'Monster' Plant Causing Blisters, Blindness


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A monster plant with flowers the size of umbrellas and sap that causes blisters, scars that last years, and blindness is spreading across New York, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

It's an invasive species called the giant hogweed, and the DEC seeks help locating outbreaks so they can send crews to nip it in the bud. According to the agency, the plant's sap contains photosensitizing furanocoumarins, which can cause a serious skin inflammation within 15 minutes of skin contact in conjunction with sunlight.

The sap prevents skin from protecting itself from sunlight, according to health and safety instructions from the DEC, which leads to a very bad sunburn. Heat and moisture (sweat or dew) can worsen the skin reaction.

The agency has a Giant Hogweed Hotline at 845-256-3111 for people to call and report sightings. Callers are asked to provide photos and site information, but avoid touching the plant.

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Thank you sooo much for posting this!!! I have sent the pics to my phone and the contact number and info as well. I advise everyone else to as well!

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I am in NJ, which is close enough to NY, so going to keep an eye out and hope these ******** do not spread.

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You think someone brought this plant to NY? Doesn't seem to look native or however you would call it..

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I believe a the french brought it here becuase they thought it was ornamental or something.... but people did a lot of dumb **** back then.

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When I read the topic title I read it as a manufacturing plant that produces the energy drink Monster. >.> I think I might be addicted.

I live in NY so that's kind of scary, haven't seen anything like that anywhere that I go and I hope I never do!

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The sap is phototoxic, meaning light activated, and in the case of giant hogweed the activation needs direct sunlight which is rich in UV. Best strategy is to avoid it, and if you do get some on you wash quickly with soapy water then cover the area with an opaque material and get treatment. Might not be a bad idea to take a jug of soapy water & an opaque cover with you if working in the yard/garden.

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What kind of effects does it have if eaten or smoked (yes, smoked LOL)? Seriously, curious to know. Kids might tend to want to try eating some of it.

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No mention of triffids yet?

Heh I was going to post something about that after reading the title, but after reading the article decided its quite a nasty thing to encounter. Best to avoid New Yorkers, and the plant too :D

Classify the plant as a terrorst and it will be gone inside of a few years ;)

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Heh I was going to post something about that after reading the title, but after reading the article decided its quite a nasty thing to encounter. Best to avoid New Yorkers, and the plant too :D

Classify the plant as a terrorst and it will be gone inside of a few years ;)

Send in SEAL Team 6, it will be gone in mere minutes. :shiftyninja:

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Ha Ha... no joke though

We used to call these plants "american nettles", We joked about them as as some rogues grew along a burnside where we played as little kids, "triffid..alien...monsters", and then one day my 7yo bro brushed his bare short trousered leg against one, He went ill, and god huge blisters on his legs, my mom had to call the doc,

I noticed that there was a large outbreak of them along a fair stretch of waterway to the north of where I live, just this recent weekend

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previously in scotland;

A council worker was killed as he waded onto an island in the river spey as part of a hogweed control and extermination team. There was a colony of the plants on the island and the worker underestimated the strength of the current and was swept to his death. This prompted a change in the law regarding working alongside riverbanks and wading in deeper waters is now only permitted with the use of a safety line.

What I was sad about, was that the bloke had been unemployed, and seconded onto a council/jobcentre welfare to work type programme, so he died for a bloody government scam..

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WE HAVE THIS HERE.

Some kid went totally blind last summer from touching it then rubbing his eye.

There are some spots in the city that have CAUTION tape around them because of this. Kind of crazy how last year they sprayed pesticide on them but they grew again this year.

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I see these things all the time here in Scotland. I've kicked these as a kid etc. How does it exactly effect you either I'm really lucky or it was a different breed of plant but they looked just like that. In the winter they are just brown and hollow, as I kid I use to just grab them and use it like a stick.

Edit: I did a bit of looking they must have been Wild Angelica

http://www.bbc.co.uk/scotland/outdoors/articles/hogweed/

These aren't mega dangerous or anything, loads of people have touched it and rubbed their eye's with it and only had blisters. I think caution tape is a bit far lol.

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No mention of triffids yet?

Heh I was going to post something about that after reading the title, but after reading the article decided its quite a nasty thing to encounter. Best to avoid New Yorkers, and the plant too :D

Classify the plant as a terrorst and it will be gone inside of a few years ;)

First thing I thought of when I saw the thread title was Day of the Triffids :D

Also, yuk. Eliminate them!

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What kind of effects does it have if eaten or smoked (yes, smoked LOL)? Seriously, curious to know. Kids might tend to want to try eating some of it.

wtf? :/

Nobody would do such a thing.

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Don't bet on it! You haven't seen what I have in ER's

Back in the early 70's druggies were trying to smoke everything that grew looking for new highs. We had one in particular that stuck in my mind: poison ivy. Nasty way to go. By the time I retired they had graduated to jenkem - inhaling the fumes of fermented human feces from a plastic bag.

Nothing surprises me any more :p

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