Powder Found At University of Texas Probably Not Ricin

AUSTIN – Although as a precaution hundreds of students were evacuated from a University of Texas (UT) dormitory after a whitish-brown powder found in a roll of quarters initially tested positive for ricin, officials are now saying the powdery substance is probably not the lethal toxin.

After one test of the powder came up positive for ricin, three additional tests were run but resulted in negative readings. Additionally, no one exposed to the mystery powder is showing signs of ricin poisoning.

The roll of quarters where the powdery substance was found was given to a student by her mother last semester. She discovered the substance Feb. 23 as she was opening the roll while doing her laundry. Other rolls of coins, which were all issued by the same bank and given to the student by her mother, did not contain the powder.

Authorities do not believe this incident was the work of terrorists. As a precautionary measure, however, additional tests are being conducted by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

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