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Dangers Lurking in the Garden in Britain

Gardening is a wonderful hobby but one has to take care of the dangers that lurk in your garden. There are a number of hazardous and harmful plants that children and the adult alike fall prey to.

The poison ivy, for example is the most common of them all. This weedy plant, each year causes more than 350,000 reported cases of human contact dermatitis in Britain. This year, an increase in the concentration of carbon dioxide in the air has contributed to an abundant crop with a more powerful toxin.

The extremely itchy plant not only causes blisters but also the exposure to the plant is quite harmful.

In 2003, according to an authoritative new book, poison control centers nationwide received more than 57,000 calls relating to exposure to potentially harmful plants, and 85 percent of them involved children under age 6. Most, however, were considered simply exposures; either no toxin was ingested or the amount consumed was too small to be harmful.

Dr. Lewis S. Nelson, Dr. Richard D. Shih and Michael J. Balick, have produced a book called the 'Handbook of Poisonous and Injurious Plants'. This book will be quite useful for health care professionals identify and treat plant-caused injuries. It will also be a guide to the ordinary people who dirty their hands and knees in their gardens.

The generously illustrated book highlights hundreds of troublesome plants, providing photographs and written descriptions, common names, geographic distributions, toxic parts and toxins, effects on the body and information on medical management.

Many of the potentially dangerous plant present in an ordinary garden include aloe, elephants ear, jade, peace lily (Spathiphyllum), philodendron and dumbcane (Dieffenbacchia), as well as foxglove (Digitalis purpurea), hellebore, vinca, rhododendron and chrysanthemum.

Many of these dangerous plants have medicinal values and are useful in keep
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