Pesticide poisoning compensation claims

Updated: October 8, 2018

Introduction

Pesticides are substances used to control and kill pests including plants and animals. They are manufactured using natural and synthetic chemicals to create different varieties including herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, rodenticides and molluscicides.

Pesticides are widely used in agriculture as well as in textile manufacture, catering and in domestic gardens. Because they are manufactured to kill plants and animals, they can also be a danger to humans if inhaled, ingested or through direct contact with skin. If you have been poisoned by pesticides, you may be able to make a hazardous substances-related compensation claim.

On office equipment
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Types of Pesticide Poisoning

Poisoning from pesticides is usually categorised into three types:

  1. Single, short-term (acute) very high level exposure. Usually from inhaling or ingesting a large quantity of pesticide
  2. Long-term (chronic) high-level exposure. This can happen to pesticide formulators and manufacturers from coming into contact with the substances
  3. Long-term (chronic) low-level exposure. Often resulting from exposure to pesticide residues in food, air, water, soil, plants and animals
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What are the harmful effects of pesticide poisoning?

Pesticides are substances that are crafted to be deliberately poisonous to the plants of animals they are designed for. This usually means that the concentration of poisonous chemicals is not high enough to kill humans in small quantities, but if exposed, health can be adversely affected.

The most common effects include:

Less common long-term effects can include:

  • Cancers including leukaemia, lymphoma, brain, kidney, breast, prostate, pancreas, liver and skin
  • Neurological effects including Parkinson's disease and dementia
  • Reproductive issues including birth defects, foetal death and altered foetal growth
  • Infertility
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Who is most commonly affected by pesticide poisoning?

Those who work in agriculture, textiles, or the formulation, manufacture or handling of pesticides are at the highest risk of exposure and poisoning from pesticides. Members of the public can also be affected if pesticides are used in close proximity to their home or place of work.

Pesticide spillages or improper drainage can cause water and soil contamination. If food is handled, transported, prepared or treated improperly, pesticides can be ingested.

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Do I have a pesticide poisoning claim?

If you have been exposed to pesticides at work

Employers have a duty of care to their employers to provide a safe workplace and to reduce the risk of injury.

Necessary safety precautions should be taken when there is a chance that staff may be exposed to harmful pesticides. Failure to provide adequate training, and failing to provide suitable Personal Protective Equipment such as goggles, filtration masks and chemical resistance suits may be evidence of an employer breaching their duty. Employers must also ensure that chemicals are properly labelled and safely stored.

If you believe that your employer has failed in their duty of care and this failure resulted in harmful pesticide exposure, you may be able to make a work-related illness claim.

If you have been exposed to pesticides at home or in a public space

Pesticides should be safely sprayed or applied to avoid coming into contact with the public. If you have been exposed to pesticides, you should be able to make a claim against the company responsible for the pesticide exposure.

Your solicitor will be able to help identify the party responsible for the exposure.

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What can be claimed for?

If you have suffered any of the above symptoms from pesticide exposure, you may be able to claim compensation for the pain and suffering caused, the impact on quality of life and lifestyle, the psychological impact, and for any income lost due to incapacitation.

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How much compensation can I claim for pesticide poisoning?

The amount of compensation you will receive depends on a number of factors. Our personal injury compensation calculator provides an accurate estimate of your likely compensation.

Use our Online Compensation Calculator
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Meet the QLS team

The nationwide network of Quittance solicitors handle all types of industrial disease claims, from fast track claims to serious, long-term injury. Our solicitors are selected on the basis of their track record in recovering compensation and their level of experience.

Meet more of the Quittance team: click here.

Kevin Walker Serious Injury Panel Solicitor
Tim Fieldhouse Industrial Disease Panel Solicitor
Shahida Chaudery Complex Injury Claims Panel Solicitor
Jenny Jones, Senior litigator

About the author

With over 20 years' experience in the law, Jenny has spent the last decade specialising in personal injury, with a particular focus on industrial disease cases.

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