UT Dorm Substance NOT Ricin

By: KBTX Staff
By: KBTX Staff

AUSTIN (AP) - The FBI says the powdery substance found in a roll of quarters at a University of Texas dormitory is not the potentially deadly poison ricin.

San Antonio FBI spokesman Rene Salinas, who is with the agency's
joint terrorism task force, says it's still not clear what the substance is.

But FBI testing done Sunday in Maryland came back negative for ricin. And the testing is probably over.

Ricin is a deadly and easy to produce poison extracted from castor beans.

Salinas says there were no proteins in the substance to prove that it actually was ricin.

State officials said a field test conducted earlier this week came back positive for ricin or a substance very close to it.

But Salinas says that was just a quick test that didn't check for the proteins in ricin.

About 400 dorm residents were evacuated Friday night after a freshman found the powder. But no one showed signs of exposure.

They were back in their rooms by yesterday after hazardous materials crews cleaned and sanitized the areas where the powder was found.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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