‘Pink, slimy substance’ contained ricin in Mayor Bloomberg letter

Posted at 1:53 PM, May 30, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-30 13:58:02-04
Mayor Bloomberg talks to reports about ricin-tainted letters sent to him this week. (WPIX-TV)

Mayor Bloomberg talks to reporters about ricin-tainted letters sent to him this week. (WPIX-TV)

QUEENS (PIX11) — New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly described to PIX11 the potentially deadly substance that contained the poison, Ricin, in a letter sent to Mayor Bloomberg last Friday, as the Secret Service in Washington received a report President Obama was sent yet another, ricin-tainted letter.

“It was a slimy substance, a pink slimy substance,” Kelly told PIX11 about the poison on Bloomberg’s letter, during an appearance in Queens at the 101st Precinct in Far Rockaway.

Kelly also revealed some Emergency Services Officers who responded to the case Friday, reported having some “diarrhea and blood in their urine” over the weekend, but the symptoms were not definitively tied to ricin exposure.

Ricin can be extracted from castor beans and delivered in powder, liquid, or even most form. Exposure to the poison can kill a person within 36 hours. If the substance is inhaled, it can cause fluid build-up in the lungs. Ricin exposure can also shut down major organs.

A city mail facility at 100 Gold Street received the letter addressed to Mayor Michael Bloomberg last Friday.

The letter, reportedly postmarked from Shreveport, Louisiana, castigated Bloomberg on his gun control positions and threatened, “You will have to kill me and my family before you get my guns. Anyone that wants to come to my house will get shot in the face.”

A similar letter, smeared with Ricin, was opened by the Executive Director of a group called Mayors Against Illegal Guns Sunday. He did not suffer symptoms.  Mayor Bloomberg is a leader of that organization.

Kelly revealed the first test on Bloomberg’s letter did not reveal evidence of Ricin but a second test by a lab at the NYC Department of Environmental Preservation did show a positive result for ricin.

Mayor Bloomberg said Wednesday night he was not backing down from his gun control work, adding, “I have tremendous confidence in the NYPD and the FBI.”