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Parkinson’s disease affects nearly 1 million people in the United States. Since its introduction in 1962, scientists have connected exposure to the toxic herbicide Paraquat with Parkinson’s disease. Over 32 countries have banned Paraquat, but the U.S. continues to permit its use as a commercial herbicide. If you were exposed to Paraquat and later diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, you are not alone. The Ferraro Law Firm has experience defending innocent people against large agricultural manufacturing companies. We were the first to win a case against chemical manufacturer DuPont for birth defects following pesticide exposure. We have been fighting for the rights of injured people nationwide since 1985. The successful attorneys at The Ferraro Law Firm understand how exposure to pesticides like Paraquat causes Parkinson’s disease.
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What Is Parkinson’s Disease? What Are Its Symptoms?
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects your nervous system and ability to move. The most recognizable symptoms of this movement disorder are:
- Involuntary tremors
- Rigid muscles
- Changes in speech or writing
- Diminished balance or posture
The disease most commonly affects people 60 years of age and older. However, up to 10% of patients are diagnosed before age 50. Scientists believe that Parkinson’s occurs when dopamine-producing brain cells are injured or die. The tremors associated with Parkinson’s occur because the part of the brain that commands the body’s movement operates using dopamine.
What Is Paraquat Herbicide?
The herbicide Paraquat is a toxic chemical that the EPA has approved only for use in commercial agriculture settings. It is used for weed and grass control, especially for plants that have become resistant to other types of herbicides. Paraquat effectively kills weeds by inhibiting photosynthesis, dehydrating the plant, and destroying plant cell membranes. Farmers commonly use it when growing cotton, soybeans, peanuts, and corn. One of the most well-known brands is Gramoxone, which is manufactured by Syngenta.
Who Is Most at Risk of Developing Parkinson’s Disease After Coming into Contact with Paraquat?
Farmers buy Paraquat as a concentrated liquid. Therefore, the most common direct human exposure is to agricultural workers through leaks, spills, splashes, product blowback, or equipment malfunctions. Farmers who mix and apply Paraquat are twice as likely to develop Parkinson’s. If they have a defect in a particular gene, the risk goes up even more. Bystanders, such as farm hands, can experience indirect occupational exposure from working on the farm where unintentional prolonged exposure is possible.
Environmental risk factors like drinking contaminated water or exposure from air or clothing put adults and children at risk. The EPA reported that 38% of children are at risk of short-term exposure through food or water contamination, while adults have an exposure risk of only 20%. Additionally, children have a 200-600% risk of developing Parkinson’s after Paraquat exposure.
What You Need to Know about Paraquat and Parkinson’s Disease
Human studies on how Paraquat impacts human health reveal that exposure from environmental factors cannot be ignored. Like its effect on plant cells, Paraquat causes oxidative stress in the body. Following exposure, Paraquat crosses the blood-brain barrier and enters the brain. The disturbance of the balance between the production of reactive oxygen (free radicals) and antioxidant defenses injures the brain cells that produce dopamine. The brain requires dopamine to command the body’s movements, leading to tremors and loss of quality of life. Unfortunately, there is no cure for Parkinson’s disease, and lifelong treatment is required. A person with Parkinson’s is likely to spend an estimated $26,400 per year on their care.
What Should I Know If I’m Considering a Paraquat Lawsuit?
A lawsuit can help you obtain recovery for your medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses you spend on your care. Paraquat lawsuits in the MDL class action consolidated all of the individuals pursuing lawsuits against Paraquat manufacturers. In addition, Even though the EPA has not formally recognized the connection between Paraquat and neurodegenerative diseases clinical trials are ongoing. Don’t let this discourage you from contacting a lawyer to discuss your options. The Ferraro Law Firm has a history of being the first to win against large chemical manufacturers.
After Exposure to Paraquat, The Ferraro Law Firm Can Fight for You
The Ferraro Law Firm has won verdicts of $28,000,000 and $70,102,000. Since 1985, we have recovered billions on behalf of our clients. We also have an unmatched record of having verdicts affirmed on appeal. Our appeals have built Florida’s product liability and toxic tort law. We have advanced the ways that Florida courts admit scientific evidence.
When you hire The Ferraro Law Firm, you get our tireless advocacy and aggressive representation. For over 35 years, Mr. Ferraro has focused his career on toxic tort, asbestos and mass tort litigation. Now, we are ready to take on Paraquat and Parkinson’s. It is time to let The Ferraro Law Firm fight for you.
What herbicides contain Paraquat?
Paraquat is sold under dozens of brand names, including Gramoxone, Para-SHOT, Blanco, Bonfire, Helmquat, Parazone, and many more.
Is Paraquat in Roundup?
Although Roundup does not contain Paraquat, it does contain glyphosate, which has been linked recently to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
How long does Paraquat stay in the human body?
Paraquat is excreted quickly, within just a day or two. But even after Paraquat has been flushed from your system, it can still cause health problems.
How does paraquat exposure cause Parkinson’s disease?
Environmental exposure to Paraquat can affect the production of dopamine by damaging these neurons over time, leading to decreased mobility and cognizance symptoms otherwise known as Parkinson’s disease.
Who is at Risk for Paraquat Exposure?
Farm workers such as loaders, mixers and handlers are among those most at risk. At the same time, pesticide and herbicide applicators drive tractors equipped with sprayers, use handled or backpack sprayers or act as agricultural pilots (“crop dusters”). Furthermore, school children attending schools near farms spraying Paraquat and property homeowners living in close proximity to these areas may also be exposed and potentially put at greater risk for developing Parkinson’s disease.