The bipartisan leaders of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee have asked the Postal Service IG for an assessment of the protections for postal employees against the risks posed by illegal shipment of drugs through the mail, particularly synthetic opioids.

The letter notes that the DEA has issued warnings against accidental contact with even minute quantities of some of the compounds, telling emergency responders and agents not even to touch packaging and to wear protective equipment. Police officers have overdosed even after brief contact with some of them, it adds.

They asked for an assessment of USPS training and processes to protect employees from accidental contact, the availability to employees of antidotes, and whether procedures to protect employees put in place after the 2001 anthrax mailings are effective regarding opioids.