Paraquat Pesticide Lawsuits

Paraquat Herbicide Litigation

It has been long known to scientists that Paraquat, also known as Gramoxone, is toxic. In fact, Paraquat is so toxic, that ingesting even a single sip of the chemical can be fatal for an adult. Recently, evidence has accumulated that shows that repeated exposure to Paraquat even in low doses may be linked to the development of Parkinson’s disease. One study found that exposure to Paraquat increases the risk of Parkinson’s by 150 percent.

Given this, more than 60 countries have banned the use of Paraquat. Despite growing health concerns and legal challenges over the herbicide’s connection to Parkinson’s the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has not done much to restrict or limit its use. 

With Paraquat use continuing in the U.S., agricultural workers and farmers face increased risks of exposure. Numerous lawsuits have been filed claiming that people exposed developed Parkinson’s disease as a result and that Paraquat’s manufacturer Syngenta failed to warn about this serious risk.

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Paraquat Pesticide FAQs

How Is Paraquat Commonly Used?

Paraquat is used by farmers for the production of crops, including:

  • Soy;
  • Peanuts;
  • Almonds;
  • Wheat;
  • Sweet potatoes;
  • Strawberries;
  • Cotton;
  • Corn;
  • Grapes;
  • and other crops 

Paraquats use has doubled over the past decade and is expected to continue to grow given its effectiveness on “superweeds”, many of which have developed resistance to glyphosate (i.e. Roundup). It can also be used for the desiccation (the removal of moisture) from crops, like cotton, prior to harvest. In total, farmers use more than 10 million pounds of Paraquat each year on their crops. 

Because of the dangerous toxicity levels found in Paraquat, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classifies Paraquat as a “restricted use pesticide.” This means that only certified applicators who undergo EPA-approved training are able to use Paraquat products. There are no homeowner uses approved for Paraquat and the chemical isn’t permitted to be applied in residential areas or around schools, parks, golf courses, or playgrounds.

Is There a Connection Between Parkinson’s Disease and Paraquat Use?

Yes. Scientific research has concluded that those who use Paraquat are twice as likely to develop Parkinson’s disease in the future. Additionally, people living in or near areas where Paraquat is used also face risk, as the wind can carry the airborne chemical into neighborhoods and other populated areas. Despite numerous scientific studies into Paraquat’s safety, the company responsible for the pesticide has refused to acknowledge potential risks and in the process has exposed thousands of innocent people to a hazardous chemical for over a decade.

Is There Scientific Evidence of a Link Between Paraquat and Parkinson’s Disease?

Yes. Numerous scientific studies have linked Paraquat to Parkinson’s. A large study in  2011 of U.S. farmers concluded that those who used Paraquat were twice as likely to develop Parkinson’s disease vs those who didn’t. Further research has found that consistent exposure over long periods of time increases the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. Louisiana State University published data showing that a person’s zip code and proximity to cropland where Paraquat was applied directly correlates with the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.

Scientists believe that a deficit of the neurotransmitter dopamine causes Parkinson’s. Studies have shown that Paraquat can kill dopamine-producing nerve cells in the brain. Inhaling Paraquat, which could happen if workers come into contact with aerosolized droplets while spraying crops, provides a direct pathway to the brain, according to researchers at the University of Rochester. However, Paraquat could also end up in the brain via ingestion or skin exposure. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) notes that once Paraquat enters the body, it is distributed to all areas of the body.

Who Is at Risk of Developing Parkinson’s From Paraquat Exposure?

Farmers and agricultural workers who work directly with and around Paraquat are at the most significant risk of exposure. Exposure is most likely to occur in the following ways:

  • Mixing or loading 
  • Spraying 
  • Maintaining tanks and/or equipment used to spray 
  • Spending time in fields where Paraquat was used

However, exposure risks are not limited to people involved only in agriculture. Evidence also suggests that Paraquat airborne particles can drift from the application site to nearby communities. Because of this, people living in or nearby agricultural areas may be exposed to Paraquat. Paraquat may even contaminate ground or well water and even contaminate vegetables, nuts, fruits, and grains that are sold to the public across the United States.

Is There a Paraquat Lawsuit?

Unfortunately, numerous individuals have developed Parkinson’s disease as a result of exposure to Paraquat, including those who live near agricultural areas where the harmful chemical is used. The widespread use of the substance makes it especially concerning, as many farmers rely heavily on Paraquat without understanding its destructive effects. If you or a loved one were diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease due to pesticide exposure, Commonwealth Law Group can help you secure the financial compensation you may be entitled to.

What Does the Paraquat Settlement Entail?

Syngenta (the manufacturer of Paraquat) knew the risk of their products and failed to publicly disclose them, as required by law, which permitted thousands of agricultural workers to be exposed without any knowledge of the harmful side effects. Those who suffer from Parkinson’s disease require consistent treatment to maintain their quality of life, which is a significant expense to face without proper financial compensation. However, by holding Syngenta responsible for their wrongdoing, you could recover for medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering damages.

Do I Qualify for a Paraquat Lawsuit?

Plaintiffs across the country have filed lawsuits claiming that they were diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and that Syngenta’s herbicide chemical Paraquat is to blame. If you or someone you know suffer(s) from Parkinson’s disease after exposure to Paraquat as a licensed pesticide applicator and/or farmer, you may be able to file a lawsuit. A successful lawsuit can provide financial compensation for lost income, pain and suffering, medical bills, and other losses or hardships.

Does Roundup Contain Paraquat?

No. Although Roundup does contain dangerous chemicals, it doesn’t contain Paraquat. Crop and weed resistance has lessened the effectiveness of Roundup’s active ingredient, glyphosate, which has increased the widespread use of Paraquat in the agricultural industry.

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