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Hundreds of First Responders Exposed to Ricin, a Potentially Deadly Toxin, FEMA says

CLEVELAND -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency has acknowledged that hundreds of Ohio emergency responders were exposed to a potentially fatal toxin while training at a FEMA facility in Alabama.

The federal agency released a statement Wednesday saying it has received no reports of illness as a result of the ricin exposure.

Ricin is a poison found naturally in castor beans that kills cells by preventing them from creating protein. Exposure to the toxin can lead to death.

Staff at the FEMA facility mistakenly purchased high-toxicity ricin that was used in nine training sessions beginning in 2011.

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