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Health & Science

Health Agencies Warn of Poisonous Mushrooms in Northeast Ohio

Amanita phalloides, commonly known as death caps, account for the majority of fatal mushroom poisonings worldwide.

Health agencies are warning Northeast Ohioans of an increase in poisonous mushrooms growing in the area. The humid summer caused mushrooms of all kinds to bloom in large numbers, and the Cleveland Clinic says eating toxic ones can cause serious health problems.

Some of the poisonous types, like death caps and death angels, can damage liver cells and cause kidney failure. Pets are also at risk.

Another concern is the immigrant population in the area. Dan Torma from the International Institute of Akron says the organization is working with Summit County Public Health to warn immigrants and refugees who may come from countries where foraging for wild mushrooms is more common.

"Especially in rural communities overseas, that tends to be one means of sustainability, so you’re still living off the land, especially in farming communities," he said. "So in certain areas in some of the countries overseas that some of our refugees are coming from, that culture does exist.”

Torma says the Institute is translating documents and fliers that show pictures of the poisonous mushrooms and will add the warnings to cultural orientation sessions for new immigrants.