10th Annual Scientific Congress of Asia Pacific Association of Medical Toxicology (APAMT)

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Research Title: 
Review on Paraquat Poisoning in Malaysia After Lifting of Ban
Authors: 
Zyoud SH
Authors: 
Sazaroni MR
Authors: 
Awang R
Authors: 
Haslina H
Authors: 
Adilah MA
Authors: 
Asdariah M
Country: 
Malaysia
Date: 
Fri, 2011-11-11
Research Abstract: 
  • Abstract Text: Introduction: Paraquat is one of the most popular pesticides for weed control in Malaysia. Despite its high toxicity, it is widely used for its effectiveness. Due to frequent and serious poisoning involving this agent, the use of paraquat was banned in 2005 but was reintroduced into the market a year later and is currently available. Objective: The aim of this study is to assess the outcome of the lifting of the ban and the occurrence of paraquat poisoning in the country. Method: Poisoning cases referred to National Poison Centre (NPC), Malaysia for the period of 2005–2009 were analysed. Special emphasis was directed on herbicide cases involving paraquat exposure. Age, gender, ethnic, route of exposure, reason of exposure, and the number of paraquat calls during the ban and after its re-introduction were evaluated. SPSS version 15 was used for descriptive analysis of the data collected. Result: A total of 278 calls involving paraquat were received during the period of the study. The cases mainly involved adult males (68.4 %) and common among Indians (32.1 %) compared to Chinese (22 %) and Malay (22 %). Suicide attempts were the most common (73.8 %) circumstances of exposure. Accidental paraquat poisoning mostly involved exposure through ingestion (80.6 %), followed by inhalation (12.3 %) and cutaneous (7.1 %). The number of calls relating to paraquat exposure when it was banned was 67 (36 and 31 in 2005 and 2006 respectively). After its re-introduction, there was a marked increased in the number of cases: 39, 79 and 101 for 2007, 2008 and 2009, respectively. Conclusion and Recommendations: There is an increment in the number of calls received by the NPC involving patients exposed to paraquat from year 2007 to 2009 following the lifting of the ban. This should prompt the Government of Malaysia to review the lifting of the ban. Poor enforcement of regulations on paraquat use has resulted in intentional poisoning involving the chemical. Knowledge on the proper storage and disposal of paraquat must be imparted to its users. Similar study on a national level should be undertaken to have a more comprehensive data on paraquat poisoning.