Ingested Toxic Weedkiller Causes Farming Fatality

A 55-year-old farmer died on Monday after being sprayed by a very toxic weed killer in Darling Downs, Queensland.

The incident happened when the veteran farmer was using an 8L pressure pump unit filled with paraquat to spray weeds on his property when it released and the chemical sprayed into his mouth and over his face and chest.

He drove 400m to a neighbours property for assistance and they hosed him down to get rid of the poison while they waited for an ambulance.

He was transported to the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane but passed away on Tuesday.

Paraquat is one of the most common pesticides that is used worldwide for controlling weeds, but even a small amount such as a teaspoon can be fatal. It is a Schedule 7 Dangerous Poison with restrictions and it is only available to people who are trained.

There is no antidote to the chemical and it is actually banned in 32 countries and this latest incident has revitalised the ongoing concerns about Australia’s regulation of highly toxic herbicides.

OHS News

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