Paraquat is a weed-killing herbicide that has been used since the 1960s. If you’ve been exposed to paraquat and have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s, you could be eligible for compensation. A product liability lawyer from Thomas Law Offices can explain your legal rights and option and whether filing a Paraquat lawsuit is right for you.
To understand how best to proceed based on your unique circumstances, it’s important to have some background knowledge on paraquat, what it is, why it’s dangerous, and what injury victims can do. Let’s start by looking at what Paraquat weed killer is and who could have been exposed to it.
What Is Paraquat?
Paraquat is a chemical herbicide that’s primarily used in no-till farming. Because of its high toxicity, it’s restricted to commercial use. This means that most people who have been exposed to high levels of paraquat are farmers and agricultural laborers, but those who live near industrial farms could also be at risk.
Products containing paraquat have a variety of names. Some of the most common include the following:
- Paraquat Concentrate
- Cyclone Sl 2.0
- Helmquat 3SL
- Para-Shot 3.0
While paraquat became widely used in the mid-20th century, it was first produced over 130 years ago. It’s currently used as an herbicide agent on more than 100 different types of crops, including soybeans, corn, cotton, alfalfa, orchards, grapes, and pastures.
Because of its potential health effects, 32 countries, including the European Union and China, have banned the use of paraquat. As of mid-2021, however, it is still legal in the United States. While it is used all over the country, states where paraquat is most common include Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas.
Why Is Paraquat Weed Killer Dangerous?
Paraquat is highly lethal. Among its most harmful components is glyphosate. A lethal dose for the average adult is around 2.5 grams, and paraquat contains anywhere from 33 to 250 grams. Because of that, it’s easy for paraquat poisoning to occur when someone inhales or ingests paraquat, comes in contact with sprayed plants, gets paraquat on their skin, or mixes or applies paraquat.
While the United States has several safeguards in place to prevent people from accidentally consuming paraquat, like blue dye, a strong odor, and a chemical agent that induces vomiting, many people have unintentionally been injured from exposure to the product.
Paraquat exposure can affect motor skills, non-motor skills, mood, thinking, and other physical changes. Some of the most common symptoms of exposure include stiffness, slowness, walking problems, low blood pressure, sweating problems, lack of motivation, visual hallucinations, memory problems, drooling, skin changes, and swallowing problems.
Paraquat and Parkinson’s
In 2019, the Unified Parkinson’s Advocacy Council sent a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), citing “strong scientific evidence linking the herbicide to Parkinson’s, including one study that found people exposed to paraquat at a younger age – in their teen or young adult years – had an increased Parkinson’s risk of 200 to 600 percent, depending on the overall number of years of exposure.”
Parkinson’s is a degenerative brain disorder that causes tremors, rigidity, slow movements, and difficulty walking. The symptoms get progressively worse over time, resulting in challenges and suffering for the affected patients and their caregivers. The disease is caused by the degeneration of nerve cells in the part of the brain that controls movement, called the substantia nigra. When the cells die or become impaired, they produce fewer dopamine neurons, which help the nervous system send messages between the nerve cells.
There is no known cure for Parkinson’s. A person’s condition will get worse until they are unable to care for themselves. The disease has a number of associated comorbidities.
Legal Options for Paraquat Injury Victims
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s and there was known exposure to paraquat, you may be able to take legal action. If you sprayed paraquat yourself, were employed at a business that used the product, or you or your employer had a restricted use pesticide license, our product liability attorneys can determine if there are grounds for a lawsuit.
Victims who were exposed to paraquat and subsequently harmed may be eligible for compensation to cover their medical expenses, lost wages, and more. Our attorneys can determine what your situation warrants and help you make the best decision for your future.
If you’re looking to hold a company responsible for the toxic levels of glyphosate in paraquat, we’re here for you. Our lawyers have extensive experience representing victims of defective and dangerous products, and we’re prepared to take your case on next.
Contact Thomas Law Offices
If you think you or someone you love has been harmed by exposure to Paraquat, Thomas Law Offices can help. We can explain who is filing Paraquat lawsuits and whether doing so could help you recover compensation for any injury-related medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. To get started, contact us today.