a U.S. Army scientist killed five people and injured more than a dozen when he mailed powdered anthrax spores to several offices in the weeks following the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Since then, hundreds of hoax white powder letters have been sent to schools, banks, hospitals and other businesses. Although the powder threats have all turned out to be harmless, emergency officials have urged people evacuate the area and call 911 if a threat is discovered (BioPrepWatch, 2012).

Title: Suspicious Letters Result In Lockdown At Mich. Schools
Date: May 30, 2012

Abstract: Multiple schools in Van Buren County, Michigan, were put on lockdown last week after seven people connected to the school district received suspicious letters from an unknown source.

The lockdown at Lawton Community Schools meant that anyone who wanted to enter the facilities had to be let in by school personnel only, the Courier Leader reports.

One of the letters was mailed to Joseph Trimboli, the superintendent of the schools, the Courier Leader reports. Trimboli said that he opened the letter and never feared that there could be anthrax or any other risks in the mailed items.

“In 36 years (as an educator), it’s the first time I’ve ever gotten a letter like this,” Trimboli said, according to the Courier Leader.

The envelopes included a three sentence letter, the text of which has yet to be released to the public.

Classes continued as usual and students were given recess as normal. A carnival for elementary students was held as planned on Friday. Administrators, teachers and school staff were told to keep an eye out for any strange occurrences.

“I’ve asked the police to be around and help us be more vigilant,” Trimboli said, according to the Courier Leader.

The seven people who received the envelopes assume it was all some kind of prank.

“Right now it’s nothing criminal,” Tom Verberg, the Lawton police chief, said, according to the Courier Leader. “It’s just kind of weird” (BioPrepWatch, 2012)

Title: Device To Purify Water Led To Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport Terminal Evacuation
Date: June 4, 2012

Abstract: The object that prompted a weekend evacuation of the smaller of Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport's two terminals turned out to be a device used for water purification, an airport official said Monday.

Airport spokeswoman Melissa Scovronski said the woman traveling with the device told authorities she needed it for medical purposes.

The device was found by Transportation Security Administration officials about 4:30 p.m. Sunday in a piece of checked baggage in Terminal 2, also known as the Humphrey terminal. The Bloomington Police Department bomb squad was called, and the airport terminal was evacuated for about two hours while authorities investigated.

Scovronski says the woman traveling with the device was heading to Anchorage, Alaska, and her flight was delayed due to the evacuation. Once police determined the luggage was hers, she was questioned, then allowed to continue with her travels.

No criminal charges were filed.

It was the second time in a little more than a month that the Humphrey terminal was evacuated for what turned out to be a water filtration device in checked luggage. The man in the previous incident also was not charged.

The Humphrey terminal handles less than 10 percent of the airport's passenger volume (, 2012)

Title: Girl Stuck By Syringe In Washington Hotel Bed
Date: June 6, 2012
Fox News

Abstract: An investigation is underway at a hotel in Aberdeen, Wash., after a little girl was stuck with a syringe that had been left in her hotel bed, KOMO News reported.

According to the station, Emily Smith was crawling into her bed at Guest House Inn and Suites when the syringe pierced through the mattress and stuck her right heel.  

The needle, which was caked in dried blood, was found along with other disturbing items under the mattress, including plastic bags and bloody bandages, according to Emily’s mother.  The family is demanding answers from the hotel as well as trying to understand what risks Emily now faces.

“Our main concern is HIV disease and hepatitis B or C,” Emily’s mother, Angie Smith, told KOMO News.

The family, who had been in town for Emily’s fast-pitch tournament, was angry to find that the hotel had still charged them for the room despite the incident. However, the hotel told KOMO News that they considered the incident a “horrible situation,” and once a police investigation is able to determine how the syringe got under the mattress, they intend to refund the Smith family (Fox News, 2012).

Title: Suspicious Packages Sent To Quebec Politicians
Date: June 7, 2012

Abstract: The anti-terrorist squad of the Quebec provincial police is looking into approximately two dozen suspicious parcels sent to high-profile politicians in the province that contained harmless white powder.

The packages were sent to media organizations and government offices, including the riding office of Premier Jean Charest. Benoit Richard, the provincial police spokesman, said that 11 packages were delivered to addresses in Montreal, while 12 more were sent to other parts of the province, the Canadian Press reports.

The contents of the packages, which appeared similar to the biological weapon anthrax, did not appear to be threatening in any other way. The parcels were sent to Health Canada to undergo further testing. One package was identified as containing harmless baking soda.

The Montreal police said that none of the packages inspected were dangerous. Some of the buildings were evacuated after receiving the packages and nobody was injured in any of the incidents.

Some of the packages were sent by a group called the Armed Revolutionary Forces of Quebec, according to the Canadian Press.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, anthrax is caused by the Bacillus anthracis bacterium, which can cause infection naturally through infected animals or be used as a weapon. Anthrax was used in a 2001 United States attack when it was spread deliberately through the postal system causing five deaths and 17 additional infections (BioPrepWatch, 2012).

White Powder Threat At Louisiana Medical Clinic
Date: June 7, 2012

Abstract: A small medical clinic in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, was recently evacuated after an employee found a threatening note warning that the clinic had been contaminated by anthrax.

The clinic’s door handle was covered by white powder, which was later determined to be harmless in preliminary tests. Further tests are expected to come back negative for harmful pathogens, according to WWLTV.

The first employee to arrive at the West Jefferson Industrial Medical Clinic that morning at approximately 7:40 a.m. notified the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office after finding the note and accompanying powder. The authorities responded immediately by dispatching a hazmat unit and notifying the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

“The agencies involved in this matter at this time are JPSO, FBI, Jefferson Parish Hazmat, LSP Hazmat,” JPSO spokesman Col. John Fortunato said, WWLTV reports. “Also present on-scene are representatives from the FBI-Joint Terrorism Task.”

None of the substance was found inside the clinic and the facility reopened and resumed normal business hours.

“They did some preliminary testing. It certainly, at this point, according to the experts, doesn’t appear that this is, in fact, anthrax. It is a powdery substance, and they’ll do some chemical analysis on it to try to identify what it is,” Fortunato said, WWLTV reports (BioPrepWatch, 2012).

Title: White Powder Hoaxes Continue In Quebec
Date: June 8, 2012

Abstract: A second series of packages containing white powder were recently sent to the offices of Quebec politicians and media outlets.

Police and emergency crews responded to a dozen new reports in six Quebec cities the day after nearly two dozen white powder-filled packages arrived at media and political offices, according to

In all of the cases, the powder was determined to be harmless. One of the packages contained baking soda, but police have kept silent on the contents of the others, except to say that they are not a threat.

A group calling itself the Armed Revolutionary Forces of Quebec claimed credit for the threats in notes that accompanied several of the packages. Provincial police said the name resembles that of a 1960s-era underground organization with ties to a now defunct terrorist group known as the Front de liberation du Quebec, or the FLQ.

The notes included with some of the packages made reference to anthrax powder. More than a dozen people in Montreal were initially kept under observation but have since shown no sign of anthrax exposure. No one was hospitalized, according to

The Quebec provincial police anti-terrorism unit is currently investigating the situation and has asked anyone with information leading to the perpetrators to come forward (BioPrepWatch, 2012)

Title: Powder Mailed To N.C. Church Ruled Harmless
Date: June 11, 2012

Abstract: A Federal Bureau of Investigation laboratory determined on Friday that the suspicious powder found in an envelope at Providence Road Baptist Church in Maiden, North Carolina, on Thursday was not a bioterrorism agent.

The substance was not anthrax and it was not considered to be a hazardous substance. According to a news release issued by Catawba County Emergency Management, the matter was a complete hoax, the Hickory Daily Record reports.

Church officials were allowed back into the building on Friday a little before 5 p.m. The church was able to hold its usual Sunday services as planned.

Providence Road Baptist Church gained national attention when Pastor Charles Worley’s sermon on May 13 included a section proposing that lesbians and gays be imprisoned behind an electric fence and left to die. The sermon was posted on YouTube and led to outrage throughout the United States. The sermon prompted a May 27 protest march in Newton. More than 2,000 protestors attended the event on the city’s Southwest Boulevard, the Winston-Salem Journal reports.

The night before the May 27 protest, someone set a fire at the church under an air conditioning unit. While the building did not endure any damage, the fire got hot enough to melt the air conditioning unit’s wire insulation (BioPrepWatch, 2012)

Title: Quebec University Professor Receives Suspicious Powder Envelope
Date: June 13, 2012

Abstract: A professor from the University of Sherbrooke in Quebec, Canada, who sided with the government in a recent conflict with students received a threatening envelope on Monday filled with white powder.

Luc Godbout, a public finance professor at the school’s Longueuil campus, argued that students should accept a government offer of increased bursaries and loans with an extended tuition hike period.

The envelope delivered to Godbout included a threat that the powder was anthrax. After Godbout opened the letter, one floor of the campus building was evacuated until the powder was determined to be harmless, the Sherbrooke Record reports.

“Nothing more than intimidation, more proof that the conflict has for a long time skidded out of control,” Godbout said, according to the Sherbrooke Record. “It seems paradoxical to me to send this type of threat to a teacher who just wants to bring some light to this mess.”

The incident is the latest in a series of similar powder-filled envelope mailings. On June 6, firefighters in Sherbrooke decontaminated six people after envelopes filled with powder were sent to multiple government offices. The powder was likewise found to be harmless in the previous incidents.

“The envelope also contained a letter stating that the white powder was anthrax,” the university and its union of professors said, according to the Sherbrooke Record. “The police and firefighters had to evacuate an entire floor of the Longueuil building, disrupting the work of several employees, teachers and students. The Union of University of Sherbrooke Professors and the University of Sherbrooke management have united to strongly condemn this act of violence, which is to intimidate and frighten. A university is a place of learning where intellectual independence, freedom of expression and collegiality come before all else” (BioPrepWatch, 2012).

Title: Officials Warn Of Cocaine Additive That Causes 'Serious Skin Reactions'
Date: June 27, 2012
LA Times

Abstract: The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is warning the public about a new additive in cocaine that scientists say has given users in Los Angeles and New York “serious skin reactions.”

Though the statement from the Sheriff’s Department was quick to clarify that the information was being provided as a public service and officials did not “endorse products or services,” it included information from a June 21 article in ScienceDaily in which doctors warned of a “potential public health epidemic.”

The article cited a report in which doctors said six patients in the two cities had developed purple blotches on their ears, nose, cheeks and other body parts after using cocaine that doctors believe was contaminated with levamisole, a cheap veterinary medicine commonly used to deworm livestock.

Officials believe the medication is being used to dilute up to 70% of cocaine in the United States.

Dr. Noah Craft, author of the report and a principal researcher at the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, said in the article that the intent of the report was to educate the public and increase awareness among doctors who are seeing patients with similar symptoms.

Since the report was published, Craft said, additional patients displayed the same skin rashes, each after using cocaine.

"We have had several more cases since we wrote this report," he said. "In one of the more interesting ones, the patient used cocaine again and developed the same skin reaction again. He then switched drug dealers and the problem cleared up."

The report was originally published online in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology (LA Times, 2012)

Title: WWI Chemical Agent Discovered At Maryland Proving Ground
Date: July 2, 2012

Abstract: Officials at Aberdeen Proving Ground, located near Aberdeen, Maryland, recently halted a demolition project after trace amounts of a World War I-era chemical agent were discovered.

Debris from the building demolition site contained lewisite, a chemical agent that can cause skin blisters and lung damage, according to

Officials said no one was hurt by the agent, including the worker who noticed the chemical odor. As a precaution, the demolition site has been cordoned off. APG personnel and area residents are not facing adverse health risks, according to

Acting Garrison Public Affairs Officer Adriane Foss said that emergency services personnel were called to the site twice after the suspicious odor was detected. Two days after the first call, lab samples confirmed the presence of the chemical agent.

“As a precaution, the excavation site’s debris is being capped with a cover in order to fully ensure public safety,” Bob Dimichele said. “The area has been secured by APG police and demolition work at the affected site remains halted while the potential hazard is being addressed. Safety remains our number one concern, and the post will use all assets at its disposal to assure that safety.”

APG is the U.S. Army’s oldest proving ground. It was created in 1917, shortly after the United States entered World War I. Currently, 21,000 civilian, military and contractor employees work at the site, which covers 72,500 acres near Chesapeake Bay (BioPrepWatch, 2012)

Title: Mustard Agent Found At Delaware Clam-Processing Plant
Date: July 5, 2012

Abstract: Mustard agent was recently discovered leaking from munitions on a conveyor belt at a clam-processing plant in Milford, Delaware.

Officials from Dover Air Force Base’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal team and the U.S. Army 20th Support Command identified the chemical weapon at the Sea Watch International processing plant and said it posed no immediate threat outside the area where it was located, according to

The 20th Support Command took possession of the Mark II 75mm mustard round and transported it to Dover AFB where it can be properly disposed of. An Army tech team from Aberdeen Proving Ground aided in the substance’s identification.

Sea Watch staff acknowledged that older military ordinance is occasionally found in batches of clams the plant receives. The building was evacuated immediately when the round was discovered and four people were taken to the hospital as a precaution. They have since been released.

Ryan Knowles, a spokesman for Carlisle Fire Company of Milford, said the Army is known to have dumped surplus ordinance into the Atlantic Ocean.

“It looks like it might be an ordnance from the World War I or World War II era,” Knowles said, reports.

Mustard agent is a chemical weapon that can cause extreme itching, skin irritation and chemical burns (BioPrepWatch, 2012).

Title: Plane Diverted To Philadelphia After Passengers Get Sick From Odor On Board
Date: July 11, 2012
Fox News

Abstract: A plane traveling from Rome to Charlotte had to make an emergency landing at Philadelphia International Airport because at least ten passengers became sick from a foul odor on board.

Fire department officials say five people were taken to Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and no serious injuries were reported. 

Lupica said airport police, fire and emergency crews responded and the flight landed safely.

Airline representatives did not immediately return a call seeking comment (Fox News, 2012)

Title: Toronto Closes Street After Powder Scare
Date: July 13, 2012

Abstract: Toronto first responders recently closed two blocks of a major street located in the city’s Greektown neighborhood after a Canada Post employee noticed a suspicious brown powder.

The Toronto police dispatched its chemical, biological, radiological nuclear and explosive unit to a postal sorting station on Danforth Ave. after the employee discovered the powder leaking from a package. They closed the street for approximately one hour while conducting tests on the material, according to

The street was reopened after the unit determined the powder was sand that had been included in a birthday greeting card.

At the same time last year, Toronto police closed a portion of nearby Parliament St. after a package containing a suspicious powder was discovered at the offices of Liberal Leader Bob Rae and Ontario MPP Glen Murray, according to

A 50-year-old woman was arrested and charged in connection with the incident. She was known to have frequented the building and was seen dropping off the package.

The powder was determined to be harmless, but seven employees complained of coughing, sneezing and itching after the discovery. They were treated at the scene and released.

“This is not a consistent problem, but there are occasional calls,” Constable Tony Vella, a police spokesman, said, reports (BioPrepWatch, 2012).

Title: Ohio Fire Chief Sparks Powder Scare
Date: July 20, 2012

Abstract: The hazardous materials team in Mahoning County, Ohio, was recently called to investigate two biological threats at two local fire departments.

The Boardman Fire Department and the Western Reserve Joint Fire District main stations each received an envelope through the mail containing a granular substance, only to learn later that it was sand sent by the head of the fire department in the neighboring town of Sebring, according to

Sebring Fire Chief James Cannell said he sends his friends sand every year he goes on vacation to the beach.

“I’ve done this for years,” Cannell said, reports. “I go to Ocean City, Maryland, and I send the sand back. They get this envelope, the sand falls on their desk, and they think of me.”

The fire departments in neighboring Austintown and Canfield were also sent sand-filled envelopes but were aware of the tradition.

The letters did not have a return address and contained no explanation, just the sand, which wary firemen thought might be a biological threat.

“[Boardman Fire Chief] George [Brown] and I were newly added guys to the chiefs’ list this year, but there was no return address and no note,” Western Reserve Joint District Fire Chief David C. Comstock said, reports. “So the question asked by us was: What do Boardman and Poland have in common? It was dated July 10, so to put things in perspective that was mailed right after we each had the president visit.”

The fire chiefs who received the envelopes called nearby fire stations approximately an hour after receiving the envelopes, at which point they learned of the tradition. Comstock said it was, nonetheless, good to see local safety services respond quickly and efficiently (BioPrepWatch, 2012).

Title: Fog Vapor Causes Burns At Hollywood Pre-Party For Teen Choice Awards
Date: July 22, 2012

Abstract: More than a 20 people, including some teenagers, suffered respiratory irritations and burn injuries Saturday evening after exposure to "theatrical fog vapor'' at a pre-party for the Teen Choice Awards in Hollywood, a city fire official said.

Witnesses said the incident at the Avalon Hollywood resulted in chaos, calling to mind for a panicked moment Friday's shooting massacre at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo.

The incident was reported at 6:04 p.m. at 1735 N. Vine St. (map), Brian Humphrey of the Los Angeles Fire Department said.

Rescuers believe a special-effect fog system caused the injuries. Most victims felt better after fresh air and examination, Humphrey said.

"Along with respiratory irritation, a few patrons who contacted dripping liquid from apparent heavy use of smoke effect have superficial burn (injuries),'' Humphrey said.

Six people were taken to hospitals in unspecified condition. A total of 22 patients were assessed, according to Humphrey.

A hazmat team was investigating, Humphrey said.

The party was called off after the incident, he added.

Vine Street was closed between Franklin Avenue and Hollywood Boulevard while the group was assessed, he said (MSNBC, 2012)

Title: Four California Police Stations Receive White Powder Envelopes
Date: July 23, 2012

Abstract: Four police departments in Alameda County, California, were recently sent envelopes containing white powder, prompting the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation to begin an investigation.

Police departments in Berkeley, San Leandro, Hayward and Union City each received a white powder-filled envelope on the same day as part of their ordinary mail delivery. In each of the cases, the powder was deemed harmless, according to

Aisha Knowles, a spokeswoman for the Alameda County Fire Department, said it was still unclear as to whether the incidents are connected. Berkeley police said they were in contact with the police departments in Hayward and San Leandro to determine if there is a link, according to

The Berkeley Police Department has launched a criminal investigation into the matter and has notified the FBI, who intended to take an active role. United States postal inspectors are currently trying to track down who sent the envelopes.

“There’s state statutes that have been violated and federal statutes, so it is very, very serious,” Jeff Fitch, a United States postal inspector, said, reports.

Investigators would say little about the envelopes except that each contained a note, none had a return address and all were postmarked at the Oakland Main Post Office. They said that more police departments could receive similar envelopes in the coming days (BioPrepWatch, 2012)

Title: Officials Investigate Link Between Dozens Of Illnesses, Animal Kingdom Tour
Date: July 25, 2012
Click Orlando

Abstract: The Orange County Health Department is investigating Walt Disney World's "Wild Africa Trek" experience after several dozen parkgoers became ill.

Orange County Health Department spokesman Dain Weister confirmed with Local 6 that the majority of the illnesses, described as a stomach bug, were reported in June. Since the illness was first reported in early June, more cases continued to appear. Since then, Disney said it voluntarily did a "deep clean" of the affected area and stepped up measures to promote hand-washing and the use of hand-sanitizers.

"We are working closely with the Orange County Health Department to review the situation," said Disney spokeswoman Andrea Finger.

Symptoms were nausea, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and in some cases vomiting, Weister said. Symptoms usually lasted two to five days. Two people felt sick enough to go to the emergency room, although none were hospitalized overnight.

One guest posted his experience on more than a month ago. That guest was so sick he "even ended up in the ER." It appears, he was the first to come down with the illness. He called Disney and prompted the health department to "launch an investigation" that is ongoing. He wrote that he and two friends went on the tour and all -- from "3 separate households" -- were sick within 24 hours.

"It is difficult for epidemiologists to track down the specific source," said Wiester. "A lot of times, they don't actually find a source."

It's also a mystery how the outbreak was able to spread from person to person. The trek features VIP access to crocodiles, hippos and exotic animals in Disney's Animal Kingdom through a guided tour and a tasting of African-inspired foods on a savannah. Weister confirmed none of the guests on the tour touch animals, and so officials have ruled out animal-to-human transmissions. While some guests thought it was a food-borne illness, that's also still unclear.

"The health department also did inspections - two different inspections - of the restaurant that provides food to that tour. No problems were found whatsoever," said Weister.

Another guest wrote on the online forum that they were "extremely sick," saying, "it was the sickest I've ever been." By then, the health department's investigation was underway and that guest, along with everyone who went on the tour, were sent a letter explaining the situation.

"The majority of the symptoms have been more mild than severe," said Weister. "We're just trying to trace back and figure out exactly what may have caused this."

The health department said it has interviewed hundreds of people in an attempt to piece together what links the sickness between patients. So far, those who did not get sick said they often wash their hands and use hand-sanitizer.

"They feel it is concentrated on the Trek, because several people who visited the park and got sick only went on that tour and did not go to other parts of the park," Weister said.

Weister also said some of the people who got sick are family members within a family or group, and a few cast members (Click Orlando, 2012)

Title: FBI Investigates White Powder Incidents
Date: August 1, 2012

Abstract: Local police and federal officials recently investigated a white powder incident in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

Bridgeport police were called to a multi-family home on the city’s north side to investigate a suspicious package. Connecticut State Police, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection were notified after police observed white powder inside the package, according to

The DEEP’s hazmat unit was called to the scene in order collect samples of the material.

“The samples were sent to the laboratory at the state Department of Health for testing,” Cyndy Chanaca, a spokeswoman for the DEEP, said, reports. “The results will be available in three to four days.”

While the overwhelming majority of such incidents turn out to be harmless, authorities took precautions in case the package contained a lethal agent, such as anthrax.

The FBI has also started an investigation into a recent white powder incident at the federal courthouse in Kansas City, Kansas. A hazmat team was called to the courthouse after a worker there opened an envelope containing white powder. The U.S. Marshals Service said the building was not evacuated, according to

The number of white powder incidents, including hoaxes, increased dramatically after the 2001 anthrax mailings that killed five people and infected 17 others (BioPrepWatch, 2012).

Title: White Powder Scare Closes Texas Hospital Emergency Room
Date: August 6, 2012

Abstract: An anthrax scare at the Angleton Danbury Medical Center in Brazoria County, Texas, caused the hospital’s emergency room to be shut down for multiple hours.

A resident in Brazoria County received a package in the mail containing white powder from an unknown address. After bringing the package to a West Columbia Justice of the Peace office, the powder caused a scare and a trip to the emergency room, KHOU 11 News reports.

“They brought it to the Justice of the Peace office in West Columbia,” Glenn Lamont, a representative of Brazoria County Emergency Management, said, according to KHOU 11 News. “The contents had come out and it irritated a deputy who had handled it. It caused him nose and mouth irritation, so we treated it with caution as though it was the worst possible thing you could get in the mail, which we’ve seen in the past, is anthrax.”

An independent lab tested the substance and determined that it was harmless.

A spokesperson for Angleton Danbury Medical Center said that 30 patients and first responders went through decontamination as a precautionary measure. All of the patients and responders were discharged and after several hours the emergency room began to accept new patients again, according to KHOU 11 News (BioPrepWatch, 2012).

Title: Carbon Monoxide Leak At Baltimore Post Office
Date: August 6, 2012
Fox News

Abstract: A Baltimore fire department spokesman says exhaust fumes from generators outside a post office building are being blamed for sickening employees.

Fire department spokesman Kevin Cartwright says two people were taken to hospitals from the main post office complex and a total of 58 were evaluated at the scene, including the two that were transported. He says elevated carbon monoxide levels were detected after firefighters responded to a report of a fall at the building about 8:30 a.m. Monday, and other employees began reporting symptoms. The conditions of the two were not immediately known.

Cartwright says generators outside the building that activated following a power outage a few hours earlier are believed to be responsible.

Post Office spokeswoman Yvette Singh says operations at the main building were not affected (Fox News, 2012)

Title: 8 Million Birds Killed To Prevent The Spread of Flu In Mexico
Date: August 9, 2012

Abstract: Some 8 million birds have been slaughtered in the western Mexican state of Jalisco to prevent the spread of the avian flu virus, the National Food Health, Safety and Quality Service, or Senasica, said.

A total of 65.8 million birds have been vaccinated at 245 farms in Jalisco’s Los Altos region, the Senasica said in a statement.

The virus is under control in the region, which is home to 42 cities, and 87 health specialists have taken 40,190 samples from 401 farms, the agency said.

The AH7N3 virus has been found at 41 farms, while the number of farms declared free of the virus has risen from 335 to 360, the Senasica said.

Hens found to be infected during the vaccination process are destroyed, the health agency said.

Inspections have been conducted at 342 farms in 19 states, the Senasica said, adding that the highly pathogenic virus was not found at the various sites.

Poultry farmers have been asked once again to avoid moving live birds and remains into areas that are free of the virus, the health agency said.

Bird flu does not pose a risk to people consuming meat or eggs, and the measures being taken are “aimed at protecting poultry production in the area,” the Senasica said.

Mexican health officials said in late June that the presence of the avian influenza virus had been detected in Jalisco and took emergency measures to prevent its spread.

The vaccine is being produced by the National Veterinary Biological Production Agency, or Pronabive, with assistance from three private pharmaceutical companies.

Mexico, according to National Poultry Producers Association figures, produces nearly 2.5 million tons of eggs and 1.2 million tons of meat annually (HSN, 2012).

Title: Apple Slices Recalled Due To Listeria Danger
Date: August 10, 2012

Abstract: Sliced apples distributed to fast-food and grocery chains across the country are among packaged products being recalled due to possible listeria contamination.

No illnesses have been reported, but listeria was found on equipment used to produce apple products by Missa Bay LLC, owned by Ready Pac Foods Inc. of Swedesboro, N.J.

Packaged apple slices distributed to McDonald's and Burger King in some states are included in the recall, as are some packaged fruit, veggies, salads and sandwiches containing apples distributed to Wawa convenience store and Wegman's grocery chains, as well as various apple and fruit snacks with "Ready Pac" labels and apple salad kits with a "Safeway Farms" label.

The recalled snacks have use-by dates of July 8 through Aug. 20, the company said. People should check their refrigerators for products with those use-by dates, the company said, and it asked retailers to check store shelves and inventories to make sure none of the packages are there.

Missa Bay announced the voluntary recall on Friday, saying a total of 293,488 cases and 296,224 individual units went to 36 states and the District of Columbia. People who may have purchased the recalled products are asked to record use-by dates and UPC codes and contact Ready Pac at  800-800-7822. More information on the more than two dozen products recalled and the states involved is available on the company's website at WWW.READYPAC.COM .

Listeria is a bacteria that causes food poisoning and is especially dangerous to pregnant women. While a pregnant woman may experience mild, flu-like symptoms, the illness caused by listeria can lead to miscarriage, premature delivery or life-threatening infection in newborns.

Symptoms in people besides pregnant women can include fever and muscle aches, headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and convulsions.

An outbreak of listeria in cantaloupes last year was linked to 30 deaths and one report of a pregnant woman who had a miscarriage while she was sick (AP, 2012)

Title: Fans Possibly Exposed To Rabies After A Bat Swoops In During Last Friday’s Ravens Game
Date: August 23, 2012
CBS Baltimore

Abstract:  An unusual health warning goes out to Ravens fans. Some people in the stands at last Friday’s game against the Detroit Lions may have been exposed to rabies.

Denise Koch has more.

When Ravens fans filled the stadium for the season’s first home game, they didn’t expect to encounter any wildlife.

But in section 500, a bat swooped through in the midst of the game against the Lions.

“I didn’t know, first of all, that bats could fly that high up but I didn’t see the bat,” Dave Rabinowitz, who sits in section 500, said.

Now, Maryland’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) wants to warn people sitting in section 500 that they could be at risk for rabies.

“Bats can trasmit rabies to people. They’re very small and they have small teeth, so it’s possible that a person could get bitten by a bat and may not notice it right away because the bite is hard to distinguish,” Kim Mitchell, chief of Rabies and Vector-borne Diseases at the DHMH, said.

But fans say bats in the bleachers won’t keep them from cheering on the Ravens.

“I think it’s just a fluke, and as long as people get themselves followed up and checked up, then, so be it,” Ravens fan Bob Murray said.

Health officials say people should not be worried if they see bats flying around outside and they should only call their doctor if they’ve had direct contact with a bat.

In Maryland, more than 200 animals have been diagnosed with rabies to date this year, including 40 bats and one deer (CBS Baltimore, 2012).

Title: High Lead Levels Prompt Recall Of Black Licorice
Date: August 23, 2012
Fox News

Abstract: California health officials warned consumers, especially children and pregnant women, Thursday not to eat Red Vines black licorice twists after discovering it contains levels of lead that exceed state standards, according to the California Department of Public Health.

Red Vines candy was recalled when candy packages marked with the expiration date 02/04/13 were found to contain up to 13.2 micrograms of lead per serving, according to the California Department of Public Health.

Any consumers in possession of the candy should dispose of it immediately, according to the Monterey County Health Department.

Manufactured and distributed by Union City-based American Licorice Co., Red Vines candy is sold in a one-pound, light red package with 'Red Vines' written in bold, white letters (Fox News, 2012)

Title: Illinois Post Office Evacuated After White Powder Scare
Date: August 24, 2012

Abstract: The Evanston Post Office in Evanston, Illinois, was evacuated on Thursday morning after an employee spotted a whitish-yellow powder on the outside of a package.

The employee notified the postmaster who then referred the situation to the Evanston Fire Department. A hazmat team arrived at the scene and determined that the mysterious white powder was actually a combination of flour and cooking spices, Patch reports.

“All is clear,” Wally Bobkiewicz, the city manager, said, according toPatch. “We are cleaning up and will be departing shortly.”

Prior to the identification, emergency responders arrived at the post office, evacuated the building and treated the employee. The employee got some of the material on his arms, according to Eric Palmer, the city’s spokesperson. The fire department called for mutual aid from nearby suburbs and the local communities responded by sending at least 12 trucks.

The hazmat team quickly identified the substance as flour and cooking spices. The package was sent by an Evanston resident who purchased it for himself in California and subsequently mailed it home, Patch reports.

Anthrax, a white powder that can be used in bioterrorism, was sent through the mail in the United States in 2001. The powder caused 22 anthrax infections and five deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (BioPrepWatch, 2012)

Title: UCF Building Evacuated Due To Mace In AC system
Date: September 10, 2012
MyFox Orlando

Abstract: Orange County Fire Rescue dispatched a hazardous material crew to the University of Central Florida Student Union just before 3:30 p.m. Monday to handle complaints of an odor. 

Witnesses said a perimeter was set up around the building with multiple emergency response vehicles. 

"People were being told to move back repeatedly by firefighters and staff. The atmosphere was that this was not a drill and something was occurring inside," wrote UCF student Matthew Miller in a news tips to FOX 35.  

Crews have determined that the odor was caused by distribution of mace through the building's the air-conditioning filtration system.  The building has since reopened.

Eleven people were treated at the scene.  University police officers are investigating (MyFox Orlando, 2012).

Title: Toxic Chemical Leak At Staten Island School
Date: September 12, 2012
MyFox New York

Abstract: A student at a public school on Staten Island was hit by toxic chemicals that leaked from a light fixture last week.

Contractors entering P.S. 41 on Tuesday night didn't want to talk to Fox 5 about the work they'd be doing inside.

But Fox 5 confirmed a building-wide lighting replacement project will be underway at the Staten Island School after a student was exposed the toxic chemical polychlorinated biphenyl last week.

Last Thursday, a teacher noticed the chemical oozing from a light fixture. The classroom was evacuated, but not before the PCB dripped onto one student's desk and clothes.

The school notified parents.

Extended exposure to PCBs can cause cancer. The man-made chemicals were used in the building construction, but were outlawed in the late 1970s.

"Last week, parents were notified of a PCB ballast leak and confirmed that a classroom fixture will be replaced over the weekend," a Department of Education spokesperson said in a statement. "We ensured that the proper safety and inspection protocols were followed so that the classroom could reopen today" (MyFox New York, 2012).

Title: Hundreds Evacuated After Indiana Chemical Fire At Factory
Date: September 15, 2012
Fox News

Abstract: A fire official says hundreds of people in northern Indiana have been evacuated following a fire at a factory that left a chemical cloud in the air.

Mishawaka Battalion Chief Jim Cocquyt tells the South Bend Tribune that no injuries had been reported after the fire at the old Baycote facility. He says the Environmental Protection Agency took over the factory months ago and was cleaning up hazardous chemicals.

The newspaper reported several people were taken by bus to an elementary school that the Red Cross was using as a shelter.

City fire officials didn't immediately return a call from The Associated Press seeking comment. A police dispatcher said she had no new information about the situation (Fox News, 2012)

Title: Gas Leak Closes Tech Center At KCK Community College
Date: September 20, 2012
Fox 4 KC

Abstract: The Kansas City, Kansas Community College Technical Education Center, located at Schlagle High School, closed Friday due to a gas leak.

The main campus of the college is not affected and classes are still in session.

David Smith with Kansas City, Kan. schools said there are also two preschool classes in the Tech. Education Center building that are also forced to close due to the leak.

Schlagle High School, 2214 North 59th Street, is not affected, however and school will be open as usual.

FOX 4 will provide more information as available. Refresh this page for updates (Fox 4 KC, 2012).

Title: Toxin Leak At New York School Sparks Worries
Date: September 25, 2012
Source: Fox News

Abstract:  A PCB leak at a school in Long Island City in New York has parents and local leaders outraged. They gathered outside IS 204 on Tuesday morning to draw attention to the matter, MyFoxNY reported.

The Dept. of Education says it will take approximately nine years to replace the lights at IS 204 and the 800 or so schools within the New York City school system that have the potentially dangerous liquid.

Polychlorinated Biphenyl -- a thin, light-colored liquid or a yellow or black waxy solid-- were banned in 1979 for their potential toxicity, according the Environmental Protection Agency.
At least two schools have reported leaks of the toxin since the start of the school year.

At IS 204, a school located in a low-income community, a PCB leak reportedly contaminated the desk of a guidance counselor and the floor below.

At P.S. 41, PCB leaked from a light fixture onto the desk of a fifth grade student while at her desk.

According to several local leaders, the Dept. of Education replaced the leaking light fixture within days at the school in New Dorp, Staten Island.

Parents of IS 204 students say the DOE should work faster to safeguard their children from the toxin.

"I think they can do this a lot sooner than they're doing it. I'm concerned about her education and health," the mother of a young girl told reporters outside the school.

The cost of replacing all the school system's potentially contaminated light fixtures will run the DOE over $100 million (Fox News, 2012).

Title: Pennsylvania Community College Closes After Nerve Agent Threat
September 26, 2012
Bio Prep Watch

A Pennsylvania community college recently shut down after an anonymous caller threatened the campus with a chemical attack using a nerve agent.

Westmoreland County Community College, located in Youngwood, Pennsylvania, closed its main campus and eight satellite locations after a caller threatened to attack the school if his demands for money were not met, according WPXI.

“There was a threat to our campus and we are currently investigating,” school officials announced on Twitter, WPXI reports. “All campuses remain closed for the day.”

The caller asked for $1,600 and said he would release an “explosive chemical nerve agent” that would reach a four mile radius. No injuries or further incidents related to the threat have been reported.

“I went to my class. All the lights were off all the doors were closed,” a WCCC student said, WPXI reports. “I don’t know what goes through a person’s mind that makes them want to do this stuff.”

Pennsylvania State Trooper Steve Limani, a spokesman for the Greensburg barracks, confirmed that police are investigating the situation but said all information is being handled by school officials.

WCCC has not released further details about the incident but said they expected classes to resume the following day (Bio Prep Watch, 2012).

Title: Bubble Trouble: 50Ft Tsunami Of Foam Sweeps Through Village After Chemical Spill
Date: September 29, 2012
Daily Mail

Abstract: This wall of foam sparked widespread panic among locals as it rushed along a river in southern China.

The mass of soapy suds blanketed the water in Xintang, in China's Guangdong province, leading to evacuations along the banks of the river.

But officials have now said the only threat posed by the foam - thought to have been caused by chemicals washed into the river - was the possibility of 'one or two dead fish' lurking in the bubbles.

The bizarre scene is thought to have been caused after heavy rainfall washed a non-toxic chemical deodorant from a household rubbish tip into the river.

The bubbles were created when the chemical was swept over a waterfall, officials said.

 A spokesman said: 'People are right to be cautious but it is harmless. It made very large bubbles when it went over a waterfall, but apart from one or two dead fish, it is harmless' (Daily Mail, 2012).

Title: Early Halloween Costume Brings Out San Mateo Bomb Squad
Date: October 1, 2012
Source: CBS San Francisco

Abstract: A man who decided to try out his costume and dress up ahead of Halloween prompted an explosives scare in downtown San Mateo Monday that resulted in the dispatch of a police bomb squad, authorities said.

Police received several calls about a man in a car front of a market along the first block of East 4th Street wearing what witnesses described as a full gas mask and army gear with several grenades hanging around his neck.

The San Mateo County sheriff’s bomb squad responded and evacuated a half-block area about 9:30 a.m.

Police detained the costumed man and said an “inert grenade” was found in his car, but they also indicated there was “no current danger” to the public.

The man was identified by police as Gilberto Masias, an employee at a local costume shop. Officers at the scene cited him for possession of an inactive grenade and released.

The San Mateo Police Dept. said in a Twitter posting that Masias’ “early Halloween costume provoked (their) reponse.”

SMPD Sgt. David Norris took the occassion to remind people to be mindful when choosing and wearing costumes in advance of Halloween.

“Costumes with very realistic weapons can create fear and safety concerns among the community members, and may provoke a response by law enforcement,” Norris said (CBS San Francisco, 2012)

Title: Possible Hazardous Materials Incident Reported In Lexington
Date: October 9, 2012
My Fox 8

Abstract: Officials said a possible hazardous materials incident was reported in Lexington Tuesday.

Emergency responders said that numerous ambulances and paramedics responded to the incident around 11:15 a.m. at 210 Walser Road.

The investigation is ongoing (My Fox 8, 2012). 

Title: Evacuations Ordered After Train Derailment, HazMat Alert Issued
October 29, 2012
Fox 19

A train derailment in far southwestern Jefferson County has led to a chemical release, a hazmat declaration, closed a major roadway, and an evacuation of a one-mile radius of the derailment site.
Reports of the derailment near the Ohio Valley Dragway on Katherine Station Road came in to MetroSafe at 6:27 a.m. There were also reports of a strong chemical odor in the air. Emergency crews have confirmed that one of the cars is leaking butadiene, a flammable, colorless gas with a mild aromatic odor.

Butadiene is a highly explosive material that cannot be contained with water. Crews used a blanket of foam on the spill in an effort to keep the fumes down.

Other chemicals aboard the train include hydrochloride, sodium hydroxide, calcium carbide, and methyl isobutyl ketone. None of them was believed to be leaking.

Pleasure Ridge Park firefighters declared the derailment a Level 3 HazMat situation. It is the highest alert level for a hazardous materials incident.

Richard Harrison, assistant chief of the Buechel Fire District said the Paducah & Louisville Railway train consisted of 39 cars and that eight of them derailed. Harrison said the car carrying butadiene was upside down.

The derailed tanker car has a capacity of 30,000 gallons. Officials did not immediately know how much butadiene it was carrying. Harrison said monitors will be set up to check the air for explosive levels.

A train derailment in far southwestern Jefferson County has led to a chemical release, a hazmat declaration, closed a major roadway, and an evacuation of a one-mile radius of the derailment site.

Reports of the derailment near the Ohio Valley Dragway on Katherine Station Road came in to MetroSafe at 6:27 a.m. There were also reports of a strong chemical odor in the air. Emergency crews have confirmed that one of the cars is leaking butadiene, a flammable, colorless gas with a mild aromatic odor.

Butadiene is a highly explosive material that cannot be contained with water. Crews used a blanket of foam on the spill in an effort to keep the fumes down.

Other chemicals aboard the train include hydrochloride, sodium hydroxide, calcium carbide, and methyl isobutyl ketone. None of them was believed to be leaking.

Pleasure Ridge Park firefighters declared the derailment a Level 3 HazMat situation. It is the highest alert level for a hazardous materials incident.

Richard Harrison, assistant chief of the Buechel Fire District said the Paducah & Louisville Railway train consisted of 39 cars and that eight of them derailed. Harrison said the car carrying butadiene was upside down.

The derailed tanker car has a capacity of 30,000 gallons. Officials did not immediately know how much butadiene it was carrying. Harrison said monitors will be set up to check the air for explosive levels (Fox 19, 2012).

Title: 200 Sickened From New Mexico Hazardous Materials Release
October 30, 2012
Fox News

Authorities in southern New Mexico say a hazardous materials release has sickened some 200 people in the Santa Teresa area near the Mexican border.

A mandatory evacuation is under way for two miles around the Dona Ana County Industrial Park and the port of entry south of Las Cruces.

Officials say 200 people are in triage for symptoms of light-headedness, nausea and dizziness, but no serious injuries have been reported, and no one has been sent to the hospital.

The Mesilla Valley Regional Dispatch Authority has activated a system to alert people in nearby homes and businesses to stay indoors, seal all doors and windows and turn off air conditioning and heating systems that bring in outside air.

Authorities are still investigating what material has been released and from where (Fox News, 2012).

Title: More Than 1,000 Evacuated After Train Derailment Sparks Chemical Fire
November 1, 2012
Fox News

More than a thousand residents in Kentucky have been told to leave their homes because of a chemical fire from a derailed train car near Louisville that left three workers badly burned.

Officials in West Point, a short distance from the fire, ordered its nearly 1,000 residents to leave due to the potential health hazards posed by the burning chemicals. The order also affected nearly 140 residences in southwest Louisville. Residents just outside the evacuation zone have been told to stay indoors.

Authorities say the blaze broke out while workers were using a cutting torch or welder to separate two of several cars that derailed Monday evening.

Authorities say one of the workers is in very critical condition, another in critical condition and the third in serious condition.

The burning rail car was only a few feet from other derailed tankers carrying another dangerous chemical (Fox News, 2012).

Title: Chemical Bomb Threat Prompts Street Closures Around CNN Center; Police Find No Chemical
November 2, 2012
Fox News

Police closed streets and sidewalks around CNN Center in downtown Atlanta as they investigated a chemical bomb threat, but found no such device during a search of the complex.

Atlanta police spokeswoman K.Y. Jones tells The Associated Press no chemical was located in the Friday morning search. She said shortly after 6 a.m. that all streets in the area were open again.

Police say a caller claimed to have planted a chemical bomb at the cable news channel's headquarters.

Police had closed streets and sidewalks to vehicles and pedestrians on the block to the north of the center, and on the block to the west of the center.

The complex is home to CNN and several restaurants and shops. The area is just south of Centennial Olympic Park (Fox News, 2012).

Title: Brazil Police Investigate Indigenous Claim That Creek In Sacred Land Was Poisoned
November 21, 2012
Fox News

Brazil's federal police are investigating allegations by an indigenous group that landowners poisoned a creek they rely on.

A spokesman with the federal police in Mato Grosso do Sul state said the Guarani-Kaiowa indians say the water courses through sacred land. The investigation started Tuesday.

The Guarani-Kaiowa uploaded a video to YouTube showing a stream covered in dense white foam. They said in a statement they were "shocked and indignant with the cruel actions of farmers."

The Guarani-Kaiowa are embroiled in a land dispute with ranchers who claim the 2.5 acre plot they occupy. Last month, a judge allowed the 170 indians to remain.

The Indigenous Missionary Council says three men from this tribe were killed since 2009. One man bearing signs of torture was dumped in the creek (Fox News, 2012).

Title: 45 Taken To Hospital From Pennsylvania Prison
November 22, 2012
Fox News

Emergency management officials in Dover Borough say about 45 people at York County Prison have been taken to the hospital.

The York Daily Record says that a gas odor was reported late Wednesday night and that ambulances began taking people away. The newspaper says most of the victims appear to be female. The prison houses male and female inmates. It was not immediately known if those hospitalized include prison staff.

In tweets, emergency management officials say the patients are at York and Memorial hospitals. They say the prison is on lockdown.

Officials tell The Record that it may be some time before an official statement is released.

According to the county's website, the prison has an official capacity of 2,522 (Fox News, 2012).