More Carbon Dioxide = More, Stronger, Poison Ivy

poison ivy photo

Washington State

Researchers at Duke University studying poison ivy discovered that higher levels of CO2 caused the plant to grow more vigorously, but also it produced a more toxic form of urushiol, the resin that causes the rash. Ann Raver writes in the New York Times that removing it has become a growth industry.

She interviews Umar Mycka, who has started a business, Poison Ivy Horticulturalist, to kill the stuff; he uses a herbicide, applied to the stem, which is supposed to break down in 46 days. Organic farmers pull the stuff up and send it to the dump in garbage bags.Raver concludes: Mr. Mycka would love to see Americans discover some use for the plant. "In China and Japan, they made lacquer out of their resin plants, so they understand and value it," he said. "Whereas we just see it as that darn weed over there." ::New York Times
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