This plant releases a concentrated oil known as urushiol which even in the smallest dosage can cause massive inflammatory damage to exposed flesh.
Despite common belief POISON IVY IS NOT CONTAGIOUS after the infection has been created. It cannot be passed on if the wound is touched, nor does the secretion from the wound cause infection it is merely water, small doses of potassium, and puss. Poison ivy is noted for its 3 distinct leaves and can be found in any environment at any time of the year. typically it occurs in large patches near the perimeter of fields and overgrowth and is most likely to be found in a sunny environment as opposed to deep inside a canopy woods.
Poison ivy should not be handled in any way and under no circumstances should you try to remove the weed with your bare hands. the oil is more potent at the roots and stems then it is on the leaves. Do not mow or burn over the plant as it will release the oil in a vapor form which can then enter your lungs and cause severe inflammation:
If you know you just had contact with the plant DO NOT TOUCH ANY PART OF YOUR BODY: the oil is spread after contact this way. Immediately wash the infected area with COLD WATER (as cold water closes your pores and keeps the oil from entering, warm water will open the pores) use soap...