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Be Safe with Holiday Evergreen Decorations

Posted: December 13th, 2011 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | No Comments »

During the holiday season, evergreen plants adorn houses all over the world.  For the northern climates, the outside can be dreary, cold and devoid of life.  Decorations of green-leaved plants and bright red berries add spark and life to our homes.  Through generations of tradition, decorative plants such as holly, mistletoe and occasionally the yew plant provide a backdrop that helps bring the holiday feeling alive. Read more »


Watch Out for Those Scary Berries!

Posted: July 20th, 2010 | Tags: , , , , , , , | No Comments »

By Erin Pallasch, PharmD and IPC Call Center Specialist

Recently, I set out on a quest to determine which would be the scariest berry ingestion a parent might call the Illinois Poison Center about.  There are many toxic berries out there, but the one I would be most concerned with would be the Chinaberry. The ingestion of only 6-8 berries has been reported as fatal in a child.  The good news is we don’t have any berries this toxic native to Illinois. Whew! Chinaberries have a large range of toxicity depending on the region they grow in and although these berries can be found in Hawaii, Texas and from Florida to Virginia, the fatalities reported have been from eating the African species. I’m relieved to know I am not likely to get a call about these berries here at the IPC, BUT we have plenty of berries native to Illinois to keep us quite busy.   Read more »