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Banner poison experts warn of increase in ‘yard mushroom’ exposures, toxic toads

PHOENIX (August 19, 2021) – With all the rain from the recent monsoons, the Banner Poison and Drug Information Center is warning Valley residents to be on alert for Clorophyllum molybdites, or “yard mushrooms” and other species growing across Arizona. These fungi grow throughout Arizona and much of the United States, especially on grassy lawns. They may look like other, edible mushrooms, but if eaten can cause vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain within a couple of hours.

“This is the most common mushroom found in Maricopa County and can cause severe gastrointestinal distress for both humans and animals,” states Maureen Roland, managing director of the Banner Poison Center.

Monsoon rains in Arizona have also brought an increased presence of Sonoran Desert toads, or Bufo alvarius. These toads produce a toxin, released through glands, which can be dangerous to humans and pets if inhaled or ingested. “Leave these toads alone and be sure to keep your dogs away from them,” states Roland, who is also a nurse.

“In higher elevations, there are more dangerous mushroom species that can cause severe illness if ingested, including liver or kidney failure,” reports Dr. Daniel Brooks, medical director of the Banner Poison Center. “In general, it is best not to pick wild mushrooms to eat unless you are a trained, professional mycologist.” 

If you or someone you know has been exposed to any poison, medication, chemical or bite/sting, please call the poison center immediately at 1-800-222-1222. The poison center’s nurses, pharmacists and physicians can answer questions and help determine if medical treatment is necessary. 

As one of the largest nonprofit health care systems in the country, the team at Banner Health is committed to ensuring all Banner locations are a safe place for care. Headquartered in Phoenix, Banner Health owns and operates 30 acute-care hospitals and an array of other services, including: Banner Imaging, Banner Telehealth and Banner Urgent Care. Team members are dedicated to protecting the health and safety of patients, be it a routine checkup, elective surgery or an urgent health service. Waiting room and employee workstation layouts maintain proper social distancing; screenings are conducted at hospital entrances to verify that all employees and visitors are well; and, all Banner physicians are equipped to visit patients remotely. Learn more about Banner's commitment to safety at


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