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If you’ve ever had the extreme displeasure of getting a reaction to poison ivy, oak, or sumac, you know that it is an unforgettable experience. There’s a good reason why the root word for these plants (toxicodendron) essentially means “poison tree”. The urushiol oil that these plants excrete can be extremely irritating to the skin, and can be especially dangerous if ingested or inhaled.

For these reasons, we’ve got a few pointers that can help you avoid the negative impact that these plants could have on your life. First, and perhaps most importantly, never burn these plants in a fire. The smoke can be dangerous to you, your family, and your neighborhood. Second, if you find that you need to remove these plants from your property, it would probably be a good idea to wear gloves and long sleeves. As soon as you get back in the house, wash these clothes immediately, and take a hot shower.

Hopefully, these brief pointers can help you avoid the annoying and potentially dangerous effects of poison ivy, oak, and sumac.

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