Another Ricin Incident Hits Spokane

From the American Postal Workers Union:

Preliminary lab tests indicated the presence of ricin on two suspicious letters in Spokane WA, the Postal Service told the APWU on May 15. The letters are being analyzed and tested further for hazardous material, according to a Mandatory Stand-Up Talk [PDF] management presented to workers.

One letter was addressed to the Spokane Post Office; the other was addressed to a federal judge in Spokane. Both letters were postmarked May 14.

“We have no reason to believe that any employees are at risk from handling the suspect letters as they passed through the mailstream in Spokane,” management told employees in the Stand-Up Talk. “The substance involved was not in a form that could be inhaled or otherwise readily ingested.

“If anyone were to inhale a quantity of ricin large enough to produce symptoms, they most likely would include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing and would appear within 24 hours. If you have not experienced such symptoms, you should not be concerned.  If you have, we urge you to let your supervisor know and see your doctor promptly for an evaluation.”

The APWU will monitor the situation closely, said APWU President Cliff Guffey. “Our members’ safety is our primary concern,” he said. The union will provide updates as more information becomes available.


Video: Detection System at Memphis Postal Center Didn’t Detect Ricin

(Memphis) After the 2001 anthrax attacks, the United States Postal Service installed Detection Systems to detect the presence of anthrax in many of their processing and distribution centers. However those systems do not detect ricin.

“I know it does test for many things. I’m not sure if ricin is one of those. I know it does test for anthrax,” said David Walton from the United States Postal Service.

However offsite mail facilities in Maryland were able to detect ricin in letters addressed to Senator Roger Wicker and President Barack Obama.

Read more: Detection System at Memphis Postal Center Didn’t Detect Ricin |