Donald Trump Jr. left, and his wife Vanessa, are seen in a 2007 file picture. Picture: Danny Moloshok/AP

New York - Vanessa Trump, the wife of Donald Trump Jr., and two other people were taken to a hospital on Monday after she opened a piece of mail containing an unidentified white powder that was later determined not to be hazardous, New York officials said.

"The substance had arrived by mail and it was addressed to Donald Trump Jr.," said New York Police Department spokesman Carlos Nieves.

Vanessa Trump was hospitalized after she complained of nausea following her exposure, New York officials said.

Three patients from the household were transported to the NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center for further evaluation, said Fire Department spokeswoman Sophia Kim.

The three included Vanessa Trump's mother, though she had not complained of symptoms, the police spokesman said.

US authorities have been on alert for mail with white powder in it since 2001, when envelopes laced with anthrax were sent to media outlets and U.S. lawmakers, killing five people.

Donald Trump Jr, the eldest son of US President Donald Trump, has been in the public eye for his role in 2016 meetings with a Russian attorney and others where the Trump campaign was offered potentially damaging information about Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.