toxic oil syndrome

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An apparently unique food-borne epidemic that occurred in Spain in 1981 and was traced to a contaminated batch of cooking oil. The nature of the contamination was never precisely identified, but it may have been an aniline derivative that was inadvertently used to adulterate olive oil that had been diluted with rapeseed oil. The symptoms were respiratory, gastrointestinal, renal, and neurological. Several hundred people ultimately died of the 20,000 originally affected.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology.

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