Anthrax hoax near Georgia Capitol

A white powder feared to be anthrax that was discovered in an envelope sent to a state office building near the Georgia Capitol has been confirmed to not be hazardous.

The envelope was sent on Tuesday to the James H. Sloppy Floyd Building, reports. Upon discovery, authorities evacuated part of the complex. Four people who were exposed to the substance who had minor complaints were later treated..

Authorities at the scene said that the powder did not appear to be related to a chemical or biological threat.

As there was not enough of the substance for an immediate identification, the sample was sent to the FBI crime lab for analysis, reports. Gordy Wright, a spokesman for the Georgia State Patrol, said that the investigation of the package will continue.

According to a recent Medill National Security Journalism Initiative report, there have been over 38,000 hazardous postal-related situations since the 2001 anthrax attacks. Even if the powder is a hoax and is comprised of flour or talcum powder, postal inspectors investigate the issue. Those who send the misleading package are subject to prison time or fines. Since 2001, 300 postal inspectors have been trained as hazard specialists.

“Historically, it’s been the Postal Inspectors’ mission to protect postal services, its employees and to secure the nation’s mail,” Peter Rendina, assistant inspector of the Washington Division of the Postal Inspection Service, said, reports. “We’re continuing to do what’s needed.”