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Verify: Yes, mistletoe and poinsettias are toxic

For adults and children, mistletoe can be highly toxic. For our furry friends, the European version of mistletoe is also toxic for dogs.

SACRAMENTO, Calif — It's that time of year again, people are decorating their homes for the holidays. Among those decorations may be mistletoe and poinsettias, common plants for the holiday season.

But, a recent press release from the California Office of Emergency Services suggests keeping these plants, as well as Jerusalem cherry and amaryllis away from children. 

Around the same time, the Lucky Dog Training Club tweeted berries from live mistletoe are poisonous to dogs

THE QUESTION

Are poinsettias and mistletoe toxic to people and animals? 

THE SOURCES

THE ANSWER

This is true.

Yes, poinsettias and mistletoe toxic to people and animals.

WHAT WE FOUND

For adults and children, mistletoe can be highly toxic, according to an article by Dr. Joe Schwarcz from McGill University. What about the plant that's synonymous with kissing loved ones toxic? Mistletoe contains viscotoxins, which are small proteins that have the ability to kill cells. 

Poinsettias are less toxic than once believed, but according to the Mayo Clinic, can still cause rashes and other discomfort if you come in contact with it. 

But what about our furry friends? Mistletoe — more so the European version as opposed to the American version — is toxic if ingested, according to the Pet Poison Helpline.

And just like with humans, poinsettias are mildly toxic to pets.

"While poinsettias are commonly 'hyped' as poisonous plants, they rarely are, and the poisoning is greatly exaggerated," the Pet Poison Helpline says online.

So we can Verify that those decoration you have in your home may be toxic to adults, kids and pets. 

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