What is Toxic Oil Syndrome definition/concept

In May 1981, in Spain, there was a massive poisoning that caused the death of 700 people and caused serious physical damage to more than 20,000 Spaniards. The origin of this poisoning was an industrial oil used fraudulently for human consumption. Toxic Oil Syndrome

Over time, researchers came to the conclusion that this industrial oil also had significant amounts of an especially toxic type of pesticide.

In medical terminology, this condition is known as the Toxic Oil Syndrome, but in popular parlance it is better known as the Rapeseed Oil Tragedy.


In the initial phase of the disease, the first symptoms identified were the following: atypical pneumonia, cramps, pulmonary hypertension and muscle pain. At a more advanced stage, severe liver problems, dermatological changes, neuropathies and affections in Organs internal organs were manifested. As a result of this symptomatology, thousands of people were incapacitated. Toxic Oil Syndrome

In the field of medicine, the Carlos III Health Institute was the institution that led the investigation of diseases derived from contaminated oil. The syndrome only occurred in Spain and fortunately this pathology has not been present in other countries.

A tragic episode that shocked Spanish society

The first case of death affected a 13-year-old boy from Madrid. Initially, the origin of the disease was unknown, they said it was a strange pneumonia and that the cases of death were related to nuclear radiation. A year or so later the origin of the tragedy began to become known. Logically, when the news was released in the media communication caused a great alarm social . Toxic Oil Syndrome

Most of the victims and those affected belonged to the popular classes, who bought rapeseed oil at a low price in the various street markets.

The affected people who managed to survive suffered and suffer all kinds of physical and psychological sequelae.

When those responsible for the poisoning were tried in 1987, they received light sentences, but later the Supreme Court imposed large fines and ordered the arrest of those most responsible.

Rapeseed oil victims had to wait 21 years to receive financial compensation . All of this only had a positive part, as it served to increase food control and health protocols. Toxic Oil Syndrome

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