Pennsylvania Flower Growers #235
Most everyone has heard that poinsettia leaves are very poisonous and that if eaten, can cause death. In 1919, a child in Hawaii is supposed to have died as a result of eating one leaf of a poinsettia, but this was never authenticated. To determine the toxicity of poinsettias, Paul Ecke, Inc., of Encinitas, California, established a research fellowship at Ohio State through the Ohio Florists' Association. This was operated through the cooperation of the Departments of Horticulture and Zoology. Personnel in Horticulture grew the poinsettias and a graduate student in Zoology prepared the samples, fed them to rats, and took the data. Why rats? Because the toxicity of various materials such as insecticides, fungicides, herbicides, etc. is determined using the rat as the test object and then the results are "translated" to man. In the tests which were run, no human toxicity was evaluated.
Keywords: Toxicity Zoology laboratory rats LD50 active ingredient Administered orally