NEVER Burn Poison Ivy

Aug 11, 2018

Credit SC Public Radio

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. I spoke with a young mother last week whose husband works for the US Forestry Department. He’s been sent out west to help fight the dangerous and extensive fires that are burning thousands of acres in that part of the country. In addition to the dangers that automatically come to mind, fire fighters are at risk for getting skin irritations from encountering poison ivy. More seriously, they may inhale smoke from burned plants which contains the urushiol compound which causes reactions in most people. If inhaled, this smoke can cause serious lung injury. This is one reason you should never, ever burn plant debris if there’s any chance it could contain poison ivy. The roots, vines and leaves all contain this compound. The best way to discard plant material that may be contaminated is at your county’s landfill site which accepts yard debris.