friction (rubbing together). Flammable solids may
only be accepted in the domestic surface mail. They
are not acceptable for air transportation or
For current instructions on mailing flammable
materials, refer to Module C of the DMM or USPS
Strike-anywhere matches may not be mailed under
any conditions. Safety matches (book, card, or
strike-on-box) may be mailed in the domestic mail
under certain conditions. Generally they must be of a
type that will not ignite spontaneously. Matches of all
types may not be mailed to, from, or between military
post offices or in the international mail.
USPS regulations define a toxic substance as a
poisonous material, other than gas, that is known to be
so toxic to humans as to cause death, injury, or harm to
human health if swallowed, inhaled, or contacted by
Toxic substances or poisons are prohibited in
international mail. For domestic mail refer to Module
C of the DMM for packaging and mailing conditions.
A controlled substance is any anabolic steroid,
narcotic, hallucinogenic, stimulant, or depressant drug
in schedules I through V of the Controlled Substance
Act. Narcotic drugs include opium, cocaine and
opiates, and drugs made from them (heroin and
morphine). Controlled substances, by reason of their
addictive nature, have been declared as articles,
compositions, or materials that may kill or injure
If distribution of a controlled substance is
considered lawful under the Controlled Substance Act,
refer to Module C of the DMM for mailing conditions.
Q3-20. Whose responsibility is it to ensure that items
and substances prohibited by postal laws and
regulations are not mailed?
Q3-21. Define the term injurious article.
Q3-22. What is the general rule concerning injurious
articles being mailed to, from, or between
military post offices?
Q3-23. Under no circumstances may injurious
articles ever be inserted into the USPS or
MPS mail system. (True/False). Explain.
Q3-24. Under what special conditions, if any, may
strike-anywhere matches be mailed to an
MPO or foreign country?
Now turn to appendix 1 to check your answers.
Learning Objective: Recognize the
characteristics of and the procedures for
handling mail bombs.
Because of an increase of worldwide terrorist
activities today, we must not laugh at the myth of mail
bombs. You, as an MPC, could be in the position to
determine what to do in a crisis situation to increase
awareness and also to give some guidance in
identifying suspected mail bombs. The information
listed below could help you deal with this situation.
Keep in mind that a bomb can be enclosed in either
a parcel or an envelope. There is not a set pattern of the
outward appearance of the parcel or envelope. The
form of a letter bomb is limited only by the imagination
of the sender. Mail bombs will usually have unique
characteristics, some of which are listed below:
Mail bombs may bear restricted endorsements
such as PERSONAL or PRIVATE.
The addressees name and/or title may be
Mail bombs may reflect distorted handwriting or
the name and address may be prepared with
homemade labels or cut-and-paste lettering.
Mail bombs may have protruding wires,
aluminum foil, or oil stains visible and may emit
a peculiar odor.
Mail bombs may have an excessive amount of
postage stamps affixed.
Letter-type bombs may feel rigid or appear
uneven or lopsided.
Parcel bombs may be unprofessionally
wrapped with several combinations of tape
used to secure the package and may be endorsed