Training should not be dangerous

Area emergency responders could have been exposed to a lethal poison during a recent federal emergency drill. What’s more, it’s not much of a stretch to wonder what might have happened if an accident allowing release of the deadly ricin had occurred, at the drill or in transport.

That the exposure could have occurred between 2012 and November in Federal Emergency Management Agency drills is unconscionable.

Ricin is a poison made from waste residue after castor beans are processed. There is no antidote, according to the CDC, and sources say as little ricin as a few grains of salt can kill a man.

Which begs the question, why was full-strength ricin being used at a CDC lab in Alabama during training?

Who benefits from being exposed to one of the crown jewels of chemical warfare and terrorism?

The potential exposure is being blamed on an error by a private company that should have been delivering a less-than-full-strength version to the CDC for the training of emergency responders.

The personnel undergoing the training are there to learn how to detect biological agents and to use protective gear.

But somebody, somewhere needs to be made very, very responsible for delivering a poison that could have taught a lesson no emergency responder needs to be taught.


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