What is paraquat poisoning?
Paraquat poisoning refers to the symptoms of the ingestion or exposure to the toxic chemical Paraquat. Paraquat, also known by the popular brand name, Gramoxone, is a commonly used weed and grass killer. Although Paraquat is heavily regulated in the United States, many companies can use it if they obtain the necessary licensing. Paraquat use is not regulated as well in other parts of the world. Thus, globally, Paraquat poisoning is a leading cause of fatal poisoning.
The Environmental Protection Agency classified Paraquat as a “restrict use” chemical, which requires companies who sell the product to dye it blue so consumers can distinguish the chemical from others they keep around the home. However, because Paraquat is effective and inexpensive, it is one of the most commonly used herbicides in the United States. This is also due in part to the growing number of Round-Up lawsuits. Companies that used to use Round-Up have shifted to Paraquat, although recent evidence suggests that Paraquat is just as dangerous.
Paraquat is highly toxic to humans, and even at low levels, the substance can cause serious health concerns. For example, those who are exposed to Paraquat may suffer from:
- Heart failure
- Liver failure
- Kidney failure
- Scarring of the lungs
The symptoms of Paraquat poisoning include the following:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Severe abdominal pain
- Pain and swelling in the mouth and throat
While exposure to Paraquat is dangerous, generally, the symptoms of Paraquat poisoning are much worse for those who ingest the chemical. If even a small amount of Paraquat is consumed, it can result in potentially fatal symptoms.
Unfortunately, recently discovered evidence suggests that Paraquat manufacturers knew the dangers their product presented but failed to warn consumers adequately. Thus, anyone who suffers from Paraquat poisoning may be able to pursue a product liability claim against the manufacturer.
While manufacturers are generally liable for injuries resulting from their failure to warn consumers of the risks involved with the product, these cases can be challenging to prove. This is partly because they involve incredibly high stakes, and manufacturers aggressively defend against these cases. If you or someone you love recently suffered from Paraquat exposure or Paraquat poisoning, consider reaching out to a dedicated Philadelphia personal injury lawyer for immediate assistance.