J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol.  2019 Dec;17(2):126-131. 10.22537/jksct.2019.17.2.126.

Characteristics of Acute Herbicide Poisoning: Focused on Chlorophenoxy Herbicide

  • 1Department of Emergency Medicine, Ajou University School of Medicine, Suwon, Korea. avenue59@ajou.ac.kr


Herbicide-related mortality has decreased since the complete ban of paraquat product sales in 2012, but there still have been other herbicides intoxications with relatively severe complications. Glyphosate and glufosinate herbicides are used widely, and considerable research has been conducted. Chlorophenoxy herbicide is another major herbicide that has shown poor outcomes and mortality without proper management, but research in this area is lacking. Therefore, this study compared the clinical features of chlorophenoxy herbicide with those of other herbicides.
The medical records of patients exposed to herbicides at a tertiary academic university hospital in Korea from May 2014 to April 2019 were reviewed retrospectively. The demographic and clinical data of 135 patients were then analyzed to identify the recent herbicides intoxication trends after the paraquat sales ban, focusing mainly on chlorophenoxy herbicide poisoning.
Of the 135 patients, 13 patients (9.6%) had chlorophenoxy herbicide poisoning. No significant differences in all the variables were observed between the chlorophenoxy herbicide poisoning group and non-chlorophenoxy herbicides poisoning groups. Toxic symptoms after poisoning varied from nothing noticeable to confusion; none of the patients had severe complications after their treatments.
Acute chlorophenoxy poisoning is relatively less severe, with lower mortality rates than glyphosate and glufosinate poisoning.


Chlorophenoxy; Poisoning; Herbicides; Prognosis; Emergency treatment
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