White powder found in Jefferson County Courthouse revealed to be boric acid
Two District Court clerk employees discovered the powder at 9:30 a.m. on Friday and called the police. The powder was later analyzed by a State Patrol hazardous materials specialist and bomb disposal robot at 1 p.m.
Port Townsend Police Department Spokesman Officer Luke Bogues said the police are still uncertain as to why the powder was present in the restroom and who placed it there, but the investigation is still underway.
Boric Acid is considered a dangerous poison by the National Institutes of Health's U.S. National Library of Medicine's Medline Plus. Boric acid poisoning occurs with repeated exposure to or consumption of boric acid. Chronic exposure has been known to cause death.
The Jefferson County Courthouse was not evacuated during the incident, but the building was shut-down between 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., until authorities were certain that the substance wasn't toxic.
Boric acid is a common antiseptic and is found in a number of products, including antiseptics, astringents, skin lotions, paint, enamels and glazes, rodent and insect pesticides, roach powders, eye wash products, glass fiber manufacturing tools and photography chemicals.