Paraquat: How Poisonous It Is?


Paraquat: How Poisonous It Is?

Paraquat is a pesticide that has been in use since the 1960s. It was one of the most widely used herbicides from the 1970s to 1990s, but its popularity diminished when it became clear how dangerous and toxic it was to humans and animals alike.

Paraquat can be deadly if ingested or inhaled, with symptoms kicking in anywhere from six hours to two weeks after exposure.

The EPA classifies paraquat as a “restricted use” chemical because of its high toxicity and human health risks. Let’s learn more about Paraquat’s toxicity.

Which are the Health Risks of Paraquat?

Paraquat is a highly systemic toxicant that can lead to acute injuries if it is inhaled or ingested. Swallowing paraquat can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach pain, as well as damage to the esophagus and kidneys. 

Other possible symptoms include headache, sweating, muscle weakness, and difficulty breathing. On the other hand, inhalation of paraquat can lead to respiratory problems like coughing and shortness of breath. Paraquat exposure may also cause liver damage over time.

How Common is It?

Accidental paraquat ingestion by children has become more common because of its availability as a weed killer. Paraquat has been banned in some countries, including the UK and Norway, but continues to be used elsewhere on thousands of crops worldwide despite health warnings. Depending on the level of exposure, the severity of health effects can be mild to lethal.

When Should You File a Paraquat Lawsuit?

If you or someone you love is diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease due to paraquat, it’s crucial to file a lawsuit against the party at fault. It could be a farmer who uses the chemical around your place or reckless disposal of the herbicide into the environment.

Paraquat lawsuits have a statute of limitation, which may vary from one state to another. What’s important is finding a reliable law firm to guide you in the process.

The success of your case will see you getting compensation for the damages inflicted since the paraquat exposure. Your lawyer will offer guidance on the case valuation and timelines to work in. You can visit TruLaw if you want to know more about how to file a paraquat claim.

What are the Symptoms of Paraquat Poisoning?

Symptoms of paraquat poisoning may start to occur between 6 hours and ten days after exposure, depending on factors like the dose, route of exposure (inhalation vs. ingestion), and individual susceptibility to toxicity. Symptoms include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Red or brown discoloration of the urine (myoglobinuria)
  • Muscle cramps and weakness (due to depleted levels of ATP)
  • Liver damage (hepatotoxicity)

How is Paraquat PoisoningTreated?

There is no antidote for paraquat poisoning, but supportive care can limit the effects of poisoning. Treatment options include:

  • Activated charcoal to reduce the amount of poison absorbed in the digestive tract 
  • Vitamin K to treat coagulopathies (abnormal bleeding due to a blood clotting disorder)
  • Diclofenac sodium to reduce lung damage 
  • Liver transplantation in cases of severe or terminal liver failure

What is the Prognosis for Paraquat Poisoning?

If paraquat poisoning is treated promptly and effectively, complete recovery can be expected. However, if left untreated, acute illness due to respiratory muscle paralysis may develop within one week of exposure.

Death can occur within one week of inhalation due to respiratory failure. – Liver transplantation may be required for individuals with severe or terminal liver failure. – Renal (kidney) dialysis is necessary if the kidneys fail to function correctly.

Who’s At Risk For Exposure To Paraquat 

  • People applying paraquat to crops, gardens, or lawns
  • Farmers who use paraquat in crop production
  • Workers who produce paraquat for the agricultural market
  • Field workers who harvest crops where paraquat has been used –
  • People living near waste sites where pesticides like paraquat are disposed 
  • People working in the industrial production of paraquat
  • Weed killers who lack adequate protective gear

Paraquat poisoning results from exposure to the chemical Paraquat. Exposure can happen through inhalation or ingestion and be very serious if there isn’t prompt treatment. Symptoms may vary depending on how much paraquat was ingested. If exposure of paraquat occurs due to the recklessness of another party, consider filing a lawsuit. 

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