It's getting colder outside and a nice
warm fire in the fireplace sounds good. You venture outside and
grab some cut firewood and toss it in the fireplace. The only
problem is there was a dead poison ivy vine wrapped around it. This
could be very dangerous.
It is tempting to burn a poison ivy or oak plant when you want
to get rid of it for good, but do not ever burn
them! The poison plant oil called urushiol can burn, and
you can inhale the toxin. This could cause a very severe allergic
According to the Wildland Firefighter Magazine website,
inhalation of burning poison ivy and oak plants is common among
firefighters although much less common among the general
population. The heavy particles of the smoke contain urushiol,
which will fall down in soot form and can be inhaled. The lungs can
swell, cause coughing, and extreme irritation and swelling in the
throat. It can also cause blisters that break and run.
Know where your firewood is coming from. If you have freshly
chopped firewood that may have been growing near poison ivy or oak,
be careful and think twice about burning it. Also if you have
broken out in a poison ivy or oak rash after handling firewood,
that may be because the plant's oil is on the surface of the
If you think you may have inhaled burning poison ivy or oak,
seek medical attention immediately. Only a medical
professional can administer proper treatment in such a case.