Regarding this article, I was shocked. Not by the findings but the resources that were wasted. I have been involved in the radiation sterilization of medical devices for 30 years. Yellowing and brittleness of cellulose materials is well known, as are discoloration and damage to many plastics. Computer chips, CDs, film, and video and audiotapes are usually rendered useless.

James M. Gibson Jr.
Odessa, Fla.

As a former member of the Viking Meteorology Science Team, to me the concept of using irradiation to sterilize the mail, an expensive process, and allowing it to heat mail to more than 130C appears ridiculous. I suggest that sterilization be discussed with some of my Viking colleagues to see if baking will suffice for this application.

James E. Tillman
University of Washington
Seattle, Wash.

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