Burns caused by hogweed that’s thriving in hot weather

Burns caused by hogweed that’s thriving in hot weather

Common and giant hogweed both pose a threat to anyone that goes near the plants.

Giant hogweed’s danger comes from its sap, which is toxic and present all over the plant.

The sap contains toxic chemical furanocoumarins, which brings on severe burns, blistering and skin irritation when exposed to UV rays from the sun.

With the warmer weather, people are being warned to look out for the dangerous plant.

Keith Gallacher, director of Complete Weed Control specialists, told The Daily Star “we are seeing some plants that are already one metre high because the temperature is ripe for it.

“Each plant can have around 50,000 seeds which can spread extremely fast if not treated and the toxic sap is a hazard.”

The sap giant hogweed contains is toxic and contains chemicals known as furanocoumarins.

When these come into contact with the skin, and the flesh then comes into contact with UV light, these chemicals lead to a condition called phyto-photodermatitis – a red rash, often followed by severe blistering within 24 hours.

The resulting burns can last for several months and, even once they’ve gone, skin can remain sensitive to sunlight for years to come.

Children are believed to be particularly vulnerable to the impacts from the plants, with several being hospitalised.

(Image SWNS)

The first thing to remember when tackling this dangerous plant is to wear fully protective clothing to protect your skin from the sap. If in doubt, call an expert.

The most simple way of getting rid of giant hogweed is to mow the grass on which it grows.

However, the downside to mowing is that it can take several years to fully get rid of the plant, as cutting it down will only slowly deplete the energy reserves until it dies.

You should never use equipment like trimmers or strimmers on giant hogweed, as they can result in the plant’s seeds being distributed through the air.

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