HELSINKI, Sept. 11 (Xinhua) -- Finnish health care officials are concerned with the risks Finnish forest mushrooms pose to immigrants, Lannen media reported on Tuesday.
A common white mushroom which resembles a champignon is actually a highly toxic amanita virosa. While most Finns have heard warnings about it since childhood, newly-arriving immigrants may pick them up and eat.
In Finland, "everyone's right" prevails in forests and people can roam around the forests freely, quite irrespective of whether the land is public or private. This has made picking up berries or mushrooms a popular tradition.
Helena Isoniemi, the chief surgeon at the public clinic for organ transplants and liver surgery in Helsinki, told Lannen media that poisoning by the amanita mushroom has in recent years hit more immigrants than people born in Finland.
Even a small bite of the white amenita virosa is poisonous to human. The poison can destroy the liver and damage the kidney as well.
Hanna Eloranta, the development manager of the FInnish kidney and liver association, told Lannen Media that they do not have detailed statistics about the severe liver problems caused by the mushrooms, but they "have members in the association who have experienced destruction of their liver having eaten poisonous mushrooms."
Eloranta advised that people not familiar with the mushrooms in Finnish forests should make sure they know and can identify some no-risk mushrooms, and thus only pick up those and forget the rest. "That is better than trying to memorize what the poisonous brands look like," she said.