Paraquat, also known as Methyl Viologen, is a highly toxic and fast-acting chemical formula herbicide used primarily for weed and grass control. It was manufactured and introduced in 1961 by the Syngenta Group, using the trade name of Gramoxone. Today, numerous companies manufacture Paraquat under various trade names. Agricultural workers and others across the country have filed lawsuits alleging that direct and indirect exposure to Paraquat has caused Parkinson’s Disease and other significant health diagnoses.
Since 2017, the United States Environmental Protection Agency has classified Paraquat as “restricted use.” It means that it can only be marketed and sold to commercially licensed applicators in the United States. The use of Paraquat is banned in numerous countries, including the entire European Union, due to its high toxicity, for which there is no antidote available. Due to its poisonous nature, the manufacturers use safeguards such as a blue dye and a sharp odor to prevent it from being unintentionally added to food or beverages. It contains an agent that induces vomiting if ingested.
Those at risk of Paraquat poisoning work in agricultural settings and live in areas where it is used. Residue from Paraquat can be found in soil, on foods that have been treated with it, and in drinking water.
Paraquat Poisoning and Health Risks
Exposure to Paraquat is harmful if ingested, inhaled, or in contact with skin that is not intact. The extent of the damage caused by Paraquat directly relates to the amount, route, and length of exposure, and the overall health of the person exposed.
When Paraquat is ingested or inhaled, symptoms likely to occur immediately are pain and swelling of the mouth and throat, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Within a few hours to a few days, a victim of Paraquat poisoning is likely to fall victim to the following serious health consequences:
- acute kidney failure, confusion, coma, cardiovascular damage, liver failure, lung scarring, damage to the eyes, muscle weakness, neurodegenerative diseases, skin disorders, pulmonary edema, respiratory failure, and seizures
Paraquat Linked to Parkinson’s Disease
In 2009, a study released in the American Journal of Epidemiology reported that Paraquat exposure within 1,600 feet of a home increased the risk of Parkinson’s Disease by 75 percent. In 2019, the Environmental Protection Agency reviewed more than 70 scientific studies regarding the harmful outcome of exposure to Paraquat. Despite overwhelming scientific data, the Environmental Protection Agency concluded there was insufficient evidence to support this chemical’s link to serious health diagnoses. Currently, there is legislation pending in Congress – the Protection Against Paraquat Act – that, if passed, will ban the use of Paraquat on food items and prohibit the chemical’s sale and use in our country.
How We Can Help
The Michael Brady Lynch Firm has extensive experience and success in representing clients nationwide for personal injury and product liability claims. If you have been exposed to Paraquat and have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease or another significant medical diagnosis, you may be entitled to compensation. We have the resources to assess your exposure. A settlement or an award can offset the expense of medical care, pain and suffering, and other losses you have incurred.
We have an impressive record of holding powerful corporations accountable for greed and negligence at the consumers’ expense. The Michael Brady Lynch Firm is highly regarded as a leader in complex litigation. We have won multi-million-dollar awards for our clients in recoveries and verdicts against manufacturers and pharmaceutical conglomerates.
We offer a free, no-obligation consultation at our Winter Park, Florida office. Call us to schedule an appointment at 888-585-5970 or contact us online to speak with a highly-qualified personal injury and product liability attorney.