Paraquat

CAS RN: 4685-14-7

Range of Toxicity

A) TOXIC DOSE: Toxicity increases with the dose ingested. Clinical experience has suggested the following:
1) MILD TOXICITY: Ingestion of less than 20 mg paraquat ion per kg body weight (less than 7.5 mL of 20% [w/v] paraquat concentrate): No symptoms or mild GI effects; recovery likely.
2) MODERATE to SEVERE TOXICITY: 20 to 40 mg paraquat ion per kg body weight (7.5 to 15 mL of 20% [w/v] paraquat concentrate): Pulmonary fibroplasia develops. Death occurs in most cases, but may be delayed 2 to 3 weeks.
3) FATAL: Greater than 40 mg paraquat ion per kg body weight (more than 15 mL of 20% [w/v] paraquat concentrate): Multiple organ failure occurs; toxicity progresses rapidly. Mortality is essentially 100% in 1 to 7 days.
4) SURVIVAL CURVES for patients that ingested paraquat have been developed based upon serum paraquat concentrations and hours since the ingestion. They are useful for prognosis only.
B) OCCUPATIONAL EXPOSURE: The IDLH is 1 mg/m(3). The ACGIH-TLV-TWA is 0.5 mg/m(3) as total dust and 0.1 mg/m(3) of the respirable dust as a fraction of the cation.
C) REFORMULATION OF PRODUCTS: Some variability may exist based on the formulation; newer formulations may have an alginate added that converts to a gel under normal stomach acid conditions that can increase emesis and act as a purgative.
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