Paraquat is a popular herbicide that is used on over 100 types of crops throughout the United States. Studies have indicated that prolonged exposure to Paraquat has been linked to the development of Parkinson’s disease, a disorder of the central nervous system that affects motor function.
What is Paraquat?
Paraquat is a highly toxic chemical agent that is most commonly used as an herbicide. While it was first produced over 130 years ago, its use as an herbicide came about in the early 1960s. The Swiss company Syngenta sells Paraquat in the United States.
Paraquat has been sold to farmers in America under many brand names, such as “Ortho” and “Gramoxone.” Despite being banned in dozens of countries, the U.S. agriculture market continues to use Paraquat. It has been used as an alternative to Monsanto’s Roundup, a controversial herbicide that has been linked to cancer.
Paraquat is toxic to the lungs, liver, heart, and other parts of the body. A sip of Paraquat can be fatal. People are exposed by ingesting or drinking the chemical, skin contact, and breathing it in the air. Farmers and those who live in rural areas are at the greatest risk of being exposed to Paraquat.
How Does Paraquat Work?
Paraquat inhibits photosynthesis, which prevents weeds from growing. Paraquat kills most weeds on contact. However, to humans, Paraquat is extremely toxic, even after it has been diluted. Paraquat usually enters the body via accidental ingestion, inhalation, or damaged skin.
When Paraquat makes contact with the body, the damage is immediate and continuous. It’s not unheard of for farmers and agricultural workers to die after being exposed to this toxic chemical.
Types of Injuries
If someone ingests a substantial amount of Paraquat, they will likely immediately experience pain and swelling in the mouth. Other signs of illness may include gastrointestinal symptoms, including nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. These symptoms could lead to dehydration and low blood pressure.
Within just a few hours, people who have ingested of large amounts of Paraquat may suffer serious symptoms, such as:
- Kidney failure
- Fast heart rate
- Liver failure
- Lung scarring
- Muscle weakness
- Pulmonary edema (fluid in the lungs)
- Respiratory failure
According to a 2011 study from The National Institutes of Health, people who were exposed to the Paraquat were 2.5 times more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease. Syngenta tried to discredit these findings, denying any link between their product and Parkinson’s.
However, according to many experts, the data from the study is convincing. A similar study done in 2012 found that people who used Paraquat were nearly 11 times as likely to develop Parkinson’s than those who do not use Paraquat.
Paraquat is even more likely to lead to Parkinson’s disease when inhaled or ingested. Common Parkinson’s symptoms include:
- Slowed movement
- Stiff muscles
- Impaired posture
- Walking problems
- Lack of balance and coordination
- Lessened automatic movements, such as blinking and smiling
- Slurred speech
- Difficulty writing
These initial symptoms can lead to more severe problems, such as memory loss, pain, difficulty eating and swallowing, depression, sleep problems, and loss of sense of smell. Unfortunately, there is no cure for Parkinson’s disease. However, the symptoms can usually be managed with doctor-prescribed treatment.
What should I do if I have been exposed to Paraquat?
Seek medical attention immediately. If you think you may have been exposed to Paraquat on your clothes or body, take off your clothes and quickly wash your entire body. After washing yourself, place your clothes in a plastic bag. Don’t touch the contaminated areas of the clothing. Seal the bag and dispose of your clothing.
When emergency personnel arrive, tell them what you did with your clothes. They can then help with further disposal. Never try to handle the plastic bag by yourself.
After seeking medical attention, be sure to contact an experienced Paraquat lawyer right away. A skilled attorney could help you seek compensation for the pain you’ve suffered and losses you’ve incurred due to exposure to this dangerous product.
What Types of Compensation Are Available?
Manufacturers of harmful herbicides like Paraquat have a duty to provide products to consumers that are not unreasonably dangerous. In products like Paraquat, where the risks and dangers are well-known, companies have a duty to provide sufficient warnings of the risks of injury and illness.
If Syngenta failed to fulfill this duty, they could be held liable for the harm you’ve suffered and losses you’ve incurred. The compensation you are entitled to in your Paraquat lawsuit will depend on the specific facts of your unique case. You could be eligible to recover the following types of compensation:
Medical expenses (past and future) – The costs of hospital stays, treatment, prescription medications, and all other costs associated with your medical care.
Lost wages – You can be reimbursed for lost income due to missing work.
Lost earning capacity – You could seek compensation for the loss of future earnings if your injuries prevent you from working or returning to the job you once held.
Pain and suffering – Pain and suffering deals with the mental effects of your injuries. This type of compensation can be difficult to quantify without the help of an experienced lawyer.
Contact a Paraquat Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one were exposed to Paraquat and developed Parkinson’s disease or other serious side effects as a result, contact our attorneys right away. You might be entitled to significant financial compensation. Our Paraquat lawsuit attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means you won’t owe us anything until we recover money for you.
We are committed to holding companies accountable for the harm their products cause. Our dedicated Paraquat lawsuit lawyers have a long track record of helping people like you get justice, and we’re ready to put our skills and experience to work for you.
Don’t wait to get the full and fair compensation you deserve. Call us right away to schedule your free consultation.