Parents warned of toxic giant hogweed that causes painful blisters and serious burns

People across Wakefield, Pontefract and Castleford, are being given a timely warning over the dangers associated with giant hogweed.

Tuesday, 20th July 2021, 12:36 pm
Updated Tuesday, 20th July 2021, 12:38 pm

Over the years a number of children, as well as adults, have reported injuries after coming into contact with the invasive weed.

Now, as the summer holidays take hold, the Property Care Association (PCA) is urging vigilance to help protect against injury.

Dr Peter Fitzsimons, technical manager of the PCA’s Invasive Weed Control Group, said: “Giant hogweed’s sap is extremely toxic to the skin in sunlight, making it a danger to public health.

Over the years a number of children, as well as adults, have reported injuries after coming into contact with the invasive weed.

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“Giant Hogweed is also spreading across a wider area, meaning that people are more likely to encounter it.

“If anyone comes into contact with any part of the plant, followed by exposure to sunlight, they can sustain severe blistering to the skin and discomfort, and this reaction can recur for many years.”

The invasive weed is capable of growing to a height of up to five metres.

The invasive weed is capable of growing to a height of up to five metres.

Dr Fitzsimons said: “The general public, as well as local authorities, statutory agencies and landowners on whose property people can come into contact with the plant, should be aware of the risks and Giant Hogweed needs to be controlled and managed professionally.”

The PCA also provides a means of identifying specialist contractors and consultants with the expertise to control and manage invasive species such as Giant Hogweed, as well as other plants such as Japanese knotweed.