U.S. consulate in Brazil receives white powder envelope

Employees at the U.S. consulate in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, discovered an envelope containing an unidentified white powder on Wednesday.

After the request of the consulate staff, the municipal fire brigade arrived to the scene and collected the suspicious envelope and sent its unknown contents to the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, a world-renowned scientific institution on public health research, PeopleDaily.com reports.  

Members at the consulate said that no threats were received to make them believe that the envelope contains a bioterrorist agent like anthrax, but followed the standard safety protocol measures nonetheless.

"The consulate has no indication that the envelope contains any harmful substances, but, as a precaution, the item was sent to the authorities for evaluations and tests," the consulate said in a statement, according to PeopleDaily.com.

Rigid precautions were developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention after several letters containing anthrax were sent through the mail in several areas of the United States in 2001.

Although there have been no recent mail-related anthrax exposures, the CDC recommends that all persons should take the appropriate steps to protect themselves and others from exposure to Bacillus anthracis.

The consulate expects the results of the test to be disclosed within the next few days, PeopleDaily.com reports.