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Ricin Scare in Washington: Fast Facts About the Deadly Poison

Crime

It would take a deliberate act to make ricin and use it to poison people. Unintentional exposure to ricin is highly unlikely.

HYATTSVILLE, MD - APRIL 16: An official walks past a hazardous materials response team truck outside a mail sorting facility April 16, 2013 in Hyattsville, Maryland. An envelope addressed to U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) tested positive for ricin at the facility where mail bound for the U.S. Capitol is sorted. Credit: Getty Images

A hazardous materials response team truck outside a mail sorting facility in Hyattsville, Maryland. An envelope addressed to U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker tested positive for ricin at the facility where mail bound for the U.S. Capitol is sorted. Credit: Getty Images

The ricin scare in Washington after suspicious packages arrived at the White House and some Congressional offices – including a letter mailed to Sen. Roger Wicker (R, Mississippi) that tested positive for ricin – raises questions about the deadly poison and how it works.

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