“Hogweed Warning Advisor. The growing problem, how it spreads, the effects, and how to avoid this health hazard.
Hogweed is a plant that used to be confined to Europe and Asia. but now it’s spreading across the U.S. It is considered to be a part of the carrot family which is why it fell into the herb category. The plant typically grows wild in fields and has been located on roadsides and yards.
Hogweed originally originated in Asia, but over the years birds have brought the seeds of the plants to other countries causing this dangerous plant to spread. Because they grow from a seed and are typically dropped by animals in areas, by the time they are noticed the weed is deeply rooted and fully matured.
Although the hogweed is beautiful with its large flowering leaves, it is incredibly poisonous, and avoidance is necessary. By just touching the plant, rashes can form and ultimately turn into blisters on the skin. There have also been cases where the sap has blinded those who have come in contact with Hogweed.
The blisters that form from the sap of this plant can last up to six months and have been known to cause scarring for a lifetime. The blisters are especially painful when exposed to light.
The problem with this particular herb is that it can grow up to 14 feet tall which makes destroying them without exposure extremely difficult. The sap contains toxins that are detrimental to human skin which makes the removal a tedious task.
Hogweed has been found in yards and other high traffic areas. If this occurs, DO NOT use a weed wacker or try to destroy the plant as this could spread the sap causing an increase in growth. It is essential that professionals come in to remedy the situation as they are trained in the removal of this dangerous plant.
If a person comes in contact with this noxious weed, then they are advised to wash the area with cold soap and water immediately. The timing is everything as the reaction can start within the first 15 minutes after exposure.
After the skin is washed, it is imperative that the person applies sunscreen and stays out of the sun. The chemical reaction of the sap with sunlight is what causes health issues. If the eyes have come in contact with the sap, then wash them immediately with water and put on sunglasses. Again it is critical to stay out of the sun after exposure.”