Giant Hogweed, a plant covered in toxic sap and which can grow up to 14 feet, has been spreading across the United States and it was recently spotted in Virginia.
The Massey Herbarium at Virginia Tech, which researches Virginia's flora shared on Twitter on June 12, 2018, to confirm that the institute had helped in identifying the first giant hogweed population when one plant was found in Clarke County. The Massey Herbarium also wrote on its Twitter that any sightings of the dangerous plant should be reported to the extension agent.
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The giant hogweed, also known Heracleum mantegazzianum, has a clear, watery sap which can cause burns to the skin and even painful blistering when it gets combined with moisture and sunlight.
“The more sap you touch, the greater damage it causes. Once you get it on you, it makes your skin unable to protect itself from the sun,” said Naja Kraus, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation’s Giant Hogweed Program Coordinator.
The plant was brought to the United States by naturalists in the early 1900s because it could be used as a decorative plant as it was big and had large flowers.
Due to the lack of proper research and technology at the time, the naturalists were not aware of the fact that the giant hogweed plants produce up to 20,000 seeds that can fall 30 feet from it, which makes it very easy for the plant to spread and grow.
The giant hogweed plants usually grow in areas where there is enough light and in the regions which have moist soil. These also grow in shaded areas near rivers, streams and as well as in forests, fields, and yards.
The giant hogweed has purple patches and white hair on the stem. People can look at these signs to identify the giant hogweed.
The Isle of Wight County, Virginia, issued a safety alert in June 2018 and notified the people that the giant hogweed had been found in the state, while The Massey Herbarium also confirmed the same, according to Newsweek.
The officials warned the people that the dangerous plant should be handled only with the use of protective clothing such as rubber gloves, coveralls, and with proper eye protectors.
They also added that the giant hogweed should not be cut down or mowed with the use of mechanical equipment as the skin could be exposed to the sap and a new plant could grow in its place in no time.
The plant must be packed in heavy-duty garbage bags before it is thrown away.
If anyone's skin does come in contact with the giant hogweed, they are instructed to wash the affected area with soap and cold water immediately and protect the exposed part of the skin from sunlight; else blisters can form within 48 hours.
If the eye is exposed to the plant, then it should be quickly rinsed with water and shielded from sunlight through the use of sunglasses.
According to the Department of Environmental Conversation, New York State, any person who reacts due to the plant must visit a doctor.
Virginia has now joined the list of states including Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut, New York, North Carolina, Illinois, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Washington and Michigan where the giant hogweed has been spotted, according to Uplifting Today.
The giant hogweed has been put under the Virginia invasive plants early detection species list, which means that even though it does not grow widely in the state, it has been known to thrive in similar habitats.
The plant is a perennial herb, and it is believed to have its origin in the western Caucasus Mountains in West Asia.
There are a lot of dos and don'ts when it comes to food in general, and it gets tough to keep track of all of them when it comes to cooking food and while there some pointers that can be ignored, there are other steps that people should never disregard.
There are some mistakes that everybody makes, intentionally or otherwise, while handling meat that can have significant effects on the family's health.
According to Shared, food easily turns from delicious to dangerous and shared some of the most common mistakes that people make when defrosting or thawing frozen meat.
One mistake that the majority of the people make, when they take the meat out of the freezer to defrost is, placing the frozen meat in hot water.
People have to avoid this at all costs because frozen meat in hot water makes nothing but the perfect breeding ground for bacteria.
Defrosting meat on the kitchen countertop is another thing that should never be done because if the meat is placed on the countertop without a bowl or plate, it comes in direct contact with more bacteria.
More of these non-negotiable prohibitions have been listed here, which are especially useful for people who do not always cook and just order take away every night they come home.