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Farmer dies from toxic weedkiller



November 21, 2012

A Queensland farmer has died after ingesting the highly toxic weedkiller Paraquat, after the 8 litre pressure sprayer he was using accidentally released, spraying the poison into his mouth, and covering is face and chest. Although he drove himself to a nearby neighbour who quickly washed him down, he died in hospital the next day.

Paraquat is very toxic herbicide still widely used in agriculture. There is no antidote for the poison. In Australia, only experienced and trained operators like farmers can buy and use it, and it has been banned in many countries. This terrible tragedy highlights both the dangers of using toxic pesticides and herbicides and also the possibility of equipment failure exposing even experienced operators to fatal doses.

If you plan to use any herbicides or pesticides, read the label VERY carefully and use all the protective gear recommended, including a face mask.

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