ARLINGTON, Va. — Mail destined for the Pentagon has initially tested positive for ricin.
At least two envelopes were found Monday during mail screening at the Pentagon’s mail facility, according to Pentagon spokesperson Col. Rob Manning.
The mail center is in a separate building and the envelopes were never delivered to the Pentagon, Manning added.
CNN reports the envelopes were addressed to Secretary of Defense James Mattis and the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral John Richardson.
The FBI issued a statement Tuesday saying it now has possession of the two envelopes.
“FBI Special Agents took possession of two suspicious envelopes that had been screened at the Pentagon mail facility. Those envelopes are currently undergoing further testing. As this is ongoing, we will have no further comment.”
Ricin is a natural, highly toxic compound that is a byproduct of processing castor beans. It can be found in the form of powder, mist, or a pellet, or can be dissolved in water, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Ricin poisoning can cause death within 36 to 72 hours of exposure, depending on the route of exposure (inhalation, ingestion, or injection) and the dose received, the CDC says.
(Photo by icholakov/iStock/Getty Images.)
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