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Ricin: The Chemical and the Threat

Author(s): Christopher Burnett

How can someone be exposed to ricin?

Ricin is most dangerous when injected, because the poison enters the blood stream directly and rapidly disperses from there throughout the body. Inhalation also delivers ricin quickly to the bloodstream, but any quantity of toxin not immediately absorbed can be exhaled and/or diluted. Ingested ricin is not absorbed entirely by the gastrointestinal tract, so it is less deadly than ricin that is injected or inhaled.