The Science Of Ricin

The poison that had Londoners so worried last week is a natural toxin that occurs in the husks of the castor bean, which can be grown all over the world. Around 1 million tons of the beans are processed each year to produce oil, mainly as an industrial lubricant. Between 5% and 10% of the residue is ricin. So it is easy for terrorists to obtain the toxin. Though making a pure and therefore more potent form of the substance is difficult, impure versions can be made using equipment available in most kitchens. The bean husks are ground into a powder...

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