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Published on Jan 13, 2009
This clip is from the video, Attack of the Giant Toxic Hogweed, produced by the wonderful folks at WorkSafe BC and is one of many good health and safety videos that can be viewed and downloaded from on their website at http://www2.worksafebc.com/Publicatio... . I ran into the hazards of Cow Parsnip while living and working in Alaska in the 1980s. Wish this video had been around then. Heracleum (the hogweeds) is a genus of about 60 species in the carrot family. They are found throughout the temperate northern hemisphere and in high mountains as far south as Ethiopia. Some species, especially the Giant Hogweed and Cow Parsnip, have saps that contain a phototoxin that can act on contact with skin and exposure to ultraviolet light (a part of sunlight), causing anything from a mild rash to a blistering, severe dermatitis, depending on the sensitivity of the individual. Giant Hogweed has become a serious invasive weed in many areas of Europe and North America and affecting workers whose job is to remove it. For more information protecting workers from on this and other toxic plants, go to the WorkSafe BC website at http://www.worksafebc.com/publication... and the NIOSH website at http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/plants/ .