[I've already tried this query on sci.botany and sci.pharmacy; no joy.
And there doesn't seem to be a publicly accessible toxicology forum
where such a question could be posted.]
I am well aware of how hazardous giant hogweed is, before anybody
posts trivial responses to this.
A friend of mine made himself a very nice musical instrument
(a harmonic whistle resembling a Hungarian tilinko) from part
of a giant hogweed stem. His had been detoxified - he lives
on the shore of the Forth, and the stem was washed up after
sloshing around in the sea, maybe for weeks (the Forth has
strong and chaotic tides). Cutting, polishing, painting and
playing it produced no adverse reactions, so the toxin must
have all gone after its saline soak and subsequent drying.
I would like to try the same, using an intact stem to make a
longer, deeper instrument. There's plenty of giant hogweed
growing around here, but I don't have a private ocean to dunk
it in. Any ideas on how to detoxify the stuff at home? I was
thinking of simply standing the stems in a bucket of saline or
alcohol, but maybe there's some specific chemical agent that
will deactivate furanocoumarin? Is drying enough? (I doubt it).
And to repeat, yes I know I'm talking about handling something
as hazardous as a chemical warfare agent. I'm thinking Tyvek
overalls, rubber gloves and a full-face mask when harvesting it
(using a small handsaw which will be immediately disposed of
along with the clothing).
============== j-c ====== @ ====== purr . demon . co . uk =============Jack Campin: 11 Third St, Newtongrange EH22 4PU, Scotland | tel 0131 660 4760
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