According to the American Academy of Dermatology, each year 10 to 50 million Americans develop an allergic rash after contact with Poison Oak, Poison Ivy and Poison Sumac Plants. The invisible oily resin called urushiol causes the ill effects of these poisonous plants.
Approximately 85% of the general population will develop an allergy if exposed to poison ivy, oak or sumac. It takes just 50 micrograms of urushiol, the sap oil of these native plants, which is less than one grain of table salt, for anyone to develop a rash. Get the facts and effective solutions to protect yourself from poisonous plants!
MYTH: Allergic reactions to poisonous plants like poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac are quite rare.
FACT: When the oil comes in contact with the skin, an allergic reaction may occur causing an itchy red rash with bumps or blisters. The rash, depending upon where it occurs and how broadly it is spread, may significantly impede or prevent a person from working.
MYTH: It is difficult to come in contact with the sap from poisonous plants while working near it.
FACT: Brushing against an intact plant will not cause an allergic reaction but these specific plants tend to be quite fragile. Stems or leaves can be damaged by the wind, animals or insects causing the sap oil to be released even if it is just bruised. The leaves are also tenderer in the spring and summer months lending it to an increased vulnerability. The sap can also be easily transferred onto tools, animals, clothing and shoes while working near the plant.
MYTH: Wearing long sleeves, long pants and gloves are the only ways to protect against poisonous plants.
FACT: Barrier products along with clothing provide the best solution for protection against any outdoor irritant. Ivy X Pre-Contact Skin Solution creates an invisible barrier that dries quickly and is non-greasy, sticky or clay-like, which is found in other products. There is also no wait time, simply apply Ivy X Pre-Contact to exposed skin and immediately start your outdoor task. Ivy X Pre-Contact is almost unnoticeable on the skin and washes off easily with soap and water.
MYTH: Soap and water easily removes poisonous plant oils.
FACT: Standard soap and water will not emulsify poisonous plant oils. Ivy X Post-Contact Skin Cleanser is effective in assisting the removal of poisonous plant oils (Urushiol) found in poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac. Our specialized Cleanser is designed to be “Wetter than Water” to start the emulsifying process to assist in removing plant oils before they have time to cause the uncomfortable rash, blisters and itching commonly associated with poisonous plants. Apply to all exposed areas within 1 hour of coming in contact with poisonous plants.
MYTH: The sap from poisonous plants does not remain active on clothing or tools.
FACT: Urushiol, the sap oil from poisonous plants, can remain active on the surface of objects for up to 5 years. Standard soap and water will not emulsify poisonous plant oils even on objects. It is recommended to use Ivy X Post Contact Cleanser as a laundry additive to help clean contaminated clothing. Tools and equipment that have been contaminated should also be cleaned before reuse to minimize exposure to potential poisons.
MYTH: It is the sole responsibility of all outdoor workers to obtain poisonous plant protection.
FACT: Per OSHA Rules 1926.28(a) and 1910.132, it is the responsibility of the employer to develop and implement a Skin Protection Wellness Program that provides the employee protection from all known environmental hazards. More and more risk management and human resource team in the American Workforce are exploring ways to develop safe, effective and affordable Skin Wellness Programs. CoreTex Products offers a complete line of complementary skin protection products specifically formulated to keep employees protected while working outdoors. This includes everything from sunscreen and lip balm to poison ivy barriers & cleansers and insect repellent protection to an antibacterial hand sanitizer. Not only are these products of the highest quality available.
Seasonal warm months pose special hazards for outdoor workers who should protect themselves against heat, sun exposure, and other hazards. Employers and employees should know the potential hazards in their workplaces and how to manage them.