10 deadly poisons and their effects on humans and some interesting facts about each.
1. Botulinum toxin
Many poisons can be fatal in small doses, so it is rather difficult to identify the most dangerous. However, many experts agree that botulinum toxin, which is used in Botox injections to smooth wrinkles, is the strongest.
Botulism is a serious paralysis disease caused by botulinum toxin produced by the bacteria Clostridium botulinum. This poison causes damage to the nervous system, respiratory arrest and death in terrible agony.
Symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, double vision, facial muscle weakness, speech defects, difficulty swallowing, and others. The bacteria can enter the body through food (usually poorly canned foods) and through open wounds.
2. Ricin poison
Ricin is a natural poison that is obtained from the castor beans of the castor bean plant. A few grains are enough to kill an adult. Ricin kills cells in the human body, preventing the production of the proteins it needs, resulting in organ failure. A person can become poisoned with ricin through inhalation or after ingestion.
If inhaled, symptoms of poisoning usually appear 8 hours after exposure, and include difficulty breathing, fever, cough, nausea, sweating, and chest tightness.
If swallowed, symptoms appear in less than 6 hours and include nausea and diarrhea (possibly with blood), low blood pressure, hallucinations, and seizures. Death can occur in 36-72 hours.
3. Sarin gas
Sarin is one of the most dangerous and deadly nerve gases, hundreds of times more toxic than cyanide. Sarin was originally produced as a pesticide, but soon this clear, odorless gas became a powerful chemical weapon.
A person can be poisoned with sarin by inhalation or exposure to the gas on the eyes and skin. At first, symptoms such as a runny nose and tightness in the chest may appear, breathing becomes difficult and nausea occurs.
Then the person loses control over all the functions of his body and falls into a coma, convulsions and spasms occur, until suffocation occurs.
This deadly poison is contained in the organs of the puffer fish, from which the famous Japanese delicacy "fugu" is prepared. Tetrodotoxin persists in the skin, liver, intestines and other organs, even after the fish has been cooked.
This toxin causes paralysis, seizures, mental illness, and other symptoms. Death occurs within 6 hours after the ingestion of the poison.
It is known that every year several people die from excruciating deaths from tetrodotoxin poisoning after consuming fugu.
5. Potassium cyanide
Potassium cyanide is one of the fastest deadly poisons known to mankind. It can be in the form of crystals and a colorless gas with a "bitter almond" odor. Cyanide can be found in some foods and plants. It is found in cigarettes and is used to make plastics, photographs, extract gold from ore, and kill unwanted insects.
Cyanide was used in ancient times, and in the modern world it was a method of death. Poisoning can occur by inhalation, ingestion and even touching, causing symptoms such as convulsions, respiratory failure and, in severe cases, death, which can occur within minutes. It kills by binding to iron in blood cells, making them unable to carry oxygen.
6. Mercury and mercury poisoning
There are three forms of mercury that can be potentially hazardous: elemental, inorganic, and organic. Elemental mercury, which is found in mercury thermometers, old fillings, and fluorescent lamps, is non-toxic to contact but can be fatal if inhaled.
Inhalation of mercury vapor (metal quickly turns to gas at room temperature) affects the lungs and brain, shutting down the central nervous system.
Inorganic mercury, which is used to make batteries, can be fatal if swallowed, causing kidney damage and other symptoms. Organic mercury, found in fish and seafood, is usually hazardous with prolonged exposure. Poisoning symptoms can include memory loss, blindness, seizures, and others.
7. Strychnine and strychnine poisoning
Strychnine is a white, odorless, bitter, crystalline powder that can be ingested, inhaled, in solution, and when administered intravenously.
It is obtained from the seeds of the Chilibuhi tree (Strychnos nux-vomica), which grows in India and Southeast Asia. Although it is often used as a pesticide, it can also be found in drugs such as heroin and cocaine.
The degree of strychnine poisoning depends on the amount and route of entry into the body, but a small amount of this poison is enough to cause a serious condition. Poisoning symptoms include muscle cramps, respiratory failure and even brain death 30 minutes after exposure.
8. Arsenic and arsenic poisoning
Arsenic, which is the 33rd element in the periodic table, has long been synonymous with poison. It was often used as a favorite poison in political assassinations, as arsenic poisoning resembled the symptoms of cholera.
Arsenic is considered a heavy metal with properties similar to those of lead and mercury. In high concentrations, it can lead to symptoms of poisoning such as abdominal pain, cramps, coma and death. In small amounts, it can contribute to a number of diseases, including cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.
9. Curare Venom
Curare is a mixture of various South American plants that has been used to make poison arrows. Curare has been used medicinally in a highly diluted form. The main poison is an alkaloid, which causes paralysis and death, as well as strychnine and hemlock. However, after respiratory paralysis occurs, the heart may continue to beat.
Death from curare is slow and painful, as the victim remains conscious, but cannot move or speak. However, if artificial respiration is applied before the poison settles, the person can be saved. The Amazon tribes used curare to hunt animals, but the poisoned animal meat was not dangerous for those who ate it.
Fortunately, the chances of encountering this poison are very small. The batrachotoxin, found in the skin of tiny poison dart frogs, is one of the most potent neutrotoxins in the world.
The frogs themselves do not produce poison; it accumulates from the foods they consume, mainly small bugs. The most dangerous content of the poison was found in a species of terrible leaf climber frogs that live in Colombia.
One representative contains enough batrachotoxin to kill two dozen people or several elephants. The poison attacks the nerves, especially around the heart, makes breathing difficult and quickly leads to death.