Paraquat Claim Attorneys

Did Paraquat Herbicide Give You Parkinson's?

Paraquat is a widely-used herbicide primarily used for weeds and grass control. It's also extremely toxic, which is why the EPA classifies paraquat for "restricted use," meaning only licensed applicators are allowed to use it. Paraquat is dyed blue and given a sharp odor to prevent it from being accidentally consumed, and it also has an added agent that induces vomiting if ingested, as a safeguard. In short, this is a highly toxic chemical that must be handled with the highest care.

The herbicide is produced by Syngenta, a Swiss manufacturer, which is unusual as paraquat has been banned in Switzerland and 31 other countries for many years. It was first produced for commercial purposes in 1961, and is still one of the most commonly used herbicides. In fact, it's still available for use in the U.S., although paraquat from outside the U.S. may not possess the safeguards it does here. Paraquat also goes by the brand name "Gramoxone" and is also produced by Chevron Chemical.

How Do I Know If I Was Exposed to Paraquat?

According to the CDC, paraquat is highly poisonous. The signs of paraquat poisoning can manifest within several hours or several days. Paraquat can cause damage to your body as soon as it touches the lining of your mouth, stomach, or intestines; it can even make you sick if you are exposed to the chemical through a cut in your skin, especially over a long period of time. However, the most likely exposure is by swallowing.

Immediate symptoms of paraquat poisoning include:

  • Nausea
  • Stomach pain
  • Vomiting
  • Bloody stool
  • Confusion
  • Muscle weakness
  • Seizures
  • Fast heart rate

Ingesting large amounts can lead to long-term health effects such as liver failure, acute kidney failure, respiratory failure, and pulmonary edema. Workers who are frequently exposed to the chemical, like farmers and agricultural laborers, can get it in their food or beverages, or can even be poisoned through skin exposure or inhalation. People who live near industrial farms where paraquat is used are also at risk.

Every 15 years, the EPA reevaluates herbicides to investigate their potential health risks. In 2016, they issued a regulatory filing on paraquat based on their findings and with an intention to look further into the link between paraquat exposure and Parkinson's. In 2020, they announced new safety measures for paraquat. 

The EPA's proposed regulations include:

  • Banning aerial application
  • Banning backpack sprays and pressurized handguns on paraquat applicators
  • Requiring enclosed cabs when the application area is larger than 80 acres in a 24-hour period
  • Limiting the application rate for alfalfa to be a maximum of 1 pound of active herbicide per acre

Unfortunately, while these regulations may help decrease the number of future paraquat poisonings and related wrongful deaths, many people, especially farm workers, continue to suffer from their continued exposure to this harmful chemical. Our paraquat lawyers at Handler, Henning & Rosenberg LLC can help determine if you or a loved one has grounds for a case.

Paraquat Linked to Parkinson's Disease

When it enters the body, paraquat toxins travel to all parts of the body. It's been known to cause harmful chemical reactions in the lungs, liver, and kidneys, as well as other areas. As a result, researchers have spent the last two decades looking more closely at the harmful effects of paraquat and whether it is appropriate for use near homes.

In 2009, an article from The American Journal of Epidemiology showed that paraquat that was sprayed within 1,600 feet of a residence increased the risk of Parkinson's disease by 75 percent. Two years later, the National Institute of Health conducted a study on paraquat's link to Parkinson's disease. That same year, the National Institute of Environmental Health published results on a broad study on pesticides, concluding that "Parkinson's disease was strongly associated with" paraquat.

The short- and long-term effects of Parkinson's Disease can vary from person to person, but the symptoms tend to progress over time. Early signs of the disease are often non-motor symptoms, which may be followed by motor symptoms in later stages.

Non-motor symptoms of Parkinson's Disease include:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Sleep disorders
  • Loss of smell
  • Constipation

And may progress to include motor symptoms such as:

  • Limb stiffness
  • Impaired balance
  • Resting tremors, especially in the hands
  • Difficulty standing up straight
  • Loss of facial expressions

If you or a loved one have experienced any of these symptoms and have reason to believe they may be linked to paraquat exposure, schedule an appointment with a neurologist as soon as possible and then consult a paraquat attorney at Handler, Henning & Rosenberg LLC by calling (888) 498-3023.

Were You or a Loved One Diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease?

Before the creation of glyphosate, paraquat was one of the most popular herbicides in the country. Despite it being a banned substance in 32 other countries and having multiple studies show a link to an increased risk of Parkinson's disease, it's still available for use. There are an untold number of people who were exposed to paraquat over the course of their lives, and an unknown number of people who developed Parkinson's disease as a result. It's not right, and the companies responsible need to pay for it.

Since 1922, Handler, Henning & Rosenberg LLC has been the go-to firm for injured consumers in Harrisburg and Central Pennsylvania. Our paraquat attorneys have held numerous pharmaceutical, industrial, and vehicle manufacturers accountable for negligent practices and products. We've won tens of millions of dollars for our clients, helping them get back on their feet when they've been wronged.

Our paraquat claims attorneys are investigating Syngenta and Chevron Chemical for their role in giving countless people Parkinson's disease as a long-term effect of paraquat or Gramoxone exposure. If you or a loved one were diagnosed with Parkinson's and were exposed to paraquat at any point in your life, speak with us today to learn your legal options for free.

Contact us online or call (888) 498-3023 today for a free consultation.

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