Paraquat dichloride is a herbicide used to eliminate weeds, for grass control, and on crops. Exposure to this toxic chemical is dangerous and can lead to organ damage.
This chemical is one of the most widely used herbicides in farming. Those who live or work in rural areas are at a greater risk of exposure to Paraquat.
If you suspect that you or a loved one has been affected by exposure to Paraquat, you should speak to our personal injury attorneys. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC is committed to helping our clients receive the compensation they deserve.
Our product liability attorneys have obtained over $250 million in settlements for our personal injury clients. Call us at (888) 424-5757, and we will set you up with a free consultation related to a potential Paraquat lawsuit.
What is Paraquat?
Paraquat dichloride, or Paraquat as it is commonly known, is a herbicide or plant killer that is usually sold as a liquid. It is mainly used by agricultural workers and licensed commercial users to kill weeds and grass.
It is also used on some commercial crops such as cotton and soy to dry them out before harvest. It is a very dangerous chemical, and only those who are certified applicators may use it.
Training and learning about safety guidelines are involved in achieving this certification. Over 30 countries have banned Paraquat due to health risks, but the U.S. federal government continues to allow the use of the chemical.
Continued use of the chemical puts many people at risk of ingesting, breathing in, or becoming exposed to Paraquat.
Due to the high toxicity of Paraquat, only certified applicators are allowed to use it.
Paraquat exposure can occur through accidental ingestion. Inhalation is another form of Paraquat exposure that can cause adverse health effects.
Agricultural workers and certified applicators are at high risk of exposure but people in nearby residential areas and businesses are at risk too.
The neighboring population is at an increased risk due to a chance of exposure from crop overspray or runoff, which contaminates the nearby air, water, and soil. Paraquat and other herbicides are banned from non-agricultural settings such as recreational parks, schools, and golf courses due to their toxic effects.
What are the Side Effects of Paraquat?
Paraquat is a highly toxic chemical as even a small amount of it can cause death.
Exposure to small to medium amounts of Paraquat leads to possible short-term side effects that include diarrhea, kidney failure, liver failure, seizures, vomiting, nausea, swelling, and heart failure. The devastating effects that Paraquat can have on individuals have led to the strict restrictions on the usage of the chemical.
As a restricted pesticide, Paraquat is required under law to have a dangerous poison sign displayed on the container to prevent accidental swallowing of the product. In the past, many deaths were caused by transferring Paraquat to beverage containers that were later accidentally ingested.
Manufacturers also use strong odors and dyes in Paraquat products to prevent someone from accidental ingestion.
Parkinson’s Disease and Paraquat Exposure
Studies performed by the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute for Occupational Safety, and the EPA have revealed that contact with Paraquat can lead to impaired function of sensitive areas of the brain and cause mutations in the cells.
Long-term exposure to the chemical can result in the development of Parkinson’s Disease.
Parkinson’s Disease is a disorder of the brain and nervous system. Characteristics of the disease include tremors, slow movement, and loss of balance.
Several studies show that exposure to Paraquat significantly affects sensitive areas of the brain. The exposure creates oxidative stress which damages neurons in the brain that produce dopamine.
Oxidative stress is the disturbance in the balance between the production of reactive free radicals and antioxidant defenses. The imbalance causes damage to the cells.
What To Do If Exposed to Paraquat
If you suspect you have been exposed to or ingested Paraquat, you should seek medical attention immediately. If you have had any skin exposure, wash the area and always seek medical care right away.
In the emergency room, the medical staff will likely have to perform nasogastric suction, use activated charcoal, and other supportive care measures if you have had Paraquat ingestion.
Medical professionals may prescribe medications to improve breathing and help raise low blood pressure. Although you may survive exposure to the herbicide, you can still suffer long-term effects on your lungs, kidneys, gastrointestinal system, heart, liver, and other important organs.
How is Paraquat Sold?
There are many herbicide products that contain Paraquat. Gramoxone is the most commonly sold Paraquat herbicide.
Other brand names under which Paraquat is sold include:
- Para-Shot 3.0
- Cyclone SL 2.0
- Helmquat 3SL
Over 300 companies manufacture Paraquat herbicides that are widely used. Some Paraquat manufacturers include:
- Chevron Chemical Company
- Adama Group
- Altitude Crop Innovations
- Helm Agro
- Sinon USA
There are no products containing Paraquat sold on the market for homeowners to use.
Are Roundup and Paraquat the Same Thing?
Many people remember the controversy surrounding Roundup use and the adverse effects. Some people may think that Paraquat and Roundup have the same ingredients due to both being used for weed control.
Roundup and Paraquat are both dangerous herbicides that are highly controversial. Roundup has also been used as a weed killer and for grass control.
Both are dangerous but contain different chemicals. Glyphosate is the active ingredient found in Roundup.
After an increase in resistance to glyphosate was found in weeds, there was a shift to use Paraquat. Therefore, Paraquat has been used as a replacement for Roundup that companies use against these glyphosate-resistant plants.
Roundup has faced lawsuits due to cases and studies claiming that exposure is linked to cancer.
Paraquat also faces lawsuits, but many are due to exposure leading to Parkinson’s Disease.
Two well-known companies are battling lawsuits related to Paraquat exposure.
Syngenta is one manufacturer that produces and sells the popular Paraquat-containing product, Gramoxone.
Chevron Chemical Company, which has been selling Paraquat products for decades, is the other popular manufacturer facing legal problems. Both companies face over 700 lawsuits pertaining to claims that Paraquat exposure resulted in Parkinson’s Disease or other symptoms.
If you or a loved one has developed Parkinson’s Disease due to contact with paraquat products from many manufacturers, you should consult with an attorney to review your options for pursuing legal action.
Environmental Protection Agency
Every 15 years, each registered pesticide undergoes a registration review to assess the risks and uses. Although Paraquat is known to be highly poisonous, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reapproved the use of Paraquat in the U.S. in 2020.
The EPA has also recommended stricter safety guidelines that should be followed after the registration review was performed. The EPA has proposed these measures to ensure the safety and well-being of people and the environment.
Due to the high level of acute toxicity of Paraquat, the EPA requires proper training for licensed applicators, specific packaging guidelines to follow, and thorough labeling. Because Paraquat is classified as a restricted-use pesticide, it is required that the labels have clear warnings about the dangers.
There have been deaths that have resulted from improper labeling and handling of Paraquat in the past. There are also plants and wildlife at risk of death from exposure to Paraquat.
The EPA also requires spray drift management labeling to minimize the risk of exposure to the environment and animals. Spray drift management is the movement of pesticide dust or droplets through the air at the time of application or soon after to any site other than the area intended.
Consult With an Attorney To Resolve Your Chemical Injury Claim
Have you or a family member been affected by or developed Parkinson’s Disease due to Paraquat exposure?
Consult with an attorney for a free case review and to discuss if you are eligible to pursue a Paraquat lawsuit. There have been many recorded cases where Paraquat manufacturers did not follow the guidelines set by the EPA.
These manufacturers and businesses should be held accountable for the mishandling of dangerous herbicides. Seek legal help for the guidance and compensation you and your family deserve.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC has decades of experience representing clients in their personal injury claims. Call us at (888) 424-5757 for a free consultation.
Our law group is committed to providing the best representation possible. We look forward to guiding you through the process, starting with a free case review.
All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.