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Poison Ivy

Tom McCloud McCloud at dtpax2.ncifcrf.gov
Mon Jul 14 11:14:35 EST 1997

Jesco Lincke wrote:
> Does anybody know where I can get information about the toxic effects of
> poison ivy on humans. Is it only skin irritating or really poisonous?

A good library will have a copy of the Merck Index, probably in the
reference section.
In it, look up the compound urushiol.  This is the chemical which is
responsible for the severe skin irritation that some people get from
poison ivy and some other plants.  In this description there are a
number of references you can follow for additional information. 
Urushiol is not a 'poison', as in toxic, but does cause of a
severe allergic reaction in some people.   Tom McCloud

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