Paraquat

Leads for Attorneys

Pesticides have been harmful since their introduction and implementation that began around the 1930s. While no reaction to pesticides would be ideal, most pesticides cause adverse reactions months into continual use. Paraquat, one of the most common pesticides, is different and far more dangerous than other pesticides. It can deliver harmful effects after only one use. Despite the surmounting evidence that Paraquat poses an extreme health risk, it is still commonly used around the world.

Those who have suffered adverse medical effects or have developed Parkinson’s disease will be looking for legal assistance with their case. Broughton Partners helps connect victims injured by paraquat to attorneys that can help them navigate the legal process if they qualify to file a claim.

What is Paraquat?

Paraquat is a toxic chemical that has been available for commercial use since 1961, and to this day, remains one of the most widely used herbicides around the world. It’s a highly poisonous herbicide commonly used in agricultural and commercial settings, primarily for weed and grass control. 

In 1997, the Environmental Protection Agency determined the primary way to be exposed to paraquat is by occupational exposure, which includes the mixing, loading, and application of paraquat or by post-application processes. This poisoning typically occurs by skin exposure or accidental ingestion. 

Thirty-two (32) countries have banned the use of the product worldwide, except the U.S. The product was banned in the European Union in 2007. In the United States, it can only be used by licensed operators and has been labeled as “restricted use” by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 

Lawsuits have been filed against Paraquat’s manufacturers, claiming that they were negligent in its manufacturing and failed to warn the public about the herbicide’s known neurological risks.

Paraquat Linked to Parkinson’s Disease

The most common injury associated with Paraquat is Parkinson’s disease, a debilitating nervous system disorder that affects as many as 60,000 people in the United States annually.

Paraquat Exposure and Risk

Paraquat is distributed throughout the entire body once it enters a person’s system. Toxic chemical reactions can occur throughout the kidneys, lungs, liver, and many other parts of the body. Once the chemical is in the body, there is no antidote.

  • The people most at risk of exposure are licensed applicators of paraquat.
  • Paraquat can easily be mixed with beverages and food. If the chemical does not contain a vomiting agent and odor and dye safeguards, people may not realize their food or drink is contaminated.
  • Skin exposure can also lead to paraquat poisoning. If the skin is not intact (severe rashes, cuts, or sores), you are exposed to the product for prolonged periods, or you are using a concentrated version of the product, poisoning is more likely to occur.
  • Paraquat, when inhaled, can lead to lung damage.

Symptoms of Parkinson’s disease include:

  • Tremors
  • Slowed movement
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Impaired posture and balance
  • Loss of unconscious movements
  • Changes in speech and/or writing

Potential Claims Made Against Paraquat Manufacturers

The following claims have been made against Chevron Chemical, Growmark, and Syngenta:

  • Was aware or should have been aware of the toxicity of paraquat, and that users could develop neurotoxicity if exposed to the chemical for a prolonged period
  • Failed to inform the public of the dangers of paraquat
  • Negligently designed and marketed the product
  • Failed to take appropriate steps to ensure users, including plaintiffs and their loved ones, were protected

Paraquat Lawsuit

Herbicide and other chemical makers are required to produce safe products that are not dangerous and are free from defects. The manufacturer must provide adequate warnings if there are risks of harm associated with any particular product. If the manufacturer does not fulfill this duty, it could be held legally responsible for any injuries a plaintiff sustains from using these types of herbicides.

A lawsuit was filed on October 6, 2017, against the manufacturers of Paraquat – Growmark and Syngenta. Another defendant, Chevron Chemical, was added to the lawsuit since the claim was initially filed. While some of these cases may be settled early, it remains unclear whether any paraquat settlements will be doled out in the near future. The cases may be consolidated through an MDL in federal court.

Claimants who were injured by Paraquat could recover expenses for the following:

  • Medical expenses (both past and future)
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Funeral expenses (A victim’s loved ones may be able to recover money for funeral costs, along with the pain that they will experience as a result of losing someone they love)

Claimants must meet the following criteria to be eligible to file a case:

  • Diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease
  • Ingested, used, or came into contact with Paraquat

Paraquat victims will need a knowledgeable product liability firm to hold these negligent manufacturers accountable for their actions. Broughton Partners can help qualified paraquat claimants connect with your law firms.

2007

The European Court of First Instance annulled the EU-wide authorization of Paraquat. According to the court ruling, a 2003 Directive that authorized the use of the herbicide throughout the EU failed to satisfy a requirement to protect human health related to operator exposure. The risk of Parkinson’s disease was not assessed, nor did the directive assess the risk posed to animals. Numerous EU countries had previously banned Paraquat prior to the Court’s decision.

2009

The American Journal of Epidemiology published research that revealed that paraquat exposure within 1,600 feet of a residential area resulted in an increased risk of developing Parkinson’s disease (75%).

2011

The National Institute of Health conducted a study in February 2011 known as the Farming and Movement Evaluation, or FAME. It explored claims that prolonged exposure to paraquat could be linked to a heightened risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.

2011

A robust study of pesticides related to Parkinson’s disease cases was published in the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. Paraquat was a significant concern within this study, which concluded that the herbicide was strongly associated with an increased risk of Parkinson’s disease.

2016

The EPA released Paraquat Dichloride Human Health Decision mitigation procedures on March 9, 2016, to minimize accidental ingestions of the herbicide and decrease exposure to workers who apply, mix, or load Paraquat.

2017

A lawsuit was filed against the manufacturer of paraquat, Syngenta.

2019

The draft risk assessments of paraquat were made available to the public in October 2019. The 2019 ecological risk assessment identified possible risks to algae, terrestrial plants, invertebrates, birds, and mammals.

2020

The EPA took its regulatory review of paraquat (paraquat dichloride) one step further in October 2020 by proposing new measures to reduce risks associated with using the product to better protect the environment and human health in the agency’s proposed interim decision for the herbicide.

Updates

References

CDC. “Facts About Paraquat”, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, https://emergency.cdc.gov/agent/paraquat/basics/facts.asp. Accessed January 15, 2021.

Danny Hakim. “Fact-Checking a Claim about a Weed Killer”, The New York Times, https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/20/business/fact-check-paraquat-weed-killer-parkinsons.html. Accessed January 15, 2021.

EPA. “Paraquat Dichloride”, United State Environmental Protection Agency, https://www.epa.gov/ingredients-used-pesticide-products/paraquat-dichloride, Accessed January 15, 2021.

Kogevinas Manolis. “Probable carcinogenicity of glyphosate”, BMJ, https://www.bmj.com/content/365/bmj.l1613, Accessed January 15, 2021.

NIH. “NIH study finds two pesticides associated with Parkinson’s disease”, National Institute of Health, https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/nih-study-finds-two-pesticides-associated-parkinsons-disease. Accessed January 15, 2021.

Paulo Prada. “Paraquat: A controversial chemical’s second act”, Reuters, https://www.reuters.com/article/brazil-pesticide-Diquat-idUSL2N0WY2V720150402. Accessed January 15, 2021

NIH. “Protocol for Scoping Review of Paraquat Dichloride Exposure and Parkinson’s Disease”, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. https://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/ntp/ohat/parkinson/parkinsons_protocol_508.pdf. Accessed January 28, 2021.

PAN Europe. “Paraquat: towards a global ban?”, Pesticides Action Network Europe. https://www.pan-europe.info/old/Archive/Paraquat/analysis.html. Accessed May 21, 2021.

Menu