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Re: Help: rashes caused by handling produce

Below is a message I forwarded to John Hendrick.
Can anyone tell me whether my memory is

    I am reminded of an article I read a few
years ago about the dangers of handling parsnips,
celery and plants in the same family. The effect
is evident from handling these plants when they 
have begun to wilt, and doesn't occur when they
are fresh.  The article mentioned that it was
an occupational hazard of "produce handlers" and
that the risk was well known there.  The article
did not mention rash but did say that the risk
was from skin cancer.  (Probably not melanoma,
but one of the other ones-Jim)
    All the above is from memory, of an article
I read 6-7 years ago. Hope it helps you track
down the source of the problem.  I think it is
a serious health issue, and I have always been
careful handling celery, parsnips, parsley, since
reading the article.


>The produce manager at a food cooperative in Madison, Wisconsin is
>desperately trying to find out why she and many of her staff have
>been suffering from serious rashes on their hands and arms over the
>past few years or more.  They believe they've narrowed it down to
>their handling of either watermelons or celery that is not certified
>organic (i.e., "commercial").  They're concerned about long-term
>effects; some are already left with scars from the rash.  Does
>anyone out there have any information on this?  Is this common in
>produce retail?  I'll forward her your replies, thankyou.
>John Hendrickson
>Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems
>University of Wisconsin-Madison
>1450 Linden Drive, Room 146
>Madison, WI  53706
>(608) 265-3704
>FAX (608) 265-3020

Jim Wright
Box 129
Lougheed Alberta Canada
T0B 2V0
403 386-2479