Boulder, CO police responded to a report of an 18-year-old man who purposely ingested ricin after manufacturing it in his home in the 900 block of Poplar Place. The victim died later in the evening at the University of Colorado Hospital.
According to Tom Dowd, Detective Sergeant with the Boulder Police Department, they worked with the Boulder Fire Department and Boulder County Public Health to investigate this incident and have determined there is no threat to the community.
Local media identified the victim as Ryan Levine.
Ricin is a poison found naturally in castor beans. If castor beans are chewed and swallowed, the released ricin can cause injury. Ricin can be made from the waste material left over from processing castor beans. It can be made in the form of a powder, a mist, or a pellet, or it can be dissolved in water or weak acid.
You can be exposed to ricin either by ingesting (swallowing) or inhaling (breathing) material containing ricin. In a few rare, past cases, injections of ricin have led to poisoning. Ricin is very toxic and there is no known antidote.
Ricin poisoning is treated by giving victims supportive medical care to minimize the effects of the poisoning.
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