Paraquat is one of the most toxic and dangerous chemicals in the world. However, paraquat has been widely used as an herbicide in the past, and before people realized its toxic effects, it was one of the most commonly used. Paraquat is considered so toxic that a tablespoonful of the chemical can kill a healthy adult human. Because of this, the chemical has been banned in over 30 countries. Prolonged exposure to the chemical has been shown to cause serious and prolonged ailments, with the most common one being Parkinson’s disease.
The Link Between Paraquat Exposure and Parkinson’s
Because many of the paraquat lawsuits focus on patients with Parkinson’s, there is a need to explore the research that shows a relationship between the two.
Parkinson’s is a degenerative and progressive disease that causes impairment of the central nervous system as well as the brain. Common symptoms of Parkinson’s include tremors, slow movement, muscle rigidity, impaired balance and posture, speech changes, loss of automatic movements such as blinking and smiling as well as the inability to write.
A 2011 study from the National Institute of Health was the first to point out the association between paraquat exposure and an increased risk of having Parkinson’s. Since then, a lot of scientific research has revealed that there is actually a link between the exposure to paraquat and an increased risk of Parkinson’s.
These studies suggest that the risk increases by 200-600% depending on the person as well as the level of exposure. Additionally, those who lived near fields where the chemical was used had “many times” the risk of those who lived far from the fields.
The Paraquat Lawsuit
The evidence linking the use or exposure of paraquat to Parkinson’s is very strong and this is what has led to the large number of paraquat lawsuits against Syngenta and other manufacturers of the herbicide. The people included in the lawsuits include those who used the chemicals in the firm, those who were employed by companies that used the chemical, or those who lived near farms where the chemical was used and who have since been diagnosed with Parkinson’s.
With the body of evidence being so large, many countries have banned the use of paraquat, with some of them restricting its use severely. For example, the United States government agrees with the research into the effects caused by exposure to paraquat and have mandated that it can now only be used by a licensed applicator, although the EPA recommends that further research should be done to further understand the consequences of the use of and exposure to this highly toxic herbicide.
Conclusion and Next Steps
If you or a loved one has been exposed to paraquat and has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s, you should contact a lawyer immediately. The lawyer will explain to you what your next steps are as well as how you can join one of the class action lawsuits brought forward. You may be compensated for your injuries and diagnosis, with family members able to recover money for funeral expenses as well as compensation for the pain and suffering over the loss of a loved one.