Friday, August 13, 2010

Let's Keep The Mail Safe! A Guide To Safe Mail Brought To You By The US Postal Service

Most of us would know what we cannot place in the US mail because of plain old common sense. Because of litgation, however, some federal employee had to design a brochure for us outlining the items we simply cannot mail. Your children are not mentioned, however, despite how tempting it may be at times to simply mail them to say some east coast camp for the behavior impaired.

There are nine classes of things you cannot mail according to a US Postal Service brochure. The categories include: 1) Explosives; 2)Gases; 3) Flammable Liquids; 4) Flammable Solids; 5) Oxidizers and Organic Peroxides; 6) Toxic Materials and Infectious Substances; 7) Radioactive Materials; 8) Corrosives and lastly 9) Miscellaneous Hazardous Materials.

You are supposed to be questioned about any package you are mailing, according to a postal clerk at Ranko's Pharmacy in Tacoma. This makes it difficult for the average mail carrier if you leave a package on your front steps and you are not home. I think the US Postal Service issues some x-ray glasses for that task. It's a sticky wicket issue there. The funding for those glasses is quite low during the economic downturn.

Just to mix this up and make this fun, please do match the following to the above listed categories: products with a radioactive label on them; self-inflating life saving devices; lithium batteries; matches; fireworks; paints or inks; ammunition; model rocket engines; nitrates; swimming pool chemicals; magnetized materials (pacemakers- well, I just made that one up there); some cosmetics (like botox?); peroxides. irritating materials; signal flares (for Uncle Joe who is stuck on I-5 in northern California in the dark without AAA towing); scuba tanks; and air bag inflators. And you 80s hair freaks? Hairspray cannot be mailed!

So does that clear things up a bit? Can you match the products to the categories? It's sort of a fun task, much like doing the word jumble in the Voter's Pamphlet. I know. Why is there word jumble in the Voter's Pamphlet? Well, I just don't have an answer for you. Go ask GoodSpaceGuy, candidate for US Senate in 2010. Maybe he knows. -Alison Whiteman

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