Michigan — June 4, 2013 at 8:36 am

Michiganders: Be aware of toxic Giant Hogweed. It can cause disfigurement and blindness.


This is a public service announcement

If you live in Michigan, you should have a look at this video from Fox 47 News about the Giant Hogweed. It’s a huge plant that is cropping up around the state and it can cause serious health problems ranging from skin discoloration to blistering and even blindness. Children and pets are particularly vulnerable.

The plants can grow to ten feet tall with leaves as large as five feet covered sap-coated hairs. It’s the sap that is so dangerous. According to Peter Carrington, a botanist from Michigan State University, this plant is a true toxic risk. “What this produces is rather disfiguring, unsightly, fluid-filled vesicles of blisters,” he said, “Which, unfortunately, also pigment the skin.” The blisters can take months to heal and leave scars in their wake.

Watch and learn:

UPDATE: The Maddow Blog picks up on the political metaphorness of this toxic giant:

[CC image credit: Wikimedia Commons]