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Nerve Agent Sarin Possibly Found at Facebook Mailing Facility, Authorities Say


The nerve agent sarin was possibly detected at a Facebook mailing facility in Menlo Park, California, according to local fire officials in an NBC Bay Area report. Authorities advise, however, that this could be a false positive.

Officials with the Menlo Park Fire District said the social media giant processes its mail through a machine to detective harmful substances. A preliminary report suggested that at least two people might have been exposed, but authorities updated to say that no employees were affected.

The investigation is ongoing.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describes sarin as a clear, colorless, and tasteless liquid with no odor, but can evaporate into the air. Harmful symptoms emerge quickly:

  • Symptoms likely will appear within a few seconds after exposure to the vapor form of sarin and within a few minutes to hours after exposure to the liquid form.
  • Because it evaporates so quickly, sarin presents an immediate but short-lived threat.

The doomsday cult Aum Shinrikyo used sarin in terror attacks in 1994 and 1995.

[Screengrab via KPIX]

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