Paraquat and Parkinson’s Disease

Agriculture is a vital industry in every country worldwide. Large commercial farms need quick, effective weed and foliage control for more efficient farming. In use since the 1960s, Paraquat is a commercial weed killer that takes out unwanted foliage quickly and easily wherever it’s used. Even weeds resistant to glyphosate (Roundup) are no match for […]
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Paraquat and Parkinson’s Disease

Agriculture is a vital industry in every country worldwide. Large commercial farms need quick, effective weed and foliage control for more efficient farming. In use since the 1960s, Paraquat is a commercial weed killer that takes out unwanted foliage quickly and easily wherever it’s used. Even weeds resistant to glyphosate (Roundup) are no match for Paraquat. However, paraquat and Parkinson's Disease are connected because exposure to paraquat has been shown to cause Parkinson's'.  Paraquat is also very harmful to people who come in contact with it, whether during work or casually.

What is Paraquat?

Manufactured by Syngenta and Chevron, the product is also sold under its brand name Gramoxone. 35 countries have recalled Paraquat from the market in the last thirty years. Paraquat is banned in the European Union and only available in the US to those licensed and trained to use it, such as farmers and landscapers. Even though it isn’t available for non-commercial use, Paraquat is still widely used in the US, with more companies using it as a weed killer for crop fields. This means anyone can be exposed to it without knowing.

Paraquat and Parkinson’s Disease: Why Pay Attention Now?

Paraquat and Parkinson’s Disease

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) began to notice in October 2020 after a spate of lawsuits followed its regular review of Paraquat. The EPA re-approved Paraquat for restricted use in the US and proposed stricter safety measures to help protect both human and environmental health.

People who developed Parkinson’s after using Paraquat were never warned about the product's dangers or instructed on proper protections. What’s troubling is that the companies that manufacture Paraquat have discussed the opportunity to make the product less hazardous—but refused. The reason is to protect the company's profits, not people who might be impacted by Paraquat poisoning.

Poisoning And Parkinson’s Disease

Direct contact and ingestion of Paraquat can lead to death if not treated immediately. The EPA states that “one sip can kill,” and as little as three drops of Paraquat can be deadly if ingested.

People who work with pesticides and weed killers are most at risk for Paraquat contact exposure, including:

  • Farmers
  • Growers
  • Agricultural laborers
  • Landscapers
  • Others who are licensed to handle and use Paraquat

Many people living near Paraquat facilities are exposed to contaminated air or water. Over time, people who experience both contact and non-contact exposure have a higher risk of developing Parkinson’s Disease.

What is Parkinson's Disease?

Some of the symptoms of Parkinson’s include:

  • Tremors or shaking while sitting still
  • Rigid or stiff muscles, leading to jaw stiffness and difficulties with walking or moving
  • Dizziness
  • Posture, balance, and coordination problems
  • Loss of automatic movements
  • Speech problems
  • Writing difficulty
  • Slowed movement (bradykinesia)
  • Behavioral changes, including depression, anxiety, insomnia, fatigue, memory, and other cognitive changes
  • Amnesia
  • Confusion
  • The appearance of stooping or “hunched over.”

These symptoms start slowly and develop over several years. They become progressively worse over time, and patients need consistent, continual care to maintain their quality of life. Currently, there is no cure for Parkinson’s. Other illnesses, including Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, are also possible from Paraquat exposures.

The Lawsuit: Paraquat and Parkinson's Disease

Earlier this year, a plaintiff filed a lawsuit against both Syngenta and Chevron USA, indicating repeated exposures to Paraquat-based herbicides led to the development of Parkinson’s. The plaintiff used the herbicides for 23 years, partly as a crop duster. During this period, the plaintiff had multiple exposures, including inhaling. At no time was he made aware of the dangers of Paraquat exposure.

Because the manufacturers failed to disclose the known links between the chemical and Parkinson’s, the plaintiff had no idea until diagnosed by a physician that the disease was linked to Paraquat.

People in the vicinity of farmlands with Paraquat can also be exposed since it can contaminate groundwater and well water, as well as vegetables, fruit, and other crops sold to the general public. Companies that manufacture Paraquat are now fielding multiple lawsuits by plaintiffs who became ill after using it.

Syngenta’s failure to disclose Paraquat’s risks to the public means that farmers and agricultural workers were unknowingly exposed to harm. The company never advised farmers how to protect themselves against Paraquat’s toxicity. Many farmers use Paraquat but don’t realize how harmful it can be.

It’s important to note that although Roundup (glyphosate) is toxic on its own, it is not the same as nor contained in Paraquat. Crop resistance due to the prevalent use of Roundup has led to the more extensive use of Paraquat.

Why You Should File A Claim

Chances are that you or someone you know has used or been exposed to Paraquat in the past and begun experiencing the beginning symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease. Filing a claim leads to financial compensation that you’ll need to take care of yourself and your family. The damages hold the company accountable for the harm that they’ve caused.

Going to court may be the only opportunity to collect compensation to pay your medical expenses, cover the lost wages, and help with the ongoing costs of Parkinson’s or other related illnesses. You may also be able to collect additional damages for pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of consortium.

Get Help With A Paraquat Lawsuit

Time limits are involved in this kind of lawsuit, so it’s imperative to speak with our product liability attorneys as soon as possible.

When you work with an attorney who understands Paraquat's dangers and how to file a claim, you’ll increase your chances of recovering the compensation you need.

If you or a loved one have been harmed by Paraquat, contact us for a FREE CONSULTATION.

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