Although banned or restricted in more than 30 countries, toxic weed killer Paraquat, sold under trade names such as Gramoxone, Ortho-Paraquat, Para-SHOT, Parazone, Quick-Quat, Firestorm, and Helmquat, remains one of the most popular commercial herbicides around the globe. Concerns about the product’s safety have persisted for years, however, including that direct exposure to the toxic chemical can cause neurological damage and may cause Parkinson’s Disease.
Farmers and agricultural workers have filed lawsuits in courts around the country alleging Paraquat’s manufacturer, Syngenta Group, failed to warn them about the life-altering neurological effects Paraquat caused them. Motley Rice toxic exposure attorneys are reviewing the allegations.
Contact a Paraquat attorney
Due to its toxicity, Paraquat is restricted in the U.S., and can only be used by licensed applicators who have completed training on how to mix, load and apply the herbicide. As a result, licensed applicators and the people who work for them are most at risk for health problems caused by toxic exposure and may be eligible to file a Paraquat lawsuit.
If you or someone you love was directly exposed to Paraquat after 1964 and later diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, you may have a claim. For more information on filing a Paraquat lawsuit, reach toxic exposure attorney Fidelma Fitzpatrick by email or call 1.800.768.4026.
Paraquat and Parkinson’s
Exposure to Paraquat can cause severe health effects with some studies finding “significant associations” with Parkinson’s Disease. Parkinson’s Disease is an irreversible neurological disorder. Symptoms become worse over time, impairing movement and the disease can cause non-movement symptoms such as incontinence, soft or slurred speech, dementia, and mental impairments that can reach the point of psychosis as the disease progresses. Common Parkinson’s Disease symptoms include, but are not limited to:
- Hand tremors
- Loss of balance and/or difficulty moving and walking
- Trouble speaking
Paraquat herbicide background information
Paraquat was first released in the U.S. in 1964 and has been used for decades to control weeds and invasive grasses for more than 100 crops – the most common being corn, soybeans, cotton and vineyard grapes, among others.
Because it is toxic, Paraquat, which is primarily used as a liquid spray, is classified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a restricted use product and is not available to the general public legally only people who have undergone specialized training in applying the poison may use it. Dozens of countries have banned Paraquat entirely, including all in the European Union and China.
While Paraquat isn’t banned in the U.S., the EPA proposed new safety measures for the product in October 2020 to “reduce risks associated with paraquat in order to better to protect human health and the environment.” Measures outlined by the EPA include, but are not limited to:
- Prohibiting aerial application for all uses and use sites, except cotton desiccation
- Requiring enclosed cabs if area treated in 24-hour period is more than 80 acres
- Requiring enclosed cabs or PF10 respirators if area treated in 24-hour period is 80 acres or less
- Requiring a residential area drift buffer and 7-day restricted entry interval (REI) for cotton desiccation
Our toxic exposure litigation experience
Our attorneys have extensive experience litigating toxic exposure and environmental damage cases for individuals, families, communities and states. Through our cases we seek justice for our clients and to improve environmental standards and protections. An example of our experience includes representing people who developed Non-Hodgkin lymphoma after being exposed to Roundup weed killer. The firm also obtained a landmark settlement for 10 cities and counties in California that alleged three lead pigment companies created a public nuisance by exposing residents to toxic lead paint. Read more on our toxic exposure experience.