FOX 47 - Health News
Donna Lotzer is poison education coordinator for UW Hospital in Madison. She says there are a lot of myths about holiday poisons, starting with mistletoe and holly.
"Mistletoe is good for kissing," she said. "You'll notice nowadays mistletoe has plastic leaves and real fruit, or real leaves and plastic fruit. That's because it was believed eating a single berry or leaf could be highly toxic."
Not true, Lotzer says, unless you eat a couple bushels.
Poinsettia plants have gotten a bad reputation over the years as being poisonous. Not so, experts say, but the white substance inside can be irritating, and if it gets on your skin, you should wash it off.
When it comes to real dangers, what you put on your Christmas tree could put you at risk, especially old tinsel.
"If it's material which is soft, and breaks easily, it very well may be lead-containing tinsel," Lotzer said. "Modern tinsel is plastic."
Lotzer says you should also forgo decorative bubble lights, which contain methylene chloride, a dangerous chemical.
"If you get it on your skin or inhale it, it's irritating but it's also known to be a carcinogen."
If you have a poison emergency during the holidays, you can call 1-800-222-1222 for help.
Online reporting by Jeff Angileri
Health Tips Text Club
Get once a week health tips, free screenings, medical news sent to your phone. Just text HEALTH TO 58447. Standard message & data rates may apply, text HELP for help, text STOP to quit, must be 18.
Top Health Headlines (foxnews.com)
|FDA warns of infections tied to Tennessee pharmacy|
Government health officials are investigating several health problems reported with potentially contaminated medications made by a Tennessee specialty pharmacy.
|Foods that trigger headaches|
For many headache and migraine sufferers, certain foods can act as triggers
|8 things you only ask Google|
Top doctors explain your most embarrassing symptoms.
|Pregnancy hormone may predict postpartum depression risk|
Levels of a stress hormone released by the placenta could predict a woman's risk of developing postpartum depression, new research suggests.
|Portland's fluoride debate: Is adding fluoride to drinking water dangerous?|
On Wednesday, the city of Portland, Ore., overwhelmingly voted down a proposal to add fluoride to the city’s drinking water. The main reason given by anti-fluoride voters? Concern over adding a potentially dangerous chemical to the city’s natural water. But what does the science say?
Tonight on FOX 47
5:00pm Family Feud
5:30pm Big Bang Theory
6:00pm Two and a Half Men
8:00pm Brain Games: Blow Your Mind
9:00pm FOX 47 News at 9
9:35pm Everybody Loves Raymond
10:05pm Two and a Half Men
11:05pm The Simpsons
11:35pm 30 Rock