Q. Is there an effective treatment for accidental swallowing of paraquat?

A. The treatment for someone who has ingested product concentrate that contains paraquat begins with the patient drinking a water suspension of adsorbents such as bentonite clay, Fuller's Earth, or activated charcoal. This takes advantage of the product's property to bind with clay to render it inactive. Purgatives can be used to help get paraquat out of the system. Treatment booklets with additional information are made available to medical authorities and poison centers, worldwide. For a more complete understanding of how the paraquat mechanism affects the human body and treatment options, refer to the following website, which contains material jointly produced by members of the Health Assessment and Environmental Safety Department of Syngenta and the Medical Toxicology Unit, Guy's & St Thomas' Hospital NHS Trust, London, UK: www.syngenta.com/pqmedguide/index.html