What you should know about toxic invasive plant just found in Va.

Share
What you should know about toxic invasive plant just found in Va.

Officials in Virginia are warning residents to be on the lookout after an invasive plant was found Tuesday in the northern part of the state that can cause third-degree burns and even permanent blindness. Other discoveries have prompted warnings after it was found across the Midwest, as well as in MI and NY.

Mark Sutphin, an agricultural extension agent with Virginia Tech, said he wrangled a piece of Emma's giant hogweed while wearing a Tyvek suit and goggles, then brought it back to the lab for identification.

Since the discovery others have reported giant hogweed sightings, but Martin said the Berryville plant is the only confirmed sighting.

These plants can grow up to 14 feet tall, with thick leaves stretching 2 to 5 feet across.

The plant has been spotted in NY but also, Virginia, Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and parts of the Pacific Northwest. Like we mentioned, sap from the hogweed contains toxic chemicals. In extreme case, it can cause blindness.

If contact is made with the plant, immediately wash the affected area thoroughly with soap and water and keep the area away from sunlight for 48 hours, the agency recommends.

A single giant hogweed plant can produce up to 20,000 seeds.

According to the New York Department of Environmental Conservation, "The sap prevents your skin from protecting itself from sunlight which leads to a very bad sunburn". Also, be aware that a toxic reaction can start as soon as 15 minutes after having contact with the plant. You could also soak a compress in a mixture of aluminum acetate, which is available at most pharmacies, if you think you've come into contact with the hogweed. These can grow for 10 years once they're dropped off, according to published reports.

It's important to know how to recognize giant hogweed if you are in a state where it might grow, and what to do if you find it. Do not mow, cut or weed whack the plant, as it will just send up new growth and put you at risk for being exposed to sap - the same kind of thing that would happen with poison ivy or sumac. "This seems to be an isolated incident", Michael Flessner, an assistant professor and extension weed science specialist at Virginia Tech, said in a statement.

Share

Advertisement

Related Posts

Suspect arrested in rapper XXXTentacion's shooting death
XXXTentacion , whose legal name was Jahseh Onfroy, was shot dead in South Florida on Monday. They left behind flowers and candles and decorated the sidewalk with chalk art.

Prince Louis' christening to be held at Chapel Royal on July 9
While the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were present in the celebration, Prince William and Kate Middleton didn't attend the event. If his siblings' ceremonies are anything to go by, Prince Louis' christening will be a private affair.

Microsoft rebrands MSN News under Microsoft News brand
The new Microsoft News apps on Android and iOS have been "redesigned" completely, according to the company. The app is now just called Microsoft News, and it includes new features, more topics, and a dark theme.

Sieren's China: Trump flexes his muscle in brewing trade war
Analysts say the Chinese government could target trade in services between the two countries rather than physical products. Shares of Chinese companies listed in the US slumped. "Everyone knows ...

Israeli strikes on Gaza, rockets from Strip
Energy is reportedly the first order of business, although the administration is trying to keep the specifics beneath the radar. A United Nations resolution passed last week by the General Assembly harshly criticized Israel, but did not address Hamas.

Ahmed Shehzad Reportedly Fails Dope Test, Could Face 3-month Ban
The board didn't officially reveal the name as they await a chemical report from the anti-doping agency of the government. Depending on the nature of the prohibited substance, the player could face up to a two-year ban.

Germany: Interior minister gives Merkel ultimatum on migrants
Unilateral action would also anger our Austrian neighbour, who would be saddled with most of the migrants Germany turns back. The CSU is more conservative than Merkel's CDU and its paramount aim is to maintain its dominance in Bavaria .

Trump tells federal agencies to reunite families at border; Melania visits region
Trump reversed his tough stance on separating families after days of outrage over the policy from at home and overseas . One said that the average time for a child to be reunited to members of their families was between 42 and 45 days.

Denmark held to a draw against Australia
Pione Sisto almost gave the Danes the advantage just after the halftime break, but his shot went to the right of the goal. Denmark will be without midfielder William Kvist, who sustained suspected fractured ribs in the first half against Peru.

Teen cops a spray after asking French President ‘how’s is going?’
The president scolded him for not calling him "sir" or "Mr President" to which the teenager replied: "Sorry, Mr President". The awkward encounter was captured on video and shared online. "And then you can lecture others".

© 2015 ExpressNewsline. All Rights reserved.