Courses for Kids
Free study material
Offline Centres
Store Icon


share icon
share icon

Ricin - Explanations, Symptoms, Making, Antidote and FAQs

What is Ricin?

Though many people have heard of ricin, they don’t know what ricin is. Ricin is a portion of the dissipated mash that is created at the time of making castor oil. This is a poison protein that remains present in castor beans. If you chew and swallow castor beans, then you can get ricin inside your body, and it can cause injury. However, ricin possesses some highly potential medical utilization to treat cancer. This compound is utilized in the form of a biological weapon, too, as it can be used in an aerosol for inhaling it. You can also ingest ricin from a contaminated water supply or poisoned food. Ricin injection is also used at times for injecting this compound.

(Image will be Updated Soon)

You will find it in the form of a pellet, mist, or powder. Again, it can also be dissolved in weak acid or water. Ricin is a stable compound under normal conditions, but you can inactivate it by heating it above 80o centigrade. 

What are The Symptoms of Ricin Poisoning?

Ricin poisoning is dependent on whether a person ingests or inhales it. When you inhale it, then it causes chest tightness, fever, serious respiratory problems, and cough. Ingested ricin also gives rise to organ damage and intestinal bleeding. This Ricin poison is capable of killing a person within three days of its exposure. People should be mindful that even a slight amount of this component can turn out to be fatal.

However, there isn't any dependable test that can confirm people’s exposure to ricin. Again there isn't any antidote too for ricin poisoning. Treatment happens to be supportive care only. 

How to Make Ricin?

Ricin remains present in castor beans. People can extract the toxin from the leftover pulp when the oil gets squeezed out. Commonly, the process of making ricin includes softening or removing the exterior coating of the castor beans. According to some recipes, you can soak them too. In the following step, you must cook the beans. After this, you need to mash and filter the beans. And then, you can include solvents for extracting the ricin. This way, you can end up making this substance.

What is The Ricin Toxin?

Ricin poison is damaging as it is highly toxic, and it does its work after it gets inside a person’s body’s cell. It prevents the cells from preparing the proteins they require. And in the absence of proteins, these cells die. It turns hugely harmful to a person’s entire body, and the worst thing is it might cause death too. As with other chemicals, no matter whether a person turns ill after he becomes exposed to ricin is dependent on the quantity that the person happened to be exposed to. Again, it is also observed how long this exposure lasted.

The exposure method, too, is accessed, like whether the person ingested, injected, or inhaled it, besides other factors. Commonly, when the dose happens to be the same, then being exposed to the injection of ricin has the potential for causing illness, and it is followed by inhalation. This finally results in ingestion.

The purity of this compound can remarkably affect the sickness of a person. For instance, ricin has got potential to cause illness when it has been purified by some technically difficult and special processes. Besides the complexities included in creating ricin, it is also tough to create ricin that manages to retain its physical properties. These are some instances of many vital factors that can be helpful for predicting whether a person will become sick after he gets exposed to this component.

What is a Ricin Antidote?

The early signs of ingesting ricin happen in less than ten hours. Some symptoms of poisoning might become prominent within four hours to 24 hours. Even a little quantity of ricin can kill an adult person. The important thing is there isn’t an antidote for the poisoning of ricin, and so; there isn’t any cure for it too. Therefore, in this situation, avoiding exposure is considered the most preventive measure. If you fail to avoid the exposure, then you must get rid of it as fast as possible. Some treatment processes for poisoning include taking supportive medical care that would lessen the impacts of the poison on a person’s body.

Want to read offline? download full PDF here
Download full PDF
Is this page helpful?

FAQs on Ricin

1. What are the inhalation ricin effects?

When a person inhales ricin, then he comes across a different effect because the proteins of ricin do not interact with his body’s same parts. In place of confronting gastrointestinal issues, the person would develop a bloody and vicious cough. Again, his lungs would be full of fluids. Finally, the person will lose his capability to breathe. This will ultimately result in death. Ricin injection is a bit different as based on the spot where you are injected, it will commonly result in vomiting besides some flu-like symptoms. Again, you will find swelling around the site of injection. Commonly, death from injection and inhalation occurs within 3-5 agonizing and miserable days after contact.

2. Does Ricin come from castor beans?

Ricin is a hugely toxic protein and is extracted from the castor plant’s seeds. Most often, it is known as castor oil bean or castor bean though it isn’t a bean. A castor plant is hugely common, and it is habitually utilized in the form of an ornamental plant all through the western world. This is prized for its capability for growing anywhere. This is also a vital crop, and its seeds remain full of oil. Castor oil is utilized for a lot of legal purposes. Ricin is also a common laxative, and as it is highly resistant to higher temperatures compared to other types of vegetable oils, this turns into a superb substitute for petroleum oil.

3. What should you do if you become exposed to ricin?

If you remain exposed to ricin, then it does not always turn out to be fatal as you can survive too. You should get fresh air immediately, and you can do this by leaving the place where this compound was released. When it is released outside, then you must shift from this place to another place fast. If you think that you have got exposed to the poisoning of ricin, then you must take off your clothes fast. Again, you must wash your body too properly with water and soap. Taking fast medical care is also important in this situation. Never use bleach right on your skin.

Competitive Exams after 12th Science