Toxic Plant Found in Brampton

The Region of Peel and Sheridan College are warning Brampton residents about a toxic plant that has popped up in the city recently.

Giant Hogweed has been found in Peel Region, and recently, it has grown at the Sheridan College Davis Campus near the pond.

The campus is located near McLaughlin and Steeles, frequented daily by students, staff, commuters, and more.

According to a recent memo from Sheridan College, Giant Hogweed grows three to four metres in height and carries small, white flowers in an umbrella shape when it’s in bloom.

The stem is covered in coarse hairs.

What happens if you make contact with the toxic plant?

The statement from Sheridan College reads that the plant’s clear, watery sap contains toxins that can inflame the skin, cause severe burns, get painful blisters, and purplish scars may appear on your skin for years.

Eye contact may cause temporary or permanent blindness.

If you get sap on your skin wash the area well with soap and water,” reads the statement.

Keep the affected area out of the sun. If photo dermatitis (inflammation of the skin caused by exposure to sunlight) occurs, see a doctor. If you get sap in your eye, flush your eye with water immediately and see a doctor immediately.”

The Region of Peel website advises staying out of the sun for at least 48 hours after contact with the sap to prevent a skin reaction.

This isn’t the first time Giant Hogweed has grown in Brampton.

According to the City of Brampton, city staff have been removing giant hogweed from city property for the past eight years.

This spring/summer season Sheridan and City of Brampton will be undertaking actions to reduce the spread at the Davis Campus followed by 5-8 years of follow-up to remove the species and seed bank in heavily infested areas,” reads the statement from Sheridan College.

The City is expected to remove the species from May 12-June 2, 2018, weather permitting.

You can expect pesticide warning signs in the areas infested by Giant Hogweed 24 hours in advance. The signs will be removed 48 hours after work is complete.

For more information on Giant Hogweed in Peel Region, click here.

Photo courtesy of Coquitlam Recreation

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