The myths and rumors about how toxic the poinsettia plant is are very common late in the year, around the holiday season, when the popular red leaved plants take center stage as festive holiday decorations. While the genus otherwise known as the (Euphorbia) to which the poinsettia plant loves does have some highly toxic plants, the popular plant poinsettia itself is not a toxic plant. Some sources say that the rumor about the dangers of poinsettia leaves to a case of poisoning in 1919 that led to the death of a young two year-old child. At the time, the cause of the poisoning was incorrectly determined to be a poinsettia leaf.

The primary resource used by the major of poison control centers nationwide state that a child who weighed 50 pounds would have to eat well over 500 poinsettia leaves to reach an even potential toxic dose of compounds in the poinsettia plant. Doctors conducted a study of 22,793 reported cases of poinsettia exposures, the majority of reported cases (93%) of which occurred in children and found that 92% of those who were exposed did not even develop any symptoms at all. 96% of those who were exposed were not even treated in a health care facility. Furthermore, no deaths resulting from the poinsettia ingestion have ever been documented. There has been some false determinations, but these were later corrected.

Even though an accidental ingestion of poinsettia plant leaves will not damage your body or kill you, it could still lead to nausea and vomiting in some rare cases. Since the taste of the poinsettia plant leaves is reportedly very unpleasant, it is very unquestionably that a child or an animal who attempts to eat or chew the plant leaves will continue to do so after the first taste. While ingestion of any house plants is never a very good idea some popular plants can be extremely dangerous when eaten. Parents and care givers of young children can be assured that the poinsettia plants leaves are not a dangerous risk in the home.

So in conclusion, the answer to is it fact or fiction that poinsettia plant leaves are dangerous, the answer would be no. It is that time of year again, so have no concerns about setting out a poinsettia plant as part of your holiday decorations. This study was conducted by doctors at the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Poison Center.