Scientific 'stepping-stones': Key Findings towards proving Camphor Laurel's increasingly toxic status/10-15 deadly toxins

CRC-Camphor Research Centre, Lismore, NSW, Australia. Cinnamomum camphora Nees et Eberm.

Date Finding/Scientific Findings Authority/Reference
1942 NSW Poisonous Plants Committee publishes book confirming the toxicity (to livestock) of Camphor laurels spread by NSW Gov' t since 1866. NSW Government & the Botanic Gardens-Sydney.
1955 NSW Poisonous Plants Committee abandoned by NSW Govt, coincident with first confirmed mass bird death at Bangalow, NSW Northern Rivers Prof. Lindsay Pryor, ANU (Forestry)(retd)
1998 Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, London, provides stated proof of toxin-exudation glands on most outer root surfaces of Camphor Laurels, for toxins to be seasonally excreted into soil water thence to waterways. U.K. Government, Chief Plant Physiologist and Botanists.
1999 Queensland Government Vet.Toxicologist provides official confirmation that horses die after eating the bark of particular Camphor' trees. QDPI -Yeerongpilly, Brisbane, QLD.
1999 Camphor Laurel leaf + twig oil, distilled from Goonengerry in Byron Shire, found to contain benzene-carcinogens and 0.6% napthalene (fish poison), plus volatile compounds , plus safrole (carcinogen). 'ATORI' at S.C.U., Phytochemistry Lismore NSW Australia
2000 Camphor laurel leaf( ex-NSW Northern Rivers) tested for toxicity to aquatic organisms, by C.S.I.R.0' s Key Centre for Advanced Analytical Chemistry and declared "extremely toxic" on key test micro-organisms. C. S. I. R.0., Lucas Heights Sydney NSW.
2001 Camphor' root-oil distilled from a representative sampling of Northern Rivers Camphor trees(Corndale & Mullumbimby), & proved to be more than 25% greater toxicity than Camphor leaf+twig oil prev. tested (2000). C. S. I. R. 0., Lucas Heights Sydney, NSW.
2001 Creek precipitate/s identified by AGAL-Sydney, as an as yet-unnamed sterol exuded by the roots of Camphor trees, a rusty-orange precipitate; nil biota capable of living in this chemical environment (/3 years obs.) excepting mosquitoes; streams first turn opaque- 'milky'.Aust. Government Analyt. Laboratories Sydney, NSW.
2001 United States and U.K. authorities ban all imports of Camphor laurel manufactured (Chinese) linaments & camphorated oils, including bark-oil known to contain 'suspicious compound-toxins' from CL-branchlet bark Martindale Textbook, Pharmocopaeia, Vol.31; ,page 1684.
2002 Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, London, issues a formal Report on the modified toxin excretion glands along twigs and young branchlets of new growth on most toxic Camphor Laurel types; leaves of known Birdkiller' Camphor tree in Lismore analysed to prove more than 93% camphor. U.K. Government, Chief Plant Physiologist and Botanists
2002 First-ever record of Lewin' s Honeyeaters, an omnivorous species at-the-base of the most-toxic known chemotype 'Bird Killer' Camphor laurel street-tree, in-drought time, Lismore;(Feb' /late-summer). Camphor laurel Research Centre, Lismore, NSW.
2002 First Lismore 'mass native bird death incident' , February heatwave; ;estimated 100 magpies, rosellas, galahs, and other spp. dead nr CL' s C.R.C.-Lismore, & LCC, Lismore City Council
2002 Observed death of Green-winged Dove-Pigeon, by vomiting & asphyxiation, Proved by dissection to reveal swollen Camphor' berry in bird' s pharynx*, less than 30mins to die. Camphor Research Centre staff, at The Channon
2002 US text books confirm that animals dying from camphor poisoning (in America) display primary symptoms of "vomiting & asphyxiation" .US Poisonous Plants Textbook ref.
2003 First koala dissected for analysis of blood and stomach content samples; camphor-smelling, and yellow-green contents colour; + frothing-at-mouth; 2. King Parrot dead 12 hours after consuming ripe CL berries (post-mortem), bird vomiting at pickup ,& left-side-paralysed ; Dr/Vet.,G. Tomkins (Friends of the Koala), Lismore, NSW.


Toxins contained by Camphor laurel as at September 2003

Camphor Laurel toxins

Published by Camphor Laurel Research Centre in association with Stop the Killer Camphors www.