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Poisonous Plants is the Topic of Oct. 16 CONN-OSHA Roundtable

For immediate release
October 10, 2007

WETHERSFIELD, Poison ivy and poison sumac are the plants that most often come to mind when outdoor workers and gardeners in Connecticut think about vegetation that they’d do well to steer clear of when undertaking brush-clearing and landscaping chores. 

Those attending the Oct. 16 breakfast roundtable meeting sponsored by the Connecticut Department of Labor's Division of Occupational Safety and Health (CONN-OSHA) will also learn about a newcomer on the list -- a little known plant named the “Giant Hogweed” that can be painful and irritating to individuals who come in contact with it.  

The 90-minute workshop, titled “Poisonous Plants in Connecticut,” will feature Kenneth Neumann, a Health & Safety Administrator with the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection. The session will be held from 8:15 to 9:45 a.m. at the agency's Central Office, located at 200 Folly Brook Boulevard in Wethersfield. 

“Giant Hogweed, a relative newcomer to our area, is known as a ‘Federal Noxious Weed,’ noted John Able, CONN-OSHA Training Officer who oversees the breakfast roundtable series. “It is a member of the carrot or parsley family, but the sale, propagation or transportation of the plant is illegal in the United States.”

Found in moist soil along roadside ditches, streambeds and waste ground, and open wooded areas, the tall and majestic-looking plant is a public health hazard because of its potential to cause severe skin irritation to susceptible people. Its sap produces painful, burning blisters within 24 to 48 hours after contact. Plant juices can also produce red blotches that later develop into purplish or brownish scars that can persist for several years.

Also continuing this month, Able said, will be the roundtable discussion portion of the program. Time permitting, each person taking part will be asked to submit a question for discussion and attendees will be invited to share their thoughts on the issue. 

Admission to the roundtable is free, but pre-registration is required. To register for the breakfast roundtable or for additional information, please call (860) 263-6902, or email john.able@ct.gov.

Media Contact: Nancy Steffens  (860) 263-6535


200 Folly Brook Boulevard, Wethersfield, CT 06109 / Phone: 860-263-6000

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