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Over the last half-century, many once-popular herbicides have been outlawed due to their potential to cause serious, even fatal, diseases in those who are exposed. Both DDT and Agent Orange were discontinued shortly after the Vietnam War after leading to birth defects, large-scale eradication of wildlife (including the bald eagle), and chronic illness.
Today, dangerous products like Agent Orange and DDT are no longer on the shelves, however, other toxic herbicides like Paraquat are causing serious, potentially fatal health problems in those who have been exposed. Below, we’ll discuss the dangers of Paraquat and how the Paraquat lawsuits may be able to compensate those who have suffered harm from this toxic chemical.
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What is Paraquat?
Paraquat dichloride is an incredibly toxic active ingredient found in industrial herbicides sold under a variety of brand names, including:
- Paraquat Concentrate
- Helmquat 3SL
- Cyclone SL 2.0
- Para-Shot 3.0
Paraquat herbicide generally comes in liquid form and is bright blue in color. This dangerous chemical is so toxic that if 10 people took a sip of it, 7 of them would die.
Although Paraquat has been banned in 32 countries (and counting), it continues to be used in the U.S.—however, because the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has classified it as a “restricted use” chemical, it is only available to commercially-licensed users like industrial farmers.
But while Paraquat may not be as widely available as other toxic herbicides, like RoundUp, its use in large commercial applications can pose risks to those who are at risk of direct exposure to Paraquat Product on the job. Those at risk for exposure due to occupation include farmers, herbicide applicators, agricultural workers, tank fillers, chemical mixers, landscapers, and many others.
Paraquat Has Been Linked to Parkinson’s Disease
The link between Paraquat and Parkinson’s disease is clear. Over the last decade or so, scientists have established that long-term exposure to Paraquat can increase one’s risk of developing Parkinson’s disease, a debilitating neurological condition. Paraquat works by causing “oxidative stress,” which causes plant cells to degenerate and die; it can also kill dopaminergic neurons in the brain, which impacts dopamine production. Without dopamine, the brain can’t transmit signals throughout the nervous system.
This condition—brought to the public eye by actor and advocate Michael J. Fox, who was diagnosed in 1991—has no cure. Though there are some treatments for Parkinson’s, they only work to curb current symptoms, and they can’t stop the overall progression of the disease which greatly reduces quality of life. As Parkinson’s progresses, disease symptoms include brain cells deteriorating and gradually limiting the brain’s ability to control the body’s motor skills. Some of the most common signs of Parkinson’s include tremors, balance issues, muscle stiffness, and impaired movement leading to the slowness of movement.
Though Parkinson’s itself isn’t fatal, many of its symptoms can be life-threatening. For example, tremors and loss of balance may lead to an increased risk of falls; poor muscle control can increase the risk of choking on food. In these respects, Parkinson’s is similar to Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, multiple sclerosis, and other neurological conditions.
What to Know About the Paraquat Lawsuits
If you’ve used Paraquat yourself or have suffered environmental exposure and have later been diagnosed with Parkinson’s, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your injuries due to your exposure to pesticides. In 2017, the first Paraquat lawsuit seeking to hold manufacturers accountable was filed against Syngenta and Growmark, two companies that make Paraquat and Paraquat products. The plaintiffs in this lawsuit were farm owners and agricultural laborers who worked on farms where Paraquat was used or applied it themselves. Since then, this Missouri lawsuit has been joined by several others, eventually culminating in class action multidistrict litigation (or “MDL”) that spans the U.S.
Under Paraquat MDL, all Parkinson’s-related Paraquat lawsuits will be consolidated under a single judge and resolved in a uniform manner. This helps improve efficiency—instead of litigating thousands of lawsuits across the U.S., reinventing the wheel by seeking the same or similar information from the defendants in each case, attorneys can focus on proving damages and increasing the overall amount each plaintiff is entitled to recover.
Paraquat Parkinson’s Disease Attorneys
If you or a loved one has suffered damage due to Paraquat exposure, it’s important to take action quickly to preserve your legal rights. The Ferraro Law Firm has decades of experience in representing injured plaintiffs, both individually and in class action MDLs, and our Paraquat attorneys can help you recover the maximum compensation you deserve. Just give us a call or fill out the free case evaluation form located here and a member of our team will quickly be in touch.
Who is eligible to file a Paraquat lawsuit?
Does it take Paraquat a long time to break down?
Is Agent Orange Paraquat?