Stop the Poisonings! Stop Paraquat!

Health effects from paraquat exposure

The exposure of farmers and agricultural workers to paraquat, during mixing and spraying, has acute (immediate) toxic effects and chronic (long-term) effects on health. Acute health effects occur frequently among paraquat users and include eye injury, nosebleed, irritation and burns of skin or other parts of the body. The symptoms of acute poisoning are nausea, vomiting or pains, and difficulty in breathing may develop with a delay of two to three days. The exposure to relatively low doses of paraquat over a longer period of time may damage health. Chronic exposure to paraquat can affect the lungs, nerve system or brain, skin and reproduction (potential birth defects). In epidemiological studies the long-term exposure to low doses of paraquat was linked to small changes in the gas exchange of the lung and was associated with an increased risk for developing Parkinson's Disease (PD).