Parcels sent to Pentagon suspected to contain deadly poison ricin

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Ricin has been detected in two pieces of mail that arrived at a Pentagon mail distribution center, defense officials announced Tuesday.

The packages, addressed to Defense Secretary James N. Mattis and Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson, were contained at a mail screening facility outside the main Pentagon complex.

The FBI and the Pentagon Force Protection agency responded and additional testing is expected to be done by the bureau, two defense officials told the news outlet.

Ricin is a poison that is made from castor beans.

Neither envelope entered the Pentagon.

All mail delivered on Monday is now under quarantine, and "poses no threat to Pentagon personnel", he said.

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An official said one of the envelops was mailed from inside the United States; it's not clear where the other one came from.

Ricin has often been used in terror plots.

The Houston Fire Department says two people were taken to hospital on Tuesday after apparently being exposed to a "white powdery substance", though it didn't provide details about the two people or report on their conditions.

Two years later, a MS man sent letters containing ricin to President Barack Obama and a Republican senator in an elaborate attempt to frame a rival.

Ricin exposure can lead to death if the toxin is inhaled directly.

Notable Ricin poisonings include the deadly poisoning of Georgi Markov, a Bulgarian writer and journalist who was living in London in 1978.