Georgetown University confirms presence of ricin in dorm room

Georgetown University recently said that a white powder found in a university dorm room tested positive for ricin, but no arrests were made and the university reported no danger to the campus community.

Law enforcement officers are still investigating the case but report that they do not believe the substance is linked to a terrorist act. A 19-year-old man confessed to making the hazardous toxin, which was found in a dorm room in McCarthy Hall, the Washington Post reports.

Members of a Joint Terrorism Task Force joined police for an investigation last week where the team confirmed the presence of ricin but found no other remnants of the toxin anywhere in the dorm. The university followed the investigation by hiring specialists to clean the room.

The university reported that there has been no sign of anyone having been exposed to the deadly toxin. Symptoms of ricin poisoning usually present themselves within 24 hours and that time period has already passed. No arrests have been made, but the investigation is still underway, the Washington Post reports.

Amy E. Smithson of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies said ricin is one of the most deadly substances in the world. Inhalation of the toxin can cause respiratory failure and the dysfunction of various organs, according to the Washington Post.