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Paraquat

Paraquat, a popular herbicide, has recently been linked to Parkinson’s disease. It is a highly toxic chemical used to kill weeds, unwanted vegetation, and grass. Even though it is legal in the United States, more than 30 countries including China have banned the use of Paraquat.

The Environment Protection Agency (EPA) reports that it is the most commonly used herbicide. Every year, people use it to control invasive weeds in more than 100 types of crops. Paraquat products qualify as restricted-use products and can only be used by certified pesticide applicators.

Different companies sell Paraquat under different brands and product names. Gramoxone, produced by Sygenta, a Swiss agrochemical company, is its most widely known trade name. Other widely used products containing paraquat are Firestorm, Parazone, Quick-Quat, Helmquat 3L, Bonedry, Blanco, Ortho-Paraquat, and Devour.

 

 

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Side-Effects of Paraquat Exposure

Paraquat is an extremely dangerous and toxic chemical. The EPA reports that even one sip of the chemical can kill. There are reported cases of farmers committing suicide by drinking Paraquat.

The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) reports that many recent studies and research reports show a link between occupational exposure to Paraquat and Parkinson’s disease.

According to the Parkinson’s Foundation, Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that primarily affects dopamine-producing (“dopaminergic”) neurons in a specific area of the brain, known as substantia nigra. It also reports that there is no cure for the disease and treatment options include surgery and medication.

The Unified Parkinson’s Advocacy Council reports that chronic exposure to paraquat can increase the risk of Parkinson’s disease by 200-600%.

Other immediate side effects of Paraquat exposure are: 

  • Coma
  • Breathing problems
  • Dehydration
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Muscle fatigue
  • Seizures
  • Gastrointestinal issues including nausea and vomiting
  • Pain and swelling around the mouth and throat

People with Parkinson’s Disease may experience:

  • Tremors (shaking in the body while the muscles are relaxed)
  • Limb rigidity 
  • Gait and balance problems
  • Bradykinesia (slowness of voluntary movement and reflexes) 

The foundation also reports that non-movement-related conditions such as sleep disorders, depression, cognitive impairment, and constipation may result from the disease. The disease is a progressive disorder and usually becomes more serious with time.

 

Who Uses Paraquat?

Paraquat is widely used in the agricultural sector. It is one the most frequently used herbicides in the United States. Farmers and herbicide applicators are usually exposed to Paraquat as part of their occupation.

 

Can I File a Paraquat Lawsuit?

If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease after exposure to Paraquat, you may be eligible to file a Paraquat lawsuit and claim compensation. You may get compensation for the following:

  • Medical and hospital bills
  • Loss of income and wages
  • Loss of future earning
  • Resulting Disability
  • Pain and suffering including mental and emotional stress, trauma, and depression
  • Death

Our team of experienced defective product attorneys at Stewart & Stewart can help with evaluating your case and determining your eligibility to file a compensation claim against the Paraquat manufacturer. Contact us today for a free initial consultation and learn about your rights to claim damages. 

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