Matters concerned with Environment

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Oleander (Nerium Oleander) Toxicity

Oleander is one of the most poisonous plants in the world and contains numerous toxic compounds, many of which can be deadly to people, especially young children. Despite this fact, it is sometimes grown in school yards. The toxicity of Oleander is considered extremely high and it has been reported that in some cases only a small amount had lethal or near lethal effects . The most significant of these toxins are oleandrin and neriine, which are cardiac glycosides. They are present in all parts of the plant, but are most concentrated in the sap, which can block out receptors in the skin causing numbness. It is thought that Oleander may contain many other unknown or un-researched compounds that may have dangerous effects. Oleander bark contains rosagenin which is known for its strychnine-like effects. The entire plant, including the sap, is toxic, and any part can cause an adverse reaction. Oleander is also known to hold its toxicity even after drying. It is thought that a handful or 10-20 leaves consumed by an adult can cause an adverse reaction, and a single leaf could be lethal to an infant or child. According to the Toxic Exposure Surveillance System (TESS) in 2002 there were 847 known human poisonings in the United States related to Oleander. There are innumerable reported suicidal cases of consuming mashed oleander seeds in southern India. Around 0.5 mg per kilogram of body weight is lethal to many animals, and various other doses will affect other animals. Most animals can suffer a reaction or death from this plant.

Source:- Wikipedia

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