In man, castor oil has been used as a laxative, but the ingestion of high doses has resulted in vomiting, nausea, colic and, in one individual, coma. It is applied to the skin for its emollient effect, but has provoked allergic reactions in some subjects. The oil is reputed to have a soothing effect on the human eye.

Variable results have been obtained in animal studies of skin irritation potential. The neat material may be a mild eye irritant in rabbits. It had a low acute oral toxicity in rats. Repeated oral administration studies in rats and mice also indicated a low toxicity. Multiple subcutaneous injections induced changes in the adrenal glands of mice. Castor oil did not cause chromosome damage in mice treated repeatedly by the oral route, or in hamster cells in culture. It gave no evidence of mutagenicity in bacterial assays including Ames tests.

Date of Publication: 1999

Number of Pages: 9

CAS Number*: 8001-79-4

Format: PDF available for immediate download

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