Plant exposures ... a national profile of the most common plant genera.Vet Hum Toxicol. 1997 Aug; 39(4):248-9.VH
Plant exposures are the 4th most common cause of poisoning and 85% of those exposures involve the pediatric population. The large number of plant-related exposures and the lack of knowledge about plant toxicity has led to plant paranoia and considerable educational efforts to reduce the number of exposures. These efforts are often dictated by misconceptions and folklore. American Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC) data on all plant exposures for the years 1985-1994 were electronically analyzed by plant genus to establish a frequency distribution of all plant exposures in the United States. A total of 912,534 plant exposure cases were analyzed to tabulate the top 100 plant exposures. Philodendron spp were the most common exposures, followed by Dieffenbachia spp, Euphorbia spp, Capsicum spp and Ilex spp. Plant exposures are very common and poison information centers devote significant clinical service and educational effort to manage these exposures and enhance the public's awareness. Awareness of specific plant species and exposure frequency in a poison center region can serve as a basis for staff education and as the cornerstone for the development of appropriate information in poison prevention and education brochures. This can direct better utilization of poison center financial resources.