contamination of edible mushrooms?

dwheeler at dwheeler at
Sat Sep 27 11:51:07 EST 1997

In article <19970920033301.XAA29381 at>,
  selkirks at (SELKIRKS) wrote:
> Hmmmm....  First, before I ever eat an edible, I am always 100% positive
> in my identification.  I mention this to you because you state, "I have
> what ***appear*** to be Coprinus micaceous..."  Secondly, there are enough
> edibles out and about in pristine places that if I even suspect that
> something as possibly being contaminated, I don't risk it.  Try taking
> pictures instead...
> T. G.

WARNING: to reply to author, remove seedling tree, period. Control spam!

Even fungi which are 100% positively identified can be toxic. For
example, the Coprinus micaceous cited above can concentrate lead from
auto emissions. Thus these fungi SHOULD NOT be gathered near
well-traveled roads.

Fungi also are known to concentrate heavy metals, sometimes in toxic
amounts. After Chernobyl, some canned mushrooms were confiscated after
they set off a geiger counter while going through airport customs!

Members of the Coprinus genera are noted for their production of a
chemical which toxifies alcohol. This reversal can be quick and sudden. A
person eating a meal of pasta and Coprinus atramentarius with a glass of
wine, for example, can walk out of restaurant sober, but be legally drunk
before starting their car! Anabuse was first found in Coprinus mushrooms.

Daniel B. Wheeler

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