Health Effects of Paraquat: a Highly Hazardous Pesticide

16th January, 2017




Paraquat is a highly hazardous pesticides, widely used as a herbicide or weedicide. It enters the body mainly by swallowing, or through damaged skin, but may also be inhaled. Thousands of deaths have occurred from ingestion (often suicide) or dermal exposure (mainly occupational) to paraquat. Paraquat is corrosive to the skin and once the skin is damaged it is easily absorbed into the body. In developing countries paraquat is often applied under hazardous conditions that results in high dermal exposure. As little as a teaspoon of concentrated paraquat can result in death and there is no antidote. It is linked with the onset, or accelerate the development, of Parkinson’s disease. Pregnant women and children should not be exposed to this chemical as Paraquat crosses the placenta. Paraquat has been banned, or use disallowed, in 44 countries (including the countries of the EU).

The fact sheet provides information about the health and environmental impacts of paraquat. Get easy to understand information about paraquat health impacts.

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This report provides more in-depth information on paraquat's health risks including the impact on plantation workers and actual cases of poisoning. As a result of the tremendous impact of paraquat on human health, PANAP and Berne Declaration (now Public Eye) continue to campaign to call for the ban of paraquat. Syngenta, a Swiss Company and the producer of paraquat continues to produce and market paraquat even though it is banned in Switzerland. Please visit www.stop-paraquat.net for more and updated information about paraquat.

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In India, paraquat is used with any personal protective equipment by farmers and workers. Worse sellers recant it into polythene bags and sell them without any instructions, labels or information about their health risks. information on their use is not according to approvals by the Pesticide Regulator.

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Monograph on paraquat provides in-depth information on health and environmental impacts of paraquat. Citation of studies and research undertaken on paraquat is included to back the information provided.

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highly hazardous pesticides paraquat Syngenta health risks environmental impacts Ban on paraquat campaign