First introduced in 1962, paraquat dichloride, commonly referred to as “paraquat,” is a toxic, highly poisonous, and fast-acting herbicide product widely used in agriculture to control grasses and weeds. It is so toxic in fact, that as little as one teaspoon of the chemical can kill a person.
Because of its toxicity, the EPA classifies paraquat as a “restricted use” product. In the United States, it is available only to commercially licensed users. The product has been banned in Europe since 2007 due to its link to Parkinson’s disease.
Popular brand names of paraquat include Gramoxone, Firestorm, Cyclone, Helmquat, Parazone, and Para Shot. If you or a loved one developed Parkinson’s disease or any other medical condition after using this herbicide, you may benefit from speaking with an experienced attorney. A paraquat lawyer can help you understand your legal options for pursuing compensation.
Does Paraquat Cause Parkinson’s Disease?
Parkinson’s disease is a chronic and progressive neurodegenerative brain disorder caused by a loss of neurons and the dopamine neurotransmitter they produce. This disease affects an estimated 750,000 to 1 million Americans.
It is known that certain chemicals, like paraquat, harm DNA and neurological structures that may cause or increase the likelihood of the disease. In fact, the link between paraquat and Parkinson’s is so well known in the scientific community that paraquat is used to induce Parkinson’s in lab rats in order to study the disease.
Its link to causing Parkinson’s in humans is also well known. An agricultural health study found a 200 percent increased risk in farmers that mixed or applied paraquat. Another study found that people exposed to paraquat in their teen or young adult years had an increased risk of 200 to 600 percent.
Research has shown that people who live within 1600 feet of farms that use this toxic herbicide have far higher rates of Parkinson’s than do others. Over the past 20 years, there has been more and more scientific evidence that exposure to paraquat results in a heightened risk of Parkinson’s disease. If you were exposed to paraquat then diagnosed with Parkinson’s, a skilled lawyer can work with you to prove a causal link between the product and your condition.
Who Is At Risk?
Anyone who comes into contact with paraquat is at risk. Typically, this includes farmers and farmhands that work in fields where paraquat is applied. Other at-risk parties include:
- Certified applicators
- Individuals with restricted use permits who have applied the herbicide
- Those who work at a plant that manufacturers the chemical
- Individuals who mix and/or sell the herbicide
The chemical also poses a threat to those who live near farms where the herbicide has been used. These individuals can be exposed if the herbicide drifts or is carried by the wind during application. A determined lawyer can help you file a legal claim no matter how you were exposed to the chemical paraquat.
Call a Paraquat Attorney Today
It is widely known that paraquat causes severe medical conditions such as Parkinson’s disease. If you have developed any health issues after being exposed to this toxic herbicide, you may have a valid legal claim. Set up a free consultation with Charles E. Boyk Law Offices today. Our paraquat lawyers will work tirelessly to support you throughout your case.