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Gardening can be dangerous

GUEST,Eliza 04 Aug 11 - 02:11 PM
gnu 04 Aug 11 - 02:08 PM
gnu 04 Aug 11 - 02:04 PM
maeve 04 Aug 11 - 11:43 AM
GUEST,Eliza 04 Aug 11 - 11:15 AM
maeve 03 Aug 11 - 06:02 PM
GUEST,Eliza 03 Aug 11 - 04:54 PM
Donuel 03 Aug 11 - 04:50 PM
GUEST,Eliza 03 Aug 11 - 03:28 PM
Donuel 02 Aug 11 - 05:18 PM
GUEST,Eliza 02 Aug 11 - 02:24 PM
GUEST,leeneia 02 Aug 11 - 10:38 AM
GUEST,Eliza 01 Aug 11 - 05:39 PM
gnu 01 Aug 11 - 01:29 PM
maeve 01 Aug 11 - 12:12 PM
GUEST,Eliza 20 Jul 11 - 01:45 PM
Penny S. 20 Jul 11 - 01:41 PM
GUEST,Eliza 20 Jul 11 - 01:41 PM
JohnInKansas 20 Jul 11 - 12:21 PM
GUEST,Jon 20 Jul 11 - 08:20 AM
maeve 20 Jul 11 - 08:02 AM
GUEST,Jon 20 Jul 11 - 07:38 AM
Arnie 20 Jul 11 - 05:08 AM
GUEST,Jon 19 Jul 11 - 10:44 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 19 Jul 11 - 10:23 PM
maeve 19 Jul 11 - 08:49 PM
Crowhugger 19 Jul 11 - 08:35 PM
Stilly River Sage 19 Jul 11 - 07:19 PM
maeve 19 Jul 11 - 07:07 PM
GUEST,Eliza 19 Jul 11 - 07:00 PM
maeve 19 Jul 11 - 06:52 PM
Janie 19 Jul 11 - 06:46 PM
GUEST,Eliza 19 Jul 11 - 06:31 PM
maeve 19 Jul 11 - 06:18 PM
GUEST,Eliza 19 Jul 11 - 05:53 PM
maeve 19 Jul 11 - 05:26 PM
gnu 19 Jul 11 - 05:07 PM
JohnInKansas 19 Jul 11 - 04:14 PM
GUEST,Penny S.(elsewhere) 26 Jun 00 - 12:05 PM
GUEST,Auxiris 22 Jun 00 - 02:37 AM
rangeroger 21 Jun 00 - 10:51 PM
GUEST,Auxiris 21 Jun 00 - 11:59 AM
roopoo 21 Jun 00 - 04:46 AM
GUEST,Auxiris 21 Jun 00 - 04:00 AM
Ebbie 20 Jun 00 - 11:57 PM
rangeroger 20 Jun 00 - 11:34 PM
GUEST,Auxiris 20 Jun 00 - 03:51 PM
Liz the Squeak 20 Jun 00 - 06:45 AM
GUEST,Auxiris 20 Jun 00 - 03:50 AM
Liz the Squeak 19 Jun 00 - 09:34 AM
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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 04 Aug 11 - 02:11 PM

I sometimes use folded newspaper at the bottom of a pot to help retain moisture. Also in the bottom of trenches for runner beans and sweet peas. Seems to work quite well.
I feel terribly sorry for the poor miners of vermiculite who are/have been exposed to the asbestos dust. Mesothelioma is a dreadful and nearly always fatal disease.


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: gnu
Date: 04 Aug 11 - 02:08 PM

Found this on the internut at The Garden Geek...

Up until 1990, about 70 to 80% of the vermiculite used in the U.S. was mined in Libby, Montana. The processed vermiculite from Libby was often sold under the trade name "Zonolite". W.R. Grace was the company that owned the mine from 1963 - 1990. A problem specific to the Libby mine was that the vermiculite deposit was also associated with tremolite asbestos, a rare naturally-occurring mineral. Health problems associated with asbestos have been known for many years; however, it is uncertain just how long the health problems have been known at the Libby plant. Due to the high amount of asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesotheloioma related deaths among workers and family members associated with the Libby plant, the mine was closed down in 1990. Because ten years have passed since the closing of the mine, it is unlikely that any of the vermiculite used today comes from the Libby, Montana mine.

Vermiculite is currently mined in South Carolina and Virginia as well in South Africa, Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Japan and Russia. The largest mine today is located in South Africa. No asbestos related disorders have been reported in any of the major vermiculite mines except for the Libby, Montana mine. Testing done by EPA and the Ontario Research Foundation found that no asbestos could be detected in the vermiculite from the South Africa mine. Based on these reports, it can be reasonably assumed that vermiculite used today does not contain significant amounts of asbestos.

When using vermiculite, as well as any other material that inherently contains dust sized particles, it is recommended that dust control measures be adopted and/or personal protective equipment (dust masks) be used to protect against dust inhalation. Keeping the vermiculite moist will greatly reduce dust problems.

If it is known that Libby vermiculite was used in a garden bed, health risks can be reduced by simply covering the area with sod or mulch to ensure that dust from the area is kept to a minium. As a last resort the area can be excavated by professionals and sent off to a landfill.

For further information on vermiculite and health related issues please refer to the following web sites:

http://www.vermiculite.org
http://www.epa.gov/region01/qa.html
http://www.mcn.net/~vermiculite/overview.htm


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: gnu
Date: 04 Aug 11 - 02:04 PM

Seems doubtful that asbestos vermiculite would be found in potting mix in this day and age. Anyone know for sure?


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: maeve
Date: 04 Aug 11 - 11:43 AM

It serves both purposes, Eliza; helping to balance moisture. Only one mine was identified as containing asbestos. The challenge to gardeners is how to discern the mine sources on the premixed potting soil we might use.

In any case, if one is careful to:

*Use pre-mixed soils rather than buying the vermiculite separately to make custom mixes
*work with moist rather than dry materials
*work outside rather than inside
*Keep one's frequency and long-term exposure well below the high level of exposure of greenhouse workers and miners...

...it's doubtful there is a measurable danger in most cases. I thought it interesting that sawdust is one material suggested on some sites as a substitute for vermiculite in potting mixtures. I'd urge you to only use well-rotten sawdust to avoid binding up nitrogen in the soil. Personally, I prefer using compost, sand, and leaf mold to amend soil to the needs of a particular plant.


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 04 Aug 11 - 11:15 AM

Thank you maeve. Do you know, I've always thought the stuff was used for extra drainage, I never realised on the contrary it's for moisture retention! Quite horrifying to think asbestos dust might be included. And the poor sufferers of mesothelioma. Goodness knows what we're exposed to as we innocently meander about!


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: maeve
Date: 03 Aug 11 - 06:02 PM

Here are some informative links regarding vermiculite, Eliza:
www.epa.gov/asbestos/pubs/vermfacts.pdf
http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/organic/vermiculite-may-pose-asbestos-hazard.htm
http://eartheasy.com/blog/2009/04/vermiculite-and-asbestos-how-to-minimize-the-risks/


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 03 Aug 11 - 04:54 PM

Thank you for your info, Donuel. Actually, I've never liked the look of it, and if I need to increase the drainage of a plant in a pot, I merely add grit to the compost.


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: Donuel
Date: 03 Aug 11 - 04:50 PM

Some vermiculite mines have asbestos in the product. They try to sell this kind for use as insulation in homes but who is to say if good vericulite ever gets mixed up with the bad vermiculite.
http://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/eh/hlthhaz/fs/vermiculite.htm

Breathing the stuff is NEVER reccommended.

I have used diaper water aborbing gel or foam rubber to both aeriate and retain water in potted or raised gardens.


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 03 Aug 11 - 03:28 PM

Donuel, can you explain about vermiculite please? I don't use it, but it's often in the pots of plants I buy. Why is it toxic?


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: Donuel
Date: 02 Aug 11 - 05:18 PM

Black mold on twigs, beware. If you scratch the inside of your ear spores will hatch with delight.

Vermiculite, much more toxic thatn you realize.

parasites, prefer gardeners 2 to 1.

A good weed whacker can propel a stone better than a sling shot.


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 02 Aug 11 - 02:24 PM

We moved all the rubble into a pile to be taken away. Our neighbours' children helped brick by brick, I gave them sweets and a cold drink, bless them. As we were doing this, I couldn't help thanking the Almighty, it could have been someone's head, or one of our adored cats, under that pile. Ghastly thought!


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 02 Aug 11 - 10:38 AM

That's an excellent point, Eliza.


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 01 Aug 11 - 05:39 PM

On a different 'danger in the garden' note, we had a narrow escape today. There's a brick archway over the garden gate, and I noticed this morning that a brick was a little dislodged. Luckily, I asked my neighbour, a handyman, to have a look. He literally just touched the brick, and the whole arch came crashing down, about thirty bricks! It didn't hit him or us, but we were horrified. A brick arch needs to be well cemented, and whoever built this one hadn't. Then my neighbour pushed lightly on the two 6ft 'supporting' pillars, and they too crashed to the ground, resulting in a massive pile of rubble, but no casualties. Walls and arches in the garden should be constructed by someone who knows what they're doing!


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: gnu
Date: 01 Aug 11 - 01:29 PM

Het Bobert... kin ya smoke it?


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: maeve
Date: 01 Aug 11 - 12:12 PM

Giant Hogweed in Maine now: http://www.pressherald.com/news/state-confirms-poisonous-plant-sightings_2011-08-01.html


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 20 Jul 11 - 01:45 PM

Have just looked up these two plants. Tansy is 'Tanacetum vulgare' and Oxford ragwort is 'Senecio squalidis', so they aren't related at all. Vulgar and squalid! Hah!


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: Penny S.
Date: 20 Jul 11 - 01:41 PM

There was giant hogweed growing in a front garden along from our school, but no-one did anything about it, until a new owner turned the garden into paving.
The school had Japanese Knotweed which started to invade a neighbour's house. It has now been eradicated by a serious herbicide, which has damaged my plan to donate the school a rowan as a leaving gift. Need to find a new spot.
I think I've already posted that my new home greeted me with a thornapple when I arrived - I had to remove it with rubber gloves and a binbag to the coouncil dump where it would be transported to an incinerator.

Penny


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 20 Jul 11 - 01:41 PM

John, Oxford ragwort has the same dual personality. It damages the livers of horses and cows, but it's essential food for the caterpillars of the cinnabar moth, lovely yellow and black stripey things. I'm now wondering if your 'tansy' is the same plant?
I've heard of a recent arrival here in UK of the 'processional caterpillar' which inhabits oak trees. It does the same thing with its hairs, total agony. (It's called that because they walk along the ground in along line. Very strange!)
As to chainsaws, they make me shudder. I feel one should have the training and the safety equipment in order to use them.
I once badly skinned all my toes on one foot with a rather fierce strimmer. I was wearng flipflops (twit!) The blood was amazing.


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 20 Jul 11 - 12:21 PM

The problems with unwanted plants and critters can get quite complicated.

A few years ago, in the Seattle WA area, a fellow employee related her tale about the notice she received a few years prior from the State Department of Agriculture, informing her that they had found "tansy" growing in her horse pasture. Tansy is listed by Washington State as a "noxious weed," and she was threatened with severe fines and other unpleasantness unless she IMMEDIATELY IRRADICATED the tansy.

While she was still looking for "how to get rid of tansy" she received a notice from the US Department of the Interior informing her that tansy is a necessary habitat plant for an endangered species of small butterfly, which they had found in her pasture, and threatening her with immense fines and other unpleasantness if she harmed so much as a single pretty flower on her tansy.

She reported being unable to obtain any agreement from the two agencies on what she should do, and had settled into a routine: When the DofA sent their annual complaint she forwarded it to USDI, and when the USDI replied with their complaint she forwarded it to the DofA. Otherwise she ignored both.

This had become an annual event, and had continued for more than five years (I think she said that was the 7th year, and she had just received the DofA annual greeting.)

After studying the mild hazard to livestock at the time of the first notice, she probably would have slightly preferred to eliminate the "weed," but for her horses the threat was "remote" since she had no intention of breeding them. Nothing she could have done would have satisfied either beaurocracy, so her only recourse was to do nothing.

John


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 20 Jul 11 - 08:20 AM

That's quite impressive!


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: maeve
Date: 20 Jul 11 - 08:02 AM

On the other hand, my Truelove has been safely using and repairing chainsaws of various kinds for 40+ years without any significant injury. Like any power tool, chainsaws can be dangerous; good training of the operator in combination with wise choices regarding conditions, fatigue, mechanical upkeep, and selection of the right tool for the job at hand can determine whether accidents are likely to occur.

Ever see chainsaw carving?

In Wisconsin...
Making an Owl in Scotland


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 20 Jul 11 - 07:38 AM

Thought that one was going to be a myth but there are a number of paper reports about this happening to a John Stirling of Sussex (not Kent).

I stopped using a chainsaw years ago. I had a 9" angle grinder kick back and give me a bleeding nose. The incident put me off these, chainsaws and circular saws. Even if they have protection against kick back I don't fancy using them.


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: Arnie
Date: 20 Jul 11 - 05:08 AM

Here's a true gardening story to make you wince. A couple of years ago a man in a village in Kent was pruning a tree in his back garden using a chainsaw. He slipped and managed to cut his arm straight off. Surprisingly he didn't lose consciousness which is just as well as he would soon have bled to death. Most of his neighbours were out at work but he found a retired near neighbour a few doors away and stood on his doorstep explaining what had happened, with blood gushing out of the hole where is arm should have been. Having staunched the blood as best he could, the neighbour called an ambulance and then had the presence of mind to run round to the garden and retrieve the severed arm, which he then put in his freezer. Surgeons were later able to re-attach the severed arm and although not regaining full usage, the gardener did get back most of the functions. His neighbour's presence of mind and quick action saved the day. Chainsaws must be one of the most dangerous tools for amateurs to handle in the garden and I bet the hospitals see their fair share of chainsaw injuries each year.


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 10:44 PM

Some of our (UK) invasive plants


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 10:23 PM

I remember my mother getting stung by one of those puss moth caterpillars when I was a teenager. I didn't know what it was called until now, but I remember what it looked like.

We also had Io moth caterpillars which everybody in the family managed to get popped by a couple of times per year. Their sting felt about like a hornet sting, but Mom said the puss moth caterpillar's sting was much worse.


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: maeve
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 08:49 PM

Some useful links regarding the puss moth caterpillar, Megalopyge opercularis, commonly called an "asp".

Range: "The geographical distribution of the caterpillars is confined to the southeast United States, largely in Texas, Louisiana,
and Florida." found here


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: Crowhugger
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 08:35 PM

How far north does the puss caterpillar go? Never heard of it here in the Toronto area, which I s'pose means little since there are various pests and invasive species that we didn't have even a decade ago.


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 07:19 PM

Another reminder is good. It sounds like a nasty one.

The pain in the gardens here these days comes from a hairy caterpillar called the puss caterpillar, or asp. They have hairs that get in the skin and are so painful you can hardly stand it. There is nothing topical to help with it and it has to gradually go away. Scroll down past the tomatoes and possum discussion and you'll find the asp photos.

SRS


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: maeve
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 07:07 PM

Another try- click on Plant Management Information Sheet 4: Giant Hogweed


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 07:00 PM

I've never actually seen Japanese knotweed, only on TV. But I heard it can push through concrete! Also, even rhododendrons are causing problems here in the wild, their roots poison all the soil around them and people are digging them out frantically to preserve the native wild flowers and plants. Like Oxford ragwort (terribly toxic to cattle and horses) all these non-native plants misbehave when they arrive, they seem to be real bullies. I wonder if it's because they haven't brought any natural enemies with them!


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: maeve
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 06:52 PM

I understand, Eliza. Yes, Giant Hogweed is a very dangerous and invasive plant. According to the linked article provided by JohnInKansas, the skin sensitivity "leading to terrible blistering burns, followed by skin discoloration and darkening...can persist for years." It's not the sort of plant one wants to spread at all. (Note: My second link failed; sorry.)

As for Japanese Knotweed, we just dig out the roots and mow any remaining shoots; no poison required here in Maine. Young shoots are edible; asparagus-like in taste. We learned from an elderly woman who once lived on our farm that her grandparents planted Japanese Knotweed here to provide shade for their chickens!

Maeve


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: Janie
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 06:46 PM

So far, it hasn't appeared in the Southeast USA (at least that I know of.) Really appreciate the warnings on this and the current gardening thread. It is just the kind of plant that I might otherwise see in a ditch and go back to collect seeds to grow in a wildflower garden.


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 06:31 PM

Hi Maeve!
I can see what you mean, and this plant isn't native to England. But actually the one specimen I had in my last garden didn't produce any babies, (I was quite sad!) But if it's becoming invasive, it could indeed harm children, walkers etc. I know that for example Japanese knotweed is the most terrible problem now that it's arrived here. Areas have been sectioned off as 'biological hazards', it takes industrial strength stuff to eradicate it. I only meant to say that I personally quite liked the thing. I wouldn't naturally want a child to be burned. Euphorbias and even the herb rue have the same properties, their juice causes sunlight burns. I had this happen from my rue bush last year. The brown marks are still on my arms!


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: maeve
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 06:18 PM

Hello, Eliza. Besides the poisonous aspect of Giant Hogweed, it is a very invasive plant ("flower heads which can each produce about 50,000 seeds every year..." according to the following link.) In parts of England at least, removal of identified plants appears to be underway. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leeds-13929473

There are many introduced plant species I welcome, others I can deal with. Giant Hogweed is one I would destroy because of its longterm damage potential to people, the extraordinarily high germination rate, and the longevity of its seeds. Eradication challenges are discussed in this PDF document

Regards,

Maeve


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 05:53 PM

In my last house I had a huge garden bordering on fields. I actually had one giant hogweed growing down by the ditch. I knew what it was, I've seen them quite a few times round here. It was magnificent, and did no harm, as I didn't go up and touch it or wipe it on my eyes. Loads of plants are dodgy, eg aconite, nightshade, laburnum, yew etc, but they aren't triffids, they don't run after us and attack. I agree that children should be warned not to touch, but here nobody fusses about giant hogweed, it's just there, and no-one suggests 'eradicating' it. Mine grew to about nine feet (3 metres). I liked it!!


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: maeve
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 05:26 PM

Also described here Mudcat Gardeners' Report, 07 Jul 11 - 11:17 AM.


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: gnu
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 05:07 PM

Nasty stuff! Thanks JiK.


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 19 Jul 11 - 04:14 PM

Since this thread mentions it, here must be the best place to note a new warning about a plant common in several places that has toxic effects not generally known by some who might run into it.

This giant toxic weed can burn you and blind you

Don't let the exotic and beautiful looks of 15-foot-tall hogweed plant fool you

Now that the giant hogweed's flowering season is here again, experts are taking the opportunity to draw people's attention to the plant — for the sake of human health as well as for the health of the environment.

By Emily Sohn
July 19, 2011

It's exotic and beautiful, a 15-foot-tall plant with clusters of dainty white flowers and human-sized leaves — resembling, it is often said, Queen Anne's Lace on steroids.

But giant hogweed is an invasive species that is spreading around much of the northern United States. Even worse, its sap is extremely poisonous, with the potential to cause blistering burns and even blindness.

Now that the giant hogweed's flowering season is here again, experts are taking the opportunity to draw people's attention to the plant — for the sake of human health as well as for the health of the environment.

"It's one of the few invasive species that has such a severe human health impact, and people should really know about it," said Chuck O'Neill, coordinator of the Cornell Cooperative Extension Invasive Species Program in Ithaca, NY. "Unfortunately, I'd say 80 or 90 percent of people hiking have no idea what these plants look like."

"Like the zebra mussel, they can be a poster child for invasive species," he added. "There's a certain appeal to a plant that's this big with that cringe factor of what it can do to you that gives you an opening to start talking about a lot more plants, animals and insects that are invasive."

The giant hogweed's story of invasion began in 1892, when two European brothers went on a botanical expedition to the Caucuses region of Eurasia, where they saw the plant for the first time, said botanist Naja Kraus, manager of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's Giant Hogweed Program. Wowed by its height and beauty, they brought its seeds back to Europe, along with a variety of other species.

Enamored botanists quickly spread giant hogweed from garden to garden around Europe. It arrived in the United States in the early 1900s. It's not clear if botanists knew about the plant's poison — and whether they cared.

Even today, people choose to put giant hogweed in their gardens, but the plant carries real risks. Toxic sap lies inside its bamboo-like hollow stalks. If the sap gets on your skin, the exposed area becomes unable to protect itself from the sun's rays, leading to terrible blistering burns, followed by skin discoloration and darkening that can persist for years.

Wild parsnip and cow parsnip cause similar reactions, but giant hogweed's effects are far more severe. If the sap gets in your eyes and is then exposed to sunlight, it can cause blindness.

Sap can ooze out onto the leaves and stem, making the plant dangerous just to brush up against. And it doesn't produce flowers until it has been growing for a few years, which means that it isn't always easy to identify.

But people aren't the only victims of giant hogweed. The environment is at risk, too. Giant hogweed starts growing in April, before many native species have started to poke through. It grows rapidly. And a single plant can produce as many as 100,000 seeds in late summer.
Most seeds fall just a few meters from the parent plant, so the weed's spread is more creeping than explosive. But its shady nature and fast growth help it smother and replace other kinds of plants.

So far, giant hogweed has been found growing in New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, Virginia, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, Oregon, Alaska and Washington state, as well as in parts of Canada, such as British Columbia and Ontario, and throughout Europe — and possibly other places.

The good news, Kraus said, is that giant hogweed is controllable, and many states are making major efforts to eradicate it. In New York, her crews regularly visit about 1,000 sites, ranging from private property to state roadsides. Workers wear waterproof clothing from head to toe, and they learn how to get out of their suits to avoid touching the sap.

"I think this probably feels like a crisis to people who are just hearing about it because it's a very frightening plant, but I don't think it's any more of a crisis than it was 10 years ago," Kraus said. "It's spreading in some areas where we don't know about it, but it's decreasing in other areas where we do know about it and are controlling it."

To protect yourself, she recommended first learning what giant hogweed looks like. If you see it, don't touch it. If you touch it, quickly wash your hands with soap and water. Then, call your state's department of natural resources or conservation and report it. The same goes for other invasive and poisonous species, O'Neill added.

Like poison ivy, Kraus said, giant hogweed is just another plant you should know about before spending a lot of time outdoors.
"You want to know what's dangerous," she said. "You should just add these plants to your list of plants to stay away from.

© 2011 Discovery Channel

There is a fairly good picture of the pest at the top of the linked article.

John


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: GUEST,Penny S.(elsewhere)
Date: 26 Jun 00 - 12:05 PM

Liz, what is your source for the yews being planted to protect the tombs? (Please apply interested and curious voice to this, not challenging.) I haven't met that one before, although it ties in with an old yew at Great Burstead in Essex, which is on the tomb, directly south of the altar, of one of the kings of Essex.

I am informed that yew off the tree does not poison stock. From several sources. Cut and drying yew does. Or yew with nothing eaten with it, perhaps.

Also, the bow explanation is contentious. Some say that all the staves were imported from Spain. I note that many of the trees seem to have been pollarded, so could have provided staves, and that one king ordered them to be planted in Normandy churchyards as a bow source, having seen them in England.

Penny


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: GUEST,Auxiris
Date: 22 Jun 00 - 02:37 AM

I was under the impression that the so-called killer bees had gotten further north than that by now. Well, since I live in eastern France, I don't suppose it's much of a worry for me! We do have other disagreeable insects over here, though not, I am pleased to say, the horrible black fly that I used to dread when I lived in Michigan. Yes, I had heard that extracts from yew were being used to treat certain types of cancer. Like many other extremely toxic substances, it does have medical uses.

cheers, Aux


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: rangeroger
Date: 21 Jun 00 - 10:51 PM

Auxiris,as far as I know they are still mostly around the border region of Mexico and the US. There have been reports, read attacks, up around the Bakersfield area in California.
As for the Yew,there is a chemical derived from the bark that is supposedly a starting point for a cancer cure.
rr


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: GUEST,Auxiris
Date: 21 Jun 00 - 11:59 AM

Pretty poisonous stuff, yews; extrememly toxic for horses, I might add. They don't seem to know enough to avoid eating it either, for some strange reason. It's not enough we have to be careful for ourselves, is it? Have to look out for the other beings sharing our lives too!

cheers, Aux


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: roopoo
Date: 21 Jun 00 - 04:46 AM

Liz - another reason for the planting of yews was to provide the wood for longbows, as landowners in the mediaeval days were often required to provide fighting men in times of war. (And they were always fighting each other as well!)

Possibly the reason for planting them behind the boundary walls of churches was to keep livestock off them, seeing as how it'll kill 'em if they eat it!

mouldy


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: GUEST,Auxiris
Date: 21 Jun 00 - 04:00 AM

So much for wearing rock n' roll tee-shirts (most of which are black) while gardening. I've heard lots of "killer bee" stories over the years, rangeroger; how far north have they established themselves now?

cheers, Aux


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: Ebbie
Date: 20 Jun 00 - 11:57 PM

Do you suppose that black reminds them of bears?

Ebbie


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: rangeroger
Date: 20 Jun 00 - 11:34 PM

With the creeping movement North of the Africanized honey bees from South America ( Killer Bees ) people are learning to not wear black when near them.Many of the deaths were to people wearing black clothing,including white with black polka dots, and witnesses reported the black colors appeared to enrage the swarms.
rr


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: GUEST,Auxiris
Date: 20 Jun 00 - 03:51 PM

Feeling much better indeed now, thanks. More concerned about the painful impact last year's horse chestnuts make on various parts of the body when whipped up off the ground by the strimmer than whether or not someone will trim off one of my limbs because I'm wearing camouflage, though. . .

cheers, Aux


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 20 Jun 00 - 06:45 AM

Glad you are feeling better, take care from now on and stop that naughty rolling in honey.....!

Don't you think though, that camouflage might prove a bit awkward if anyone want to prune the shrubbery - you might find yourself short of a limb or two......

LTS


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: GUEST,Auxiris
Date: 20 Jun 00 - 03:50 AM

Hello, Liz and Sinsull. . . saw your messages last night, but was still feeling kind of shaky (shock, said the medics) so I apologise for not having manifested my presence then. Thanks for the useful advice; I just didn't stop to think that I shouldn't be putting a bright coloured thing on my head yesterday morning. . . will stick to brown/khaki/navy blue or, why not, army camouflage garments from now on, promise! I also now have a new (in date!) anti-venom kit and supply of anti-histamine pills should I get zapped again. The rest of you who are allergic to insect stings, I hope you'll learn from my misfortune! It's a jungle out there!

cheers, Aux


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Subject: RE: Gardening can be dangerous
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 19 Jun 00 - 09:34 AM

OK, so how do the little buzztards know when I'm wearing my green dress with the white tye dye blobs on then. I had seven bees on me at one point.....!

And yes, it is the yew that English Longbows are made of. You'll have to wait about 300 years before you make any out of my two trees though....... Altogher now - 'You made me love yew'........!

And as for gardening ladies - that's just it, they are ladies who wouldn't know an asparagus trench if they fell into it, have never mixed concrete with their feet and think that double digging is a sort of cocktail..... I have muddy fingers even as I type - but for once in the UK, it is actually too hot to go outside!

LTS


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