Q. Why is paraquat dangerous when swallowed? What does it do to the body?
A. Over the years a comprehensive understanding of paraquat have been developed. Like many natural and synthetic chemicals, paraquat has a harmful effect on the human body when swallowed in sufficient quantity. Paraquat concentrates in kidney and lung cells and high concentrations can overwhelm cellular defense mechanisms and lead to lung and kidney damage. (For more information see Lock and Wilks, 2001.) For a more complete understanding of how the paraquat mechanism affects the human body and available 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: http://www.syngenta.com/global/corporate/en/pqmedguide/Pages/index.aspx