Advice needed on a "white powder" problem.

I just got a call from one of my customers.
They bought a product from us at the begining of this month, and he opened it today to use it.

When he opened the box, it turns out that the item inside was not wraped like it should be (I’ve heard that this has happened before with this particular item when shipped from our wearhouse.) but inside of the box and the item itself were “covered in a fine white powder”.

Here is what I have gathered:
-The item itself in no way contains any white power of any sort.
-The guy in the warehouse says it may be the anti-static coating of the wrapping that it should have been in.

A part of me though it may have just be the customer trying to ‘get my attantion’ so I will send out a repacement right away, but he went on about it again when my boss called him.

Should I take this seriously andgo on the notion that there is a possibility of Anthrax or just have the item picked up as normal???

Damn this isn’t easy…

to be honest, I really dont think somone snuck into your plant and put anthrax in a package for some average joe. thats not whats been going on. unless the guy is some media/gov person they have no worries.
yes you can come back and flame the shit outta me if the get anthrax and die.

Don’t trip out on it too much. Most people are so scared that “white powder” has been anything from dust to granulated sugar…which looks nothing like “powder”.

So, depending on who this is, his fear reaction may override common sense and what is actually dirt that got into the box when FedEx drop-kicked it across a dusty field 40 times is interpretted as “white powder”.

I’m sure you guys aren’t sending out anthrax, and unless as the previous poster said, unless he’s a bigwig politician, or a huge media target, I’m sure everyone’s OK.


In any case, the person in question should isolate the area and immediately notify the authorities. Fuck that complacency shit.

Please read this anthrax tetter from Senator Bill Frist of Tennessee. Here’s more poop from the CDC.

[Edited by UncleBeer on 10-30-2001 at 11:40 AM]

I’m of the same mind sent. “It’s not a problem” and I’m not wanting to panicing over this situation. This customer is nobody ‘special’. (IE: Media or government etc…)

I found if funny how someone walks into a public bathroom, opens the baby change table and sees baby powder on it and panics. (This happened here in Toronto)

But now, being placed in this situation, I kinda understand how they must have felt.

well lets see here…

“How to identify suspicious packages and letters:
Restrictive markings such as Confidential, Personal, etc.
Foreign mail, Air Mail or Special Delivery
Excessive postage
Handwritten or poorly typed addresses
Incorrect titles
Title, but no name
Mispellings of common words
Oily stains, discolorations or odor
No return address
Excessive weight
Lopsided or uneven envelope
Protruding wires or tinfoil
Excessive securing material such as string or tape”
does even one of these apply? no? call me not paranoid or something but this aint worth freaking out about.

I got an envelope full of white powder yesterday. My first thought was that some kind soul was mailing me coke, but it seemed to be of a very low quality, because when I snorted it, I didn’t get high. Now I’m wondering, is there something I should know here?