Ban No. 5,736: Poinsettias from an office due to worker’s allergy

Matt Coutts
Daily Brew

The festive holiday poinsettia is the latest addition to the growing list of items facing banishment from society.

Bah humbug, you say? Relax, Virginia. This isn't an assault of Christmas.

The Toronto Star reports that Bell Canada has ordered the plants kept out of its largest Ontario office due to one worker's severe allergy.

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"It's the safest things to do," a spokesman told the newspaper, noting that workers were supportive of the decision.

The building already has a "no plant" policy in place, but it has never been enforced. But poinsettia sap has proteins that could irritate those with latex allergies, so the company is cracking down.

An allergic reaction would require direct contact with the plant pollen and rarely be life-threatening, a doctor told the Star.

Regardless, it is time to add the flashy red shrub, best known as the ideal present for elderly aunts, to the heap of things no longer welcome in everyday society.

A poinsettia office ban isn't as extreme as, say, requesting trees be razed to avoid contact with acorns. That idea was later abandoned, it should be noted.

We wonder why it is that an office ban on plants seem more reasonable than banning trees from the outdoors.

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Is it because nature is where trees live, and we are invading their territory when walking down the street, while the office is our natural habitat and poinsettias must play by our rules?

Let's go with that. Thinking about it any further could drive us nuts.