What part of the body do herbicides like Paraquat affect?

Paraquat is a weed and grass killer. Many companies in the United States use Paraquat, despite the serious risks involved. Recent studies have shown a link between Paraquat and damage to the heart, lungs, liver and kidneys.

The severity of symptoms one may experience after Paraquat exposure depends on the type of exposure. If you were exposed to low levels of the herbicide, there is a chance that you will be fine. However, moderate levels of exposure can result in serious and long-term symptoms, including:

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Pain and swelling in the mouth and throat
  • Severe abdominal pain

Most cases of Paraquat poisoning involve someone who ingested the substance. Under current CDC regulations, manufactures of Paraquat must dye the chemical blue to help consumers know that they are dealing with a hazardous substance. However, this is a relatively recent requirement, so older packages of Paraquat and imported brands of the chemical may not contain blue dye. Paraquat is easily mixed into water or other beverages, and someone can consume the product without knowing it.

If you consume Paraquat, even in small doses, the consequences may be life-threatening. For example, according to the CDC, someone who ingests a small amount of Paraquat may develop:

  • Heart failure
  • Kidney failure
  • Liver failure
  • Lung scarring

However, if you consume a large amount of Paraquat, your symptoms will be much more serious and may include:

  • Confusion
  • Coma
  • Increased heart rate
  • Heart damage
  • Kidney failure
  • Liver failure
  • More pronounced lung scarring
  • Muscle weakness
  • Fluid build-up in the lungs
  • Breathing failure
  • Seizures

By some estimates, approximately 70 percent of Paraquat poisoning cases result in death.

Recently, evidence surfaced indicating that Paraquat manufacturers knew the dangers their product caused but failed to warn consumers accordingly. Not surprisingly, the manufacturers of Paraquat disagree with the characterization. Regardless, anyone who suffers from Paraquat poisoning may bring a product liability claim against a manufacturer based on a failure-to-warn theory. These cases require you to prove that the manufacturer knew of the product’s risks but chose not to include the necessary warnings.

If you or someone you love is suffering from Paraquat poisoning, consider reaching out to a dedicated Philadelphia product liability attorney. Product liability cases are extremely complex and often require the testimony of expert witnesses to establish liability. If you are successful in your claim, you can recover compensation for your injuries, including medical expenses, lost wages, decreased earning capacity, as well as for the pain and suffering you endured as a result of your exposure.

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