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Tupelo Ricin Site

Site Contact:
Steve Spurlin


Site Location:
102 Rankin Road Extended
Tupelo, MS 38801

In April 2013, a man living in the Tupelo, MS area is suspected to have sent ricin tainted letters to President Obama and other officials. Two locations in the Tupelo area were tested by the FBI and determined to contain ricin. The locations consist of a karate dojo and a house trailer used for storage. The locations have been secured by FBI and evidence, including ricin tainted items, were collected by the FBI. The FBI is prepared to turn the properties back to current owners. The extent of the remaining ricin contamination is unknown and decontamination of the locations may be required prior to occupancy. The MS Department of Environmental Quality recently referred the sampling and decontamination actions to EPA. The EPA, START contractor, and ERRS contractor will mobilize to the site on 5/30/13 to conduct entry into the two locations to conduct a reconnaissance in preparation for the sampling and cleanup actions. Ricin is a toxic protein extracted from the castor bean. Ricin can cause severe respiratory distress and death even at low concentrations and short exposure duration. EPA is coordinating the response with MS DEQ, MS Department of Health, local agencies, and the FBI.

For additional information, visit the Pollution/Situation Report (Pol/Sitreps) section.