Survey of Existing Research on Jatropha Toxicity

Mike Barbee, January 2012

Jatropha curcas is grown as a living livestock corral and as a bio-fuel crop in several areas of the developing world. The seed from the Jatropha plant, as well as the oils are toxic to animals and to people. Ingestion, or skin contact with the oils of the plants, leafs and seeds is known to be toxic, and Mike does a nice job of documenting the current research about the plant in his paper: Summary of Literature on Jatropha Toxicity

It appears that there is NO RESEARCH on the toxicity of Inhaled jatropha either seed, stem, or cake (or pressed cake) form. This is an area of particular concern for me as we evaluate the effectiveness of using Jatropha as a fuel for cooking stoves.

to quote Mike:

There are no studies about jatropha the fraction of phorbol esters that may be present during pressing, composting, or burning. There is not enough information about the volatility to estimate the partitioning of oil that may contain esters in the air during the processing and application

The Key recommendation:
"It is recommended at this point, that those who are working directly with oil and seed cake during the pressing process wear protective eye and skin covering and, if possible, surgical masks to reduce inhalation."