Lawsuits and research from many different scientific institutions allege that the popular herbicide Paraquat is extremely harmful and toxic to humans and has shown to increase the risk of Parkinson’s Disease.
This herbicide has become a popular alternative to Roundup in the United States. Roundup has long been the preferred herbicidal agent for American agricultural workers, but as weeds and pests are becoming more resistant to it and lawsuits alleging dangers and injuries arise, farmers are turning to alternative herbicides and pesticides to treat their crops.
Paraquat has become the preferred herbicidal alternative in light of the issues surrounding Roundup, especially for soybean fields, where the number of pounds used is up fourfold over the last 10 years.
In 2016 alone, the United States sprayed 7 million lbs. of Paraquat over nearly 15 million acres of land.
But with this replacement herbicide, what new dangers could arise?
Paraquat dichloride (Paraquat) is a chemical agent most commonly used as an herbicide. Although it was first produced more than 130 years ago, its application as an herbicide did not become popularized until the mid-20th century.
Paraquat is used as an herbicide agent on a range of more than 100 different types of crops.
Produced by Swiss company Syngenta, Gramoxone is the generic name of Paraquat used in farm fields across the United States.
Paraquat is banned in a number of countries, including the European Union, the United Kingdom, and China, but is still used in the United States.
Researchers have attributed exposure to Paraquat to the increased risk of developing Parkinson’s disease, prompting lawsuits to be filed by farmers against the chemical’s producers.
The projected Paraquat lawsuit settlement amounts depend on several factors and vary between lawsuits.
However, settlement amounts for Paraquat lawsuits are estimated to generally be in the range of $100,000-$150,000.
Though Paraquat can now only be applied commercially and with a license in the United States as it is labeled a “Restricted-Use Pesticide”, Paraquat spraying continues to put farmworkers and chemical applicators at risk of dangerous and toxic exposure that can lead to various injuries, health effects, and notably the development of Parkinson’s Disease.
In February 2011, the National Institute of Health (NIH) conducted a study – the Farming and Movement Evaluation (FAME) – exploring claims that exposure to the popular herbicide Paraquat could be linked to a greater risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.
FAME drew data from the Agricultural Health Study, a larger project that tracked more than 80,000 farmers, agricultural workers, and their spouses.
FAME researchers identified 115 individuals who had developed Parkinson’s, studying 110 of these individuals who were open to providing information on the herbicide they frequently used.
Using the FAME study, the NIH concluded that people exposed to Paraquat or another chemical called Rotenone developed Parkinson’s disease approximately 2.5 times more often than non-users.
People can be exposed to Paraquat through inhalation from aerial spraying of the chemical, ingestion from food or drinks Paraquat has somehow gotten into, or skin contact from touching plants Paraquat has been applied to.
Paraquat exposure can lead to a number of short-term and long-term health effects.
These health effects depend on the amount of time a person is exposed to the chemical, what type of exposure they experience, and how consistent their exposure is over long periods of time.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Paraquat exposure can lead to these symptoms:
Paraquat exposure has been most notably linked to the development and onset of Parkinson’s Disease, a brain disorder that leads to shaking, stiffness, and difficulty with walking, balance, and coordination.
Parkinson's symptoms usually begin gradually and get worse over time.
As the disease progresses, people may have difficulty walking, talking, and performing everyday tasks.
The mechanism by which this occurs is called oxidative stress, an imbalance between free radicals (oxygen-containing molecules with an uneven number of electrons) and antioxidants in the body, resulting in the damage and death of cells and potential onset of Parkinson’s Disease.
As mentioned previously, with the progression of Parkinson’s Disease, people may have difficulty walking and talking, and may experience mental and behavioral changes, sleep problems, depression, memory difficulties, and fatigue.
Parkinson’s Disease is more common in men and is usually associated with older populations, but can also affect middle-aged people in early onset cases.
Not everyone who is exposed to Paraquat will develop Parkinson’s Disease, but people with genetic predispositions to the disease or long-term exposure to the herbicide are more likely to be diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease.
Rotenone is a naturally occurring compound commonly used as a pesticide, insecticide, and piscicide.
Like Paraquat, Rotenone has been linked to Parkinson’s Disease from long-term exposure.
Rotenone is used by fisheries to snuff out unwanted species or incapacitate fish of interest to researchers, potentially exposing fisherman and workers to toxic levels of the pesticide.
It is applied to fish populations through aerial spraying of waters, sprayers on the backs of workers or on boats, or underwater hoses, putting those in the area of spraying or those who may eat fish from sprayed waters at risk of exposure.
Most research on Rotenone’s link to Parkinson’s Disease has come from studying animal test subjects, which have displayed neurological defects from exposure to the pesticide.
As research is expanded upon, more will be known on the toxicity of Rotenone and its links to Parkinson’s Disease.
If you have previously been exposed to Paraquat — or similar pesticide Rotenone — and subsequently developed Parkinson’s disease or signs of ongoing developing Parkinson’s, you may qualify to participate in the Paraquat lawsuit.
Contact the offices of TorHoerman Law today for a free, no-obligation Paraquat lawsuit case consultation.
Our experienced chemical exposure law team can help you assess your case and your best plan of action.
You are not alone.
There are resources and support groups available to guide you.
Help, support, and advice are only a click away:
“Agricultural Health Study.” National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, https://aghealth.nih.gov/.
Berry, C, et al. “Paraquat and Parkinson’s Disease.” Nature News, Nature Publishing Group, 22 Jan. 2010, https://www.nature.com/articles/cdd2009217.
Byrnes, Victor A. “Rotenone – Illustrations for Ophthalmic Articles and Lectures.” American Journal of Ophthalmology, Elsevier, 23 Sept. 2014, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0002939451900402.
Cenci, M. Angela, and Anders Björklund. “Animal Models for Preclinical Parkinson’s Research: An Update and Critical Appraisal.” Progress in Brain Research, Elsevier, 21 Mar. 2020, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0079612320300200.
“Facts About Paraquat.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4 Apr. 2018, https://emergency.cdc.gov/agent/paraquat/basics/facts.asp.
“Gramoxone SL 2.0 Herbicide.” Herbicide Product & Label Information, Syngenta US, https://www.syngenta-us.com/herbicides/gramoxone-sl-2.0.
McCarthy, S, et al. “Paraquat Induces Oxidative Stress and Neuronal Cell Death; Neuroprotection by Water-Soluble Coenzyme Q10.” Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology, U.S. National Library of Medicine, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15519605/.
“NIH Study Finds Two Pesticides Associated with Parkinson’s Disease.” National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 11 Feb. 2011, https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/nih-study-finds-two-pesticides-associated-parkinsons-disease.
“Paraquat Dichloride.” EPA, Environmental Protection Agency, https://www.epa.gov/ingredients-used-pesticide-products/paraquat-dichloride.
“Parkinson’s Disease.” National Institute on Aging, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/parkinsons-disease#:~:text=Parkinson’s%20disease%20is%20a%20brain,have%20difficulty%20walking%20and%20talking.
“Rotenone – An Overview.” ScienceDirect, https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/neuroscience/rotenone.
Schaefer, Kristine. “New EPA-Required Paraquat Training and Additional Use Restrictions.” New EPA-Required Paraquat Training and Additional Use Restrictions | Integrated Crop Management, 29 Mar. 2019, https://crops.extension.iastate.edu/cropnews/2019/03/new-epa-required-paraquat-training-and-additional-use-restrictions.
Vaccari, Carolina, et al. “Paraquat and Parkinson’s Disease: A Systematic Review Protocol According to the OHAT Approach for Hazard Identification.” Systematic Reviews, BioMed Central, 15 May 2017, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5433017/.
TorHoerman Law was responsible for handling a medical case for our family. I was extremely impressed with their professionalism and ability to react quickly. They also did a nice job keeping us updated with the case throughout the process. This was the first time experiencing a situation like this and Tor Hoerman law did an excellent job from start to finish.
TorHoerman Law is an extraordinary law firm – a firm that truly makes the client’s best interests the primary concern. Their team of personal injury lawyers are experienced, personable, and well versed in a range of litigation areas. They are supported by a dedicated team of staff that are as equally friendly and helpful. I would recommend TorHoerman Law for any personal injury litigation needs.
All of my questions were answered quickly and in a way I could understand. Steve and the entire staff were friendly and professional.
I highly recommend this law firm! The attorneys and staff at THL worked hard, communicated every step of the process, kept me well informed at all times, and exceeded all expectations! The staff is kind, considerate, professional, and very experienced. Look no further, call now!
Top-notch, hardworking attorneys!
A wonderful and professional legal team. They helped me when I needed expert legal representation! Thank you TorHoerman Law!
They contacted me the next day. Very nice people!