Have you ever found yourself using an herbicide to kill the weeds in your backyard? There’s a good chance you may have been using Gramoxone, better known as paraquat. While it can control grass and weed growth, it’s also a highly toxic chemical that can cause significant damage if you ingest or inhale it. If you have found yourself accidentally coming into contact with paraquat, here are some things to keep in mind.

What Do I Do If I've Taken Paraquat?

Paraquat Poisoning Symptoms

Paraquat exposure is highly dangerous, and poisoning is a fast process. One of the early signs that you’ve inhaled or ingested this weed killer is swelling and pain in the mouth and throat. Paraquat causes immediate damage by direct contact. Some patients may experience nausea, abdominal pain, and vomiting. These gastrointestinal symptoms are often severe, and even ingesting small to medium amounts of paraquat can lead to fatal poisoning.

Some people experience dehydration and low blood pressure, others have nosebleeds and difficulty breathing. Within days to weeks, a person may experience lung scarring and even organ failure. Ingesting large amounts of paraquat can cause severe symptoms ranging from muscle weakness and confusion to seizures and underlying causes of Parkinson’s disease. These paraquat cases may stem from contaminated food and beverages. It’s even dangerous to marijuana users if this herbicide was used on their batch. They may find themselves accidentally inhaling paraquat and not even realizing it until the symptoms kick in.

Treating the Poisoning

If you believe you or a loved one has been exposed to paraquat, seek emergency medical attention. If you believe that it may have come from something you ate, be sure to bring it with you to the hospital for testing to check for this pesticide. A doctor will order immediate tests of your urine and blood to evaluate for possible organ damage. These tests for potential ingestion or inhalation will allow a medical team to gain a full assessment of your overall health to have a better understanding of the damage done by paraquat so far.

Paraquat poisoning is often fatal, so there’s a limited time frame to purge this from your system. If ingestion was recent, members of your care team will give you activated charcoal orally or through a nasal tube. This will absorb this toxic chemical, and decrease the amount that is being held up within your body. If this is more advanced poisoning, a doctor may order hemoperfusion. This procedure filters the blood through charcoal to try and remove the paraquat from the system. This is commonly used to help prevent damage and scarring to the lungs. Doctors will administer medications to address digestive upset or potential seizures.

Legal Action

With a recent review finding the heavy toxicity of Gramoxone, injured consumers are now turning to class action lawsuits to gain compensation for medical bills and potential fatality. Paraquat MDL lawsuit attorneys have filed lawsuits against the makers of paraquat for negligence, knowingly distributing and producing a known toxin. This financial compensation for pain and suffering can cover medical expenses, lost wages, and suffering that a diagnosis of Parkinson’s brings.

If you are looking into legal action, be sure to find paraquat lawsuit attorneys who specialize in mass tort lawsuits. They’ll be able to work on the consolidation of cases for a class action filing in the federal court system. This sees the makers of this toxic chemical paying out a paraquat settlement that is then distributed to plaintiffs accordingly. Attorneys have represented everyone from the average American to farmworkers who used paraquat regularly not knowing their detriment. It’s important to hold the makers of paraquat accountable for the hardship they’ve caused.