Paraquat is a “commercial-use-only” weed killer or herbicide that has been linked to Parkinson’s disease. Farmers and agricultural workers may be at high risk of side effects that include Parkinson’s disease after long-term use of and exposure to Paraquat.
Why Is Paraquat Dangerous?
Paraquat has been banned in 32 countries because of the risks and toxicity of the product. Despite this, Paraquat continues to be widely used in the United States for weed control in commercial farming.
Paraquat is toxic and can cause lung damage as well as damage to the kidneys, liver, and esophagus if it is inhaled or ingested. It can easily damage or burn the skin by casual contact and is even alleged to cause death from concentrated skin exposure.
Scientific studies, including research by the National Institute of Health and The Unified Parkinson’s Advocacy Council, have found that exposure to Paraquat can increase a person’s chance of developing Parkinson’s Disease by 2.5 times that of the general population. The largest manufacturer or provider of Paraquat is Syngenta, and its brand name is Gramoxone.
What Are the Symptoms of Exposure to Paraquat?
People who are exposed to Paraquat may exhibit some of the following symptoms:
- Breathing problems
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Racing heart rate
- Skin and eye irritation
- Muscle fatigue
Parkinson’s Disease & Paraquat Exposure
As mentioned previously, prolonged exposure may put a Paraquat user at increased risk of Parkinson’s disease.
Parkinson’s disease is a central nervous system disorder and can affect movement, balance, and coordination. Symptoms often begin with hand tremors, leg or arm stiffness, impaired balance, or sluggishness in movement and reflexes.
Eventually, Parkinson’s can cause people to have difficulty even walking or talking.
Who Is Most at Risk from Paraquat Exposure?
Paraquat is widely used by agricultural workers, farmers, forestry workers, and commercial landscapers. It is also used by crop dusters, aerial sprayers, tank fillers, flaggers, and chemical mixers. Paraquat is extremely effective at preventing the growth of weed and grass and is often used by these workers when weeds become resistant to other herbicides.
Some people have also been exposed to the dangers of Paraquat simply by living near railroads, farms, or orchards where the weed killer is frequently applied.
Prolonged exposure to Paraquat increases the odds of developing Parkinson’s disease and other serious side effects.
What Should You Do if You Believe You’ve Developed Parkinson’s Disease from Exposure to Paraquat?
If you believe that your Parkinson’s disease was caused by exposure to Paraquat, you should consider meeting with an attorney to determine if you may have a case against the manufacturers of Paraquat. You may be able to recover monetary damages to compensate for medical bills and other losses associated with exposure to this herbicide.
Please contact Brett H. Oppenheimer, PLLC if you would like more information on Paraquat lawsuits from our Kentucky personal injury attorney. Our law firm has taken on large manufacturers to make sure that they were held accountable for their dangerous products.
Make an appointment with Brett today by calling (502) 242-8877 or by filling out our online contact form.