On Fri, 9 Apr 2010 14:18:37 -0700 (PDT), mike wrote:
I wish! I really do. If you can find a reliable reference that says that,
I'd love to read it thoroughly as (see below), it has been proven to be
infectius for more than a century after the plants died (dendritic samples
The urushiol is in every part of the plant (even tiny hairs on the stem):
Only a few molecules are needed to cause a rash:
An amount the size of the tip of a needle can cause a rash:
Some assert urushiol is infectious forever:
"The oil from poison ivy is extremely stable and will stay potent -
Others show examnples where urushiol infectivity lasts a century:
"For stability urushiol has few equals-it has been found active in dried
plants that date back more than 100 years."
Yet others assert urushiol is infectious only for a few years:
"Urushiol oil can remain active for several years, so handling dead leaves
or vines can cause a reaction."
It's way too steep to get a bulldozer or bobcat from what I've been told.
It's hard enough to climb in there on foot, as it is.
On Apr 9, 2:42 pm, Elmo <dcdraftwo...@Use-Author-Supplied-
Your plants aren't going to be stored inside, dried. They'll be
subject to weather (sun, water, fungus, bugs, bacteria).
Quote: :It usually takes a year or so before the toxic properties
On Fri, 9 Apr 2010 14:55:07 -0700 (PDT), mike wrote:
That's a very interesting article, which says urushiol "is very stable, and
dead and dried material is as hazardous to sensitive people as an
actively-growing plant. It is equally active in the dead of winter. Many
people have caught poison ivy from dead poison ivy plants. It usually takes
a year or so before the toxic properties weather away".
Even though the urushiol in poison oak is different than that in poison ivy
(http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jo00215a002 ), your point is valid,
that the urushiol might "weather away" (whatever that means). I suppose it
oxidizes to something other than urushiol.
I'm digging in google to try to find what that weathering mechanism might
be as it's mighty interesting because that might actually be a way to
combat it. Maybe we can hasten that 'weathering' to a few days instead of
to a few months or years?????
"Urushiol is an oily substance contained in the sap and when it is exposed
to humidity and warmth, an enzyme is activated that extracts oxygen from
water and supplies it to the urushiol. Then the urushiol solidifies, which
forms a hard film."
The Japanese have mastered a way to make Urushiol non inflammatory:
Even so, the thicket is so thick that a human can't walk through it and it
goes over twenty feet high (see the pictures previously posted):
So, I'm not sure how I would even think of applying a herbicide to kill
huge amounts plants I can't even get to without hacking my way through
But I do thank you for the idea. So far we've gotten a few good ideas. And,
if we can find a way to inactivate the urushiol from the toxicodendron in
less than a few months' time (i.e., hasten the weathering), we'd all be
doing the world a favor!
On Fri, 9 Apr 2010 22:14:11 +0000 (UTC), Elmo wrote:
While digging up, I found another reference to centuries-old "preserved"
specimens causing contact dermititis in people sensitive to urushiol.
Here's the reference said about PRESERVED specimens (i.e., not weathered):
"The urushiol can remain potent for months, even years. One resource
records that centuries-old preserved specimens of poison oak caused
dermatitis to people sensitive to urushiol. Urushiol can remain active on
dead plants for as much as 5 years, and on unwashed clothing for a year or
I'm surprised the urushiol remained potent far longer on outdoor plants (5
years) than on indoor unwashed clothing (1 or 2 years); but one take away
is that just killing the plant doesn't solve the problem of needing gloves
to remove the huge piles of dead plants blocking access.
But, I'm liking the bulldozer idea more and more as we speak ...
Based on previous threads here, and a few real-world stories- running a
bulldozer anywhere near flowing water is fraught with bureaucratic and
legal peril, leastways if a neighbor gets a burr up their butt about it,
like if you make the water start running muddy, or if the creek supports
any lifeforms. Corps of Engineers, state DNR, state and federal EPA,
local drain district authority, the list is endless.
No, common sense has nothing to do with it.
Yeah it can get interesting depending on where you are and what you do.
The stream that runs behind my place is a "Class 2 trout habitat" Get
caught in the stream with any machinery (other than a farm tractor
crossing the stream) and the state gets nasty.
So DON'T get CAUGHT!!!!!
Work gloves? Who needs work gloves? I'm lucky enough to be pretty damn near
immune to the stuff, and I just pull it out with my bare hands. Ask around --
maybe someone you know is like me, and would be willing to pull it for you in
exchange for work on his place, or beer and pizza, or a sawbuck or three...
If you live in the Indianapolis area, maybe we can work something out. Email
doug at milmac dot com.
On Fri, 09 Apr 2010 20:32:26 GMT, Doug Miller wrote:
I'm in the chaparral country, nowhere near the lush forests.
But let me advise you of something important ... there are only two kinds
of people with respect to poison oak/ivy:
- Those who have been sensitized (and therefore who get the rash) ...
- And ... those you have yet to be sensitized (but are never immune)!
The bad news (for you) is that you are never immune to cell mediated
immunities such as that which urushiol causes - you just haven't been hit
with enough oil for your particular immune system to react (lucky you!).
Putting it another way, you just have a "lousy" immune system (luckily for
you), which doesn't react to the doses you have encountered so far in your
life. But, trust me (look it up if you don't believe me), you WILL get
poison oak eventually if you're exposed to the urushiol enough.
Nobody is "immune"; some just haven't gotten a good enough dose to make
their immune system react ... and once it reacts ... it never forgets.
Note: If you're on immunosuppressants, then you might not react even after
having been sensitized.
Wrong. Some people simply don't react to it (or don't react much). I'm in that
That's exactly my point. I'm one of the lucky ones whose immune system won't
react unless it gets an almost impossibly high exposure.
The point is that for some people, including me, "enough" is a very, very
large amount, much more than it's possible to get.
I once spent an entire day tearing the stuff out of a fenceline, barehanded.
By early afternoon, it had gotten hot enough that I stripped off my shirt. I
took no precautions whatever -- I'd been exposed to it enough as a teenager,
and not reacted, that I had no reason to worry. Shoving the stuff into
trashbags, I had my arms in it up to the shoulders. I was wearing cutoff
jeans, too, BTW, so no protection below mid-thigh, or above the waist.
That's a hell of a dose.
Four days later, I had one dime-sized spot of rash on my chest, and another on
one forearm -- and that was it.
Years later, as I was changing the brakes on our car at the edge of the
driveway (again wearing cutoffs) my wife walked up and asked me if I knew I
was sitting in poison ivy. Looked down -- huh. So I am. Oh, well. She was
surprised I didn't move -- told her I've been sitting on that plant for half
an hour already, so it's too late to make a difference.
I'm 52 years old. The episode with the fenceline is the *only* time in my
life I've ever had *any* reaction to it.
That simply isn't true.
Neither is that.
My own experience shows that; I *did* react to it, though very, very mildly,
after the day on the fenceline, and, although I *know* I've been in contact
with it since (the brake job, for example, and just last year pulling weeds) I
have never reacted to it again, at all, ever.
On Fri, 09 Apr 2010 23:17:24 GMT, Doug Miller wrote:
I'm glad you don't get a serious reaction to poison oak. You're one of the
I did base my statements on research, e.g., see this which said almost
exactly what I said:
"There are only two kinds of people: Those who get Poison Oak, and those
who are going to get it."
However, I did read what you wrote which is that you get it very slightly
and that you've been heavily exposed many times. (BTW, if you've seen the
black marks all over your clothes, as if someone attacked you with a black
marker, then you've been heavily exposed, in my opinion.)
Anyway, as I said, I'm very glad you are only slightly reactive to poison
oak urushiol. I hope, as you said, that it's a nearly permanent immunity as
almost all articles say the apparent immunity changes over time:
"Everybody including the "immune" should be cautious, because "immunity" to
poison oak may change. The term "immune" is a bit figurative, because it's
the immune system that generates the minor and severe rashes from poison
But, in the end, you probably don't have a whole lot of special effort
T-cells for the poison oak allergen. Lucky for you!
Unfortunatly for me, and many others, I get it 100% of the time that cut
and visibly oozing poison oak stems come in contact with my skin. My
clothes are covered in black marks (see the pictures I originally posted of
my gloves, for example, which were only used a few times before they were
covered in black marks).
There are hand creams on the market that you can apply in advance, and wash
off afterward. Mechanics use this type of thing to make hand washing easier
at the end of the day. I understand fire fighters also use this stuff when
they have to go into a burning area with poison oak.
On Fri, 9 Apr 2010 19:20:17 -0700, Leo Lichtman wrote:
The use of hand cremes on the knees and ankles might prevent Toxicodendron
dermatitis in those unexpected spots.
I sometimes find when the urushiol is so thick, it leaves black oxidized
marks on my ankles after a few hours tromping around as noted here:
Then, the Rhus Dermititis rash is almost certain to occur.
If I had put a hand creme all over my body, especially my knees and ankles,
maybe it would have prevented these unexpected infections.
"Elmo" wrote: (clp) If I had put a hand creme all over my body, especially
my knees and ankles,
Putting it all over the body seems a bit extreme, but--whatever it takes.
Realize, of course, that you are comparing a whole body treatment to the
wearing of gloves. I would try using the cream on hands, forearms and other
areas where you have experienced the problem, and rely on some kind of
coveralls for full body protection.
On Sat, 10 Apr 2010 11:44:13 -0700, Leo Lichtman wrote:
I didn't mention it but I subscribe to the multi-layer approach with
respect to the whole body.
So I wear long pants and a long-sleeved shirt under my mechanics overalls
(coveralls?). And I wear nitrile gloves under the goatskin gauntlet style
mig/tig welding gloves.
Still, I'm so covered in the urushiol catechols that my wrists have visible
phenolic black marks from scrapes with the oxidized and polymerized
urushiol, especially when it's wet or when I sweat a lot.
So, the hand creme might be a good third layer on my wrists.
About the only part of my body exposed to the elements is my face, neck,
and ears ... but for some reason, they don't seem to get the rash as much
as my wrists, between my fingers, and on my ankles and toes.
On Sat, 10 Apr 2010 01:20:01 GMT, Doug Miller wrote:
Based on what it says in this web site, you and your older son probably
react onlty to three or more degrees of saturation on the carbon chain
hanging off the urushiol catechol while your son and sinister in law likely
react to the unsaturated chain or one or two degrees of saturation:
"The allergic reaction is dependent on the degree of unsaturation of the
alkyl chain. Less than half of the general population reacts with the
saturated urushiol alone, but over 90% react with urushiol containing at
least two degrees of unsaturation (double bonds)."
On Sat, 10 Apr 2010 01:20:01 GMT, Doug Miller wrote:
For your sake though, you should not tramp through the poison oak with
Notice Wayne himself, in Waynesworld, says he used to be immune ... until
"Caution: Cutting and sanding poison oak wood is extremely unwise and
hazardous--even if you think you are immune to its dermatitis. This is how
one of the authors (WPA) was rudely initiated into the ranks of poison oak
sufferers, after tramping through it for decades with impunity."
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