Paraquat dichloride is a chemical commonly found in herbicides. Studies show a link between the use of paraquat and Parkinson’s disease.
Lawsuit cases are now being filed on behalf of individuals who were exposed to paraquat and were diagnosed with Parkinson’s as a result. Read on to find out more about the chemical and what you can do if exposure negatively affected your health.
What is Paraquat?
Paraquat dichloride is most commonly used as an herbicide. It was first produced 130 years ago but it became popular for farming applications in the mid-20th century. It is currently being used on over 100 types of crops.
According to research conducted by the American Council on Science and Health, paraquat has toxicity relative to glyphosate, ( another common herbicide) that ranges from 33-250. A dose of 2.5 grams of paraquat could be lethal and it is even more deadly when it is inhaled.
It has also been known to produce adverse side effects and serious health conditions including Parkinson’s disease.
The Paraquat Parkinson’s Link
A study conducted by the National Institution of Health (NIH) in 2011, known as the Farming Movement and Evaluation (FAME), aimed to explore the paraquat Parkinson’s link. It revealed that those that used paraquat were two and a half times more likely to develop Parkinson’s as compared to other individuals.
However, some studies have shown conflicting evidence. After the results of the FAME study were published, the Swiss paraquat herbicide manufacturer Syngenta released data on their website states that farmers that use paraquat are less likely to develop Parkinson’s as compared to the NDH study.
The Banning of Paraquat
Despite conflicting information that has arisen, the world is taking a ‘better safe than sorry’ approach.
Paraquat has been banned in 32 countries around the world. However, it is still being distributed through certain channels.
Although the chemical was banned in Switzerland, Swiss manufacturer Syngenta still produces it.
Paraquat has also been banned in England and throughout the European Union. However, Syngenta still has a manufacturing facility in Northern England. What is produced at the facility is sent to the United States.
China, a nation known for having loose environmental regulations has not officially banned the chemical, but they announced that they would begin phasing out production in 2012 to save people’s lives. Production in China is now being exported.
Other countries are filing suit and the chemical is becoming banned around the world.
Paraquat Use in the United States
Although word of the dangers associated with paraquat are wide-reaching, it is still commonly used in the United States.
Farmers previously used Monsanto’s Roundup as a preferred herbicide. However, weeds and pests were becoming resistant to it. And like paraquat, Roundup has also been found to cause health issues.
As a result, many agricultural workers are turning to paraquat. It is often used in soybean fields. In fact, the amount of paraquat used in soybean fields has increased four times in the past ten years.
Obviously, paraquat is not banned in the United States. However, it is considered a Restricted Use Pesticide (RUP). This means only applicators “licensed in accordance with EPA regulations and state, territorial and tribal laws” are permitted to purchase and use it.
EPA Regulatory Paraquat Filing
In 2016, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a regulatory filing that stated that the organization would be studying paraquat regarding its harmful effects on health. The agency plans on deciding whether to place a ban on the chemical based on their findings. A final decision is not expected until next year at the earliest.
New Research Further Backs Paraquat’s Harmful Effects
Although some argue paraquat’s harmful effects, new research has been conducted with results backing the findings of the previous FAME study.
The newer study came out in 2017 and was published in Nature Chemical Biology. The research revealed a pathway for Paraquat-induced cell death in humans. The study determined that paraquat increases oxidative stress that can lead to Parkinson’s and other health conditions.
Current Paraquat Lawsuit
Paraquat is already the subject of a lawsuit filed in Clair County, IL, in October of 2017. The suit was filed on behalf of farmers and agricultural workers who were exposed to the chemical and developed Parkinson’s as a result.
Syngenta and Growmark are targeted as plaintiffs in the lawsuit for distributing and selling paraquat as Gramoxone and under other brand names. Chevron Chemical has since been added as a plaintiff for working in conjunction with the other companies.
The plaintiffs are arguing that they were unaware the chemical caused long-term health risks.
Who Can Participate in a Paraquat Lawsuit?
If you used paraquat and developed Parkinson’s disease or are experiencing symptoms that indicate you may be developing Parkinson’s, you may be eligible to participate in a paraquat lawsuit.
Groth Law Firm, S.C. is Now Representing Clients in Paraquat Lawsuits
If you are experiencing symptoms of Parkinson’s as a result of paraquat exposure, you need an experienced attorney on your side. The attorneys at Groth Law Firm, S.C. have a wealth of experience dealing with these types of lawsuits.
Groth Law Firm, S.C. is a team of Wisconsin lawyers who are dedicated to getting you the best outcome possible. They hire a team of investigators that employ a high attention to detail giving you every advantage when it comes to winning your case.
Paraquat can produce effects that can negatively affect quality of life. Don’t let big corporations get away with it. If you or a loved one have been affected by paraquat, call Groth Law Firm, S.C. for a free case evaluation and find out how you can get the compensation you deserve.