Hi their folks, and welcome back to our series of frequently asked questions. I’m Jim Adler, the tough, smart lawyer. Today we are going to discuss the dangerous weed killer Paraquat and its link to Parkinson’s disease.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Paraquat is a highly toxic chemical that is widely used as an herbicide, primarily for weed and grass control. In the US, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has made it a restricted use pesticide meaning that it can only be purchased by commercially licensed users.
Considering its extreme toxicity, individuals must obtain special training, beyond just earning their Restricted Use Pesticide applicator license to mix, load, and/or apply Paraquat. According to the EPA, “pesticide applicators become certified by proving they are competent to apply or supervise the use of restricted pesticides, generally by examination.” Because of its potential danger and toxicity, Paraquat has reportedly been banned in up to 32 countries.
A clear medical link has been established between exposure to Paraquat and several diseases including Parkinson’s disease. Exposure can occur through being accidentally ingested, absorbed into the skin or through a wound on the skin. It can also enter the body through inhalation. When one of these things occurs, it can sometimes lead to Paraquat poisoning and, in some instances Parkinson’s disease.
States where Paraquat is most used include Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Arkansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina. Immediate and short-term effects of Paraquat poisoning may include one or more of the following symptoms: nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhea, breathing difficulty, increased heart rate, organ failure, confusion, muscle weakness or seizures.
Long term, Paraquat poisoning has been linked to Parkinson’s disease, a chronic neurologic condition that attacks motor function. Research studies have shown that the substance can kill neurons that produce dopamine, which is a key factor contributing to the onset of Parkinson’s.
If you or a loved one is a licensed commercial applicator of Paraquat, an employee of licensed users or an agricultural worker employed by a business that uses a Paraquat product, had exposure to the product, and are dealing with neurologic difficulties or have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, it is important to talk with a personal injury lawyer to find out how to protect your legal rights to compensation and benefits.
If you have questions about this Paraquat information or would like to discuss your case, you can get in touch with Jim Adler & Associates by way of the contact form at jimadler.com or by giving us a call at 1-800-567-7575. Please call for our free information.