Used as an herbicide since 1961 – and famous for its use in the attempt to destroy marijuana fields in the late ‘70s by the Mexican government – Paraquat dichloride is having an explosive moment in the U.S.
As other herbicides like Monsanto’s Roundup have seen use decline, both due to potential health risks and the rise of Roundup-resistant weeds, Paraquat has filled the gap for U.S. farmers.
But like Roundup, Paraquat may come with its own health risks. An extremely toxic chemical, it’s very dangerous to humans if ingested or inhaled. That’s why only specially-licensed applicators are legally allowed to own and spread the herbicide.
Despite existing precautions, however, evidence has been mounting since 2011 that exposure to Paraquat may increase the risk of Parkinson’s disease. Many Paraquat manufacturers, like the Swiss company Syngenta, have chosen to ignore this evidence and keep manufacturing Paraquat to export to the United States, even after their own countries have banned its use.
Parkinson’s patients whose illness might be attributable to Paraquat exposure are fighting to hold these companies accountable and demand compensation. Lawsuits have already been filed on their behalf, and there are surely more to come.
How Was The Risk Discovered?
A 2011 study by the National Institute of Health (NIH) comprised 80,000 U.S. farmers and agricultural workers, and found they had an increased incidence of Parkinson’s disease when compared to the general population. Further research, including a DNA study, has corroborated this link.
The evidence was sufficient to prompt many countries to ban the use of Paraquat. In the U.S., Paraquat can only be used by a licensed applicator, and the EPA is engaged in further research.
What Are The Symptoms Of Parkinson’s Disease?
According to the Mayo Clinic, Parkinson’s symptoms may include:
- Tremor. A tremor, or shaking, usually begins in a limb, often your hand or fingers. You may rub your thumb and forefinger back-and-forth, known as a pill-rolling tremor. Your hand may tremor when it's at rest.
- Slowed movement (bradykinesia). Over time, Parkinson's disease may slow your movement, making simple tasks difficult and time-consuming. Your steps may become shorter when you walk. It may be difficult to get out of a chair. You may drag your feet as you try to walk.
- Rigid muscles. Muscle stiffness may occur in any part of your body. The stiff muscles can be painful and limit your range of motion.
- Impaired posture and balance. Your posture may become stooped, or you may have balance problems.
- Loss of automatic movements. You may have a decreased ability to perform unconscious movements, including blinking, smiling or swinging your arms when you walk.
- Speech changes. You may speak softly, quickly, slur or hesitate before talking. Your speech may be more monotone instead of using usual inflections.
- Writing changes. It may become hard to write, and your writing may appear small.
Who Can Participate In A Paraquat Lawsuit?
Anyone who has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease after exposure to Paraquat may be a candidate for a Paraquat lawsuit. If you think you qualify, call us right away for a free case review.
We Can Help You Fight
If you or a loved one is suffering from Parkinson’s disease after exposure to Paraquat, you may be eligible for compensation. We’re ready to review your case for free, and if we take your case, you won’t pay a dime unless we win for you.
We’re the largest personal injury firm in the country, and we have the experience and resources necessary to take on the world's biggest corporations. We’re ready for the fight. We’ve recovered $7 billion for our clients to date, and we’re ready to work for you too.
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