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Disposing of a fallen tree wrapped with dead but alive poison ivy

catmeds's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 8

02-21-18, 12:16 PM   #1  
Disposing of a fallen tree wrapped with dead but alive poison ivy

I took what I now realize was very minimal precautions cutting up a 15 foot fallen tree with a hairy ivy vine wrapped around it. Even with gloves, fully clothed and Technu for the afterwards, I'm inflicted from face to feet. A week after I still had to go to Urgent Care. But, now that I'm slowly recovering I have the issue of hauling the tree away. I cut everything up that I can load it into the truck and dispose of it at local recycling center.

Problem is that I'm terrified of this tree. Being a working girl having to face clients everyday has been horrible for me covered in this stuff. People asked if I had shingles. I just need a somewhat fail proof plan of action to get this tree loaded and pulled off the truck without all this (or hopefully any) suffering again. Any ideas? Thank you, I'd appreciate any advice.

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Bud9051's Avatar

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02-21-18, 12:52 PM   #2  
Tough call cat, some people are more sensitive than others and it seems some plants are more potent than others, although it might be the time of year. My wild guess, as you are definitely sensitive to it, would be a head to toe suit as used by bee keepers or environmental workers. People who do asbestos abatement have disposable suits that are totally enclosed and probably not all that expensive since they are disposable.


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02-21-18, 02:39 PM   #3  
I get into poison ivy more weeks than not BUT if I wash up good within 15 minutes or so of the contact - I don't get a rash. I agree the better you cover the better off you'll be. Any friends/relatives you can enlist to help?

retired painter/contractor avid DIYer

Pilot Dane's Avatar
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02-21-18, 02:50 PM   #4  
My limit is one hour. I wear a long sleeve, pants, gloves and a sweatband or bandanna over my head to make sure I don't wipe my face. At about the 45 minute mark I 'm inside and strip off all my clothes and throw them directly into the washing machine and take a good soapy shower.

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02-21-18, 04:33 PM   #5  
I can relate, last winter I burned several trees that came down in a storm, one had vines and lucky it was a mild dose but had blisters head to toe even fully covered from the smoke.

Worst case hire someone!

Norm201's Avatar

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02-21-18, 06:49 PM   #6  
I echo Marq1 response. Have done professionally. I speak from experience. I am very, very susceptible to any of the poison plants. So much so that I fear possible permanent health or even death if its sever enough. Today's topical medicines are much better than before. But like others I shower as soon as possible if I think I came into contact. I learned that FELS NAPTHA soap does a very good job of cutting the urushiol, a clear liquid compound in the plant's sap. That is the poison.

edit: Well there goes that home remedy..."Fels-Naptha is an American brand of bar laundry soap used for pre-treating stains on clothing and formerly as an effective home remedy for exposure to poison ivy and other skin irritants. Fels-Naptha is manufactured by and is a trademark of the Dial Corporation, a subsidiary of Henkel. The soap was originally created around 1893 by Fels and Co. and was the first soap to include naphtha. The inclusion of naphtha made the soap very effective for cleaning laundry and dissolving the contagious oil of poison ivy, but was removed as a cancer risk."

cwbuff's Avatar

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02-22-18, 05:37 AM   #7  
Burning poison ivy can be extremely dangerous. A friend of mine decided to clean out some "brush" in an area of his yard. He made a pile and burned it. Apparently he stood downwind while it was burning. He spent almost a week in intensive care. His throat, mouth and nasal passages were all blistered. The Drs were even considering a tracheotomy to help him breath. I've never seen anything like it. His face swelled like a pumpkin.

I'm not especially reactive to poison ivy but like Mark I take precautions whenever I have to deal with it. Long sleeves and pants, gloves and eye protection as a minimum. Then it's immediately into the shower being very careful not to touch the outside of the clothes I'm wearing. Navy radiation decon training is very helpful here.

Mad Scientist's Avatar

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02-22-18, 06:00 AM   #8  
I would hire someone to load and haul the tree away. It will be a lot cheaper than another trip to the doctor.

After the ivy infested wood is hauled off, look around your property for more poison ivy. Roundup has stuff that kills poison ivy, oak, etc. that you need to buy and spray on any ivy you have left.

Here is some information about ivy ......


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02-22-18, 08:22 AM   #9  
Poison ivy stays potent for years after killing. Find someone to take everything away. Don't burn it.

YaddaYadda's Avatar

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02-27-18, 09:05 AM   #10  
This MIGHT help: My DW gets poison OAK, bad. After a year or so of eating honey from poison OAK blossoms....she does not get it. Or if she does, it is not nearly as bad as before.

I do not know if there is a honey made from poison IVY blossoms.....but why not ask around ?

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02-27-18, 10:34 AM   #11  
I think that the jury is still out on Poison Ivy Honey. It is not listed as one of the toxic honeys, and I could find no scientific evidence that it in any way prevents or lessens the severity of a poison ivy reaction. There does seem to be quite a bit of anecdotal evidence in internet blogs. I left a message for a beekeeper friend to get her opinion.

Supposedly the nectar of the flower contains no urushiol, the allergen that causes the reaction.

Norm201's Avatar

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02-27-18, 02:28 PM   #12  
Extended or repeated exposure to it does not reduce sensitivity, in fact the opposite takes place and sensitivity increases. I have no statistics but I do know of many incidences of people who have had lots of sun exposure as a kid who seem to be immune (my brother for instance being a life guard) that are immune to it. Coincidence? Maybe.

Fred_C_Dobbs's Avatar

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02-27-18, 04:04 PM   #13  
Plan #1: Get somebody else to do it for you. Advertise in the newspaper or on Craig's List for someone to do poison ivy removal.

If you didn't know, some people (5% - 50%, depending on the source) are not allergic to poison ivy. I don't know how many exactly but I know it's at least 1 because I'm not. I have knowingly been exposed many, many times and never once had the slightest reaction. All the better if you can find someone who isn't allergic.

Plan #2: Do it yourself while wearing proper protective clothing. The Spanish word for raincoat is "impermeable" (im-pehr-me-ah-blay), but the operative phrase for clearing poison ivy is the same word in English. Impermeable. As in impenetrable. Wear stuff that's waterproof AND non-breathable. Like el-cheapo, rubberized rain gear. Head to toe. And playtex gloves.

Treat it like it was a HazMat suit, which in this case it is. Have a plan before you start to take off all the impenetrable clothing once you're done without touching its exterior with exposed skin. Practice your plan to make sure you can get it off without touching anywhere you shouldn't. It's not a puzzle you'd want to have to be solving once the suit is contaminated.

Don't pull it off by grabbing at a hem or a cuff to pull because that could be spreading contamination to the underside (the protected side) of the suit. Pull on a bit of material you've pinched up with a gloved hand. I'm thinking it might be possible to pull off the jacket by reaching each hand across and grasping the collar on the opposite side, then pulling it up with both (gloved) hands and over your head. It largely would depend on whether you think you could get the collar area over your head without it touching bare skin. Continue pulling to turn the sleeves inside-out as they come off. Just like skinning a squirrel (and I'm sure you're familiar with how that's done ). Gloves come off last. Pinch up material below the cuff (but not the cuff itself) and turn both cuffs well down (and inside-out) before pulling either glove off. Then when you remove the first glove, you can safely grab the inside-put portion of the remaining glove with an unprotected hand to pull it the rest of the way off.

You supposedly can wash the toxin off the rain gear with hot water and dishwashing detergent (to make it safe to reuse), but then you've got contaminated water to dispose of, plus the container you've done the washing in. With the problems you've already had, I'd just throw it out and write the whole thing off to experience.

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