Ricin Topic Guide
Ricin is a potent toxin that can be used as an agent of biological warfare, as a weapon of mass destruction, or to cause someone harm; even death. Ricin is a protein derived from castor beans used to make caster oil (motor oil). Symptoms of ricin poisoning depend on whether it has been inhaled, ingested from contaminated food or drink, or by injection, and may include:
A person exposed to ricin should seek medical care immediately.
Biological Warfare Biological weapons include any organism (such as bacteria, viruses, or fungi) or toxin found in nature that can be used to kill or injure people. Types of biological agents include anthrax, plague, cholera, tularemia, brucellosis, Q fever, smallpox, monkeypox, arboviral encephalitides, viral hemorrhagic fevers (like Marburg and Ebola virus), staphylococcoal enterotoxin B, ricin, botulinum toxin, mycotoxins, glanders, typhus, and anti-crop biological agents.