Ricin is a naturally occurring, highly toxic protein produced in the seeds of the castor plant. Ricin is perceived to be a weapon of mass destruction. In actuality, ricin has limited mass destruction capabilities. Ricin, as a natural protein, is a high-molecular-weight polymer like the synthetic polymers nylon 6–6, polyacrylamide, and polyethylene glycol. Some speculations were made that ricin could be released into the atmosphere causing injury to the general population. Ricin can contaminate clothing when it is applied as a liquid or when it is embedded within the fabric as fine particles of a solid powder. Ricin is a water-soluble toxin that must be absorbed into the body to be toxic. Ricin is more readily sorbed to the clay fraction of the soil than either the sand or silt fractions. Montmorillonite, illite, and kaolinite are common clay minerals in temperate-region soils and ricin adsorption to montmorillonite was much greater than to illite or kaolinite.