History »Toxic Oil Syndrome

Definition of Toxic Oil Syndrome

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

With the passage of time the researchers concluded that industrial oil also carried significant amounts of a type of pesticide that is especially toxic .

In medical terminology this pathology is known as the toxic oil syndrome, but in popular >tragedy .


In the initial phase of the disease the first symptoms that were identified were the following: atypical pneumonia, cramps, pulmonary hypertension and muscle aches. In a more advanced phase, serious liver problems, dermatological alterations, neuropathies and internal organ disorders were manifested. As a result of this symptomatology thousands of people were disabled.

From the medical field, the Carlos lll Health Institute was the institution that led the investigation of diseases derived from contaminated oil. The syndrome has only occurred in Spain and fortunately this pathology has not occurred 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 and it was said that it was a strange pneumonia and that the cases of death were related to nuclear radiation. It was not until a year later that the origin of the tragedy began to be known. Logically, when the news jumped into the media there was a great social alarm.

Mostly the victims and those affected belonged to the popular classes, who bought rapeseed oil for its low price in different 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 subsequently the Supreme Court imposed high fines and issued the imprisonment of those responsible.

Rapeseed oil victims had to wait 21 years to receive financial compensation . There was only one positive part that one can try to rescue, since it served to increase food controls and health protocols.

Fotolia Photos: Carlac and Sasajo

Author: Javier Navarro | Site: - definition | Date: November 2018 | URL: /historia/sindrome-aceite-toxico.php
Topics in Toxic Oil Syndrome