Paraquat Lawsuit Attorney

Paraquat is one of the most commonly used herbicides globally, and it is one of the most dangerous. A single sip of this toxic weedkiller can be deadly.

Paraquat has been in use since the 1960s, but recently, researchers have linked it to Parkinson’s disease. One study found that exposure to the herbicide increases a person’s risk of developing the brain disorder by 150%. A Parkinson’s advocacy group claims that exposure to paraquat at a young age increases a person’s risk of developing the disease by as much as 600%.

The product liability attorneys at Jeffrey Glassman Injury Lawyers have been actively examining this developing area of litigation and are equipped to assist you with a Paraquat lawsuit. If you have Parkinson’s disease and were exposed to paraquat, you may be able to file a claim. Our attorneys have won millions of dollars for clients injured from toxic exposures, and our law firm has the resources and reputation for taking on powerful, deep-pocketed chemical companies.

We are proud to fight for hardworking farmers and agricultural workers whose lives have been turned upside down by a Parkinson’s diagnosis and help them obtain compensation for medical bills, lost income, pain and suffering, and other losses.

We urge you to call today for a free legal consultation. There are no fees until we win money for you.

More Than 60 Countries Have Banned Paraquat

Paraquat is a chemical used as an herbicide, primarily for weed and grass control, sold under brand names such as Gramoxone, Devour, Firestorm, Blanco, and Bonfire Herbicide.

Although more than 60 countries have banned paraquat, it is used in the United States to produce many crops, including corn, soy, cotton, and wheat. Paraquat use has doubled in the past decade and will most likely continue to grow because of its ability to eradicate “superweeds” that have become resistant to the weedkiller Roundup. Scientists have linked glyphosate-based Roundup to a particular type of cancer known as non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in recent years.

Paraquat also is used in the desiccation of crops such as cotton. Desiccation refers to the process in which a chemical agent is applied to a crop before harvest to kill the leaves and plants so that the crop dries out more quickly and evenly.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) categorizes paraquat as a “restrictive use pesticide.” As a result, only people who are licensed applicators can use it. In 2020, the EPA reapproved paraquat for use in the United States, which means the herbicide will remain legal for the next 15 years unless action is taken. You can read the EPA’s information on paraquat here.

The EPA has not approved paraquat use in residential areas or near schools, parks, playgrounds, or golf courses.

Possible Link Between Paraquat and Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive nervous system disorder. Symptoms, including tremors, slow movement, stiffness, and loss of balance, develop slowly. While medications can help control these symptoms, there is no cure for the disease. More than 10 million people live with Parkinson’s worldwide, including the actor Michael J. Fox, boxing legend Muhammed Ali, and heavy metal icon Ozzy Osbourne.

In addition to herbicides, scientists believe that various environmental exposures increase a person’s Parkinson’s risk. These include air pollution, pesticides, and industrial solvents such as trichloroethylene, used as a grease remover and an ingredient in adhesives and paint removers. You can read more about Parkinson’s disease at the Parkinson’s Foundation.

Studies suggest that repeated exposure to paraquat even in low doses may cause an individual to develop Parkinson’s disease.

Notably, a large study in 2011 found that U.S. farmers who used paraquat were twice as likely to develop Parkinson’s disease when compared to farmers who did not use the herbicide.

Louisiana State University has published data showing that an individual’s zip code and proximity to land where paraquat is applied coincides with their risk of developing Parkinson’s. In addition, LSU’s data suggests that people can suffer health effects related to paraquat even if they do not work in the agricultural industry.

Researchers believe a deficit of a neurotransmitter known as dopamine causes Parkinson’s disease. Studies have shown that paraquat can kill nerve cells in the brain that produce dopamine.

Agrichemical company Syngenta, the primary producer of paraquat, denies any link between the herbicide and Parkinson’s disease. Other companies that manufacture paraquat are Chevron Chemical Co., Drexel Chemical Co., Innvictis Crop Care LLC, and Helm Agro.

The companies point to an EPA review of more than 70 articles that investigated Parkinson’s disease and other health outcomes allegedly linked to paraquat and found insufficient evidence to conclude that the herbicide causes any of these health problems when used according to directions.

Farmers, Agricultural Workers at High Risk for Paraquat Exposure

Farmers and other agricultural workers who apply paraquat are at risk of inhaling the herbicide during crop spraying. They also run the risk of being harmed by paraquat through ingestion and skin exposure. Paraquat poisoning is more likely to occur when the skin exposure lasts a long time or when a person has a cut or sore.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says paraquat causes “direct damage” when it makes contact with the lining of a person’s mouth, stomach, or intestines. Once inside the body, paraquat is distributed to all areas. The lungs, liver, and kidneys are the organs most likely to be affected.

There is no antidote or cure for paraquat poisoning.

Exposure can happen when workers:

  • Mix or load paraquat
  • Spray paraquat
  • Maintain spray tanks and equipment
  • Perform tasks in paraquat-sprayed fields

Another hazard occurs when paraquat drifts from the application site. That means that individuals who live in communities near farms may be exposed.

It is also possible that paraquat can contaminate ground or well water and fruits, vegetables, and other farm-grown produce sold to the public.

According to the EPA’s recommendations, anyone who comes in contact with paraquat should seek immediate medical attention.

The chemical should never be transferred to another container or stored in or near residential buildings to prevent ingestion. In addition, paraquat should be kept away from children and applied only by a certified applicator. Because of its toxicity, paraquat sold in the United States has a blue dye and a strong odor to prevent it from being confused with certain beverages, plus an added ingredient that causes vomiting if someone drinks it.

Individuals who ingest paraquat may experience mouth and throat pain and swelling coupled with gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. In addition, they may experience heart, kidney, and liver failure and lung scarring. Other symptoms include confusion, coma, muscle weakness, respiratory failure, and seizures. Ingesting even a small amount of paraquat can be deadly.

Workers should follow the instructions on the label and use required personal protective equipment to prevent skin or eye exposure.

To learn more about how our toxic exposure attorneys can help you with a paraquat claim, contact Jeffrey Glassman Injury Lawyers today at (617) 777-7777 or using our online form.

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