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Journal Article


Hermanns-Clausen M, Koch I, Pietsch J, Andresen-Streichert H, Begemann K. Bundesgesundheitsblatt Gesundheitsforschung Gesundheitsschutz 2019; 62(1): 73-83.

Vernacular Title

Akzidentelle Vergiftungen mit Gartenpflanzen und Pflanzen in der freien Natur : Daten aus zwei deutschen Giftinformationszentren.


Abteilung Exposition, Bundesinstitut für Risikobewertung, Berlin, Deutschland.


(Copyright © 2019, Holtzbrinck Springer Nature Publishing Group)






BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Accidental exposure of children to plants occurs often and results in numerous calls to poison centres. The aim of this study was to identify outdoor plants that led to moderate or severe poisoning after accidental exposure and to identify patterns of paediatric plant exposures.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Human exposure data on accidental exposures provided by two German poison centres were retrospectively evaluated regarding the number and the routes of exposure. Special attention was turned to the kind and severity of symptoms. Based on these data a modified Litovitz factor was calculated.

RESULTS: Out of 42,344 confirmed exposures to 227 plant species, 39,346 (93%) were asymptomatic, 2415 (5.7%) experienced minor, 580 (1.3%) moderate and 3 (0.007%) severe symptoms. Twenty-six plant genera were responsible for 70% of all exposures. Only eight of these plants (Arum spec., Laburnum anagyroides, Narcissus spec., Phaseolus vulgaris/coccineus, Prunus laurocerasus, Sambucus spec., Taxus baccata, Thuja spec.) led to at least moderate symptoms. Accidental exposure of children aged 0.5-5 years was mainly by oral ingestion (98%) and involved mostly fruits (60%).

CONCLUSIONS: Exposure data collected by poison centres are very useful for hazard identification of outdoor plants. The data give a comprehensive overview of observed symptoms, which offers valuable instruments for use in clinical practice.

Language: de


Berries; Children; Hazardous plants; Ingestion; Toxicity


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