What are the dangers of Paraquat?

On Behalf of | May 17, 2024 | Paraquat Poisoning

Paraquat is an herbicide that’s supposed to be used only by people who hold a special license. It’s toxic to humans and can kill plants. As a result, it has chemicals and blue dye added to it that make it smell bad and will induce vomiting if it’s ingested.

Yet, anyone who comes in contact with Paraquat can suffer from Paraquat poisoning. This is especially true for those who apply the chemical to crops.

Dangers of exposure

Paraquat is extremely poisonous and can be lethal even in small amounts. The primary route of exposure is ingestion, but inhalation and skin contact can also be hazardous. The symptoms of acute poisoning can include:

  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Seizures
  • Organ failure

Long-term exposure, even at low levels, can cause chronic health issues, such as lung damage, kidney failure and an increased risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. Studies have shown a correlation between Paraquat exposure and the development of this debilitating neurological disorder.

Paraquat doesn’t break down quickly in the environment, leading to prolonged contamination of soil and water sources. This means the chemical can leach into groundwater, posing a risk to communities relying on these sources for drinking water.

While people who have licenses to apply this chemical have been trained for safety, this doesn’t help innocent people or agricultural workers who are poisoned through drinking water, accidental ingestion or work-related exposure.

Decontamination procedures

If you come into contact with Paraquat, immediate action is crucial. Medical care is critical, but other actions may also be necessary, depending on the type of exposure.

  • Skin contact: Wash the affected area thoroughly with soap and water.
  • Eye contact: Rinse eyes with plenty of water for at least 15 minutes and seek medical attention.
  • Ingestion: Don’t induce vomiting. Seek immediate medical assistance because Paraquat ingestion is a medical emergency.

People who have experienced Paraquat poisoning may opt to pursue compensation through a toxic tort claim. This is not a straightforward undertaking, but with personalized legal guidance, a victim of this kind of poisoning can potentially secure justice.


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