Plant that can cause second-degree burns growing near Chicago River bridge

CHICAGO — A plant that can cause second-degree burns is growing near the Chicago River bridge

According to the Chicago Tribune, wild parsnip was spotted along North Avenue by the Chicago River bridge, just north of Goose Island.

Skin contact with the plant's sap can result in severe chemical burns if the skin is exposed to sunlight.

Chris Enroth, Extension Horticulture Educator for University of Illinois- Urbana-Champaign, wrote a newsletter about wild parsnip and their effects if touched. He said the the combination of sap on the skin and exposure to UV light can cause the effect of a severe sunburn. He also said to wash the area of the contact immediately if you are exposed to the parsnip sap.

If you feel a burning sensation, contact your doctor for wound care recommendations.

The burn can take weeks to heal and may leave long-lasting scarring.

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