If you have been following the news lately, chances are you’ve heard about Paraquat exposure. Paraquat is considered a toxic herbicide, and long-term exposure has affected many lives. Paraquat manufacturers are being accused of putting innocent people at risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. There are over a dozen U.S. lawsuits are now pending against several Paraquat manufacturers. The lawsuits allege that Paraquat exposure has led to the onset and development of this debilitating disease. Victims and loved ones are demanding answers. Let’s take a closer look at what Paraquat is, and the eye-opening research connecting this particular herbicide to Parkinson’s disease.
What Is Paraquat?
Paraquat is a herbicide that was discovered in the 1950s and has been commercially used since 1961. This highly toxic herbicide works by attacking plant cells directly at their core, or mitochondria. Paraquat stops or stunts plant growth, and leads directly to cell death. Paraquat is one of the most commonly used herbicides worldwide, yet it is extremely dangerous to humans. ¹ One of the main concerns regarding the use of Paraquat as a herbicide is that it is non-selective and highly toxic. This means that once used, it can kill nearly all vegetation under the right conditions, from grass to trees and even crops. It works best when it’s sprayed on plants in hot sunlight. Hot sunlight increases its solubility and helps the breakdown processes proceed quickly enough to kill the target plants. Paraquat exposure, even in small amounts, is now thought to be able to cause serious health problems. If ingested by mistake, which can happen if crops aren’t properly washed before they’re sold, it can lead to significant lung damage including pulmonary edema. In some cases, this fluid accumulation in the lungs can be lethal. ²
Parkinson’s Disease & Paraquat Exposure
Now let’s discuss the growing evidence connecting Paraquat manufacturers to Parkinson’s disease. While this condition can be linked with genetic factors, studies have found the risk of developing this disease significantly when exposed to Paraquat. Collectively, this research provides strong evidence that Parkinson’s disease may be directly triggered by ongoing Paraquat exposure. Parkinson’s disease is a debilitating and degenerative disorder that impacts motor skills, speech, cognition as well as other daily activities such as sleep. Those affected and their loved ones deserve compensation and for those responsible to be held accountable!
Paraquat & Parkinson’s Disease Studies
According to a study from the American Journal of Epidemiology in 2009, Paraquat may cause a neurodegenerative process that can lead to Parkinson’s disease. This study revealed living 500 meters from an area that was exposed to maneb and Paraquat herbicides could increase the risk of Parkinson’s disease by a massive 75%. ³ The first study which connected this disease with this toxic herbicide reviewed patients from Brazil. Researchers found that from 1989 to 1994 and 2003 to 2008, Parkinson’s disease rates had doubled for some. Those who lived within a 100 km radius of where Paraquat was being used or even stored showed a higher Parkinson’s disease rate. Yet, according to the WHO, for each notified case of intoxication, there are another 50 not accounted for. This is because most workers are reluctant to report their cases to companies or to the Brazilian Social Security Institute. The reason is, they are not granted rights by the companies responsible. ⁴ Recently the Unified Parkinson’s Advocacy Council attempted to reach out to the U.S. EPA regarding Paraquat exposure. On July 24, 2017, the Council wrote a letter highlighting the growing evidence related to the onset of Parkinson’s disease as a result of Paraquat exposure. Consequently, this act urged the EPA to ban the use of this toxic herbicide. The letter stated that Unified Parkinson’s Advocacy Council wish to see Paraquat use eliminated from the American agriculture system altogether due to its acute toxicity and organ failure by inhalation. As well as, the increased risk of Parkinson’s disease can be attributed to low-level chronic exposure to paraquat. ⁵
What You Can Do to Protect Yourself from Paraquat Exposure?
While there are still more studies being carried out on this potential link, there are some things that Parkinson’s patients as well as those who want to avoid Parkinson’s disease can do to limit their risk. The first thing you should consider doing is eating less processed foods and more organic fruits and vegetables. This may sound expensive but it doesn’t have to be if you shop wisely. You can often find fresh and organic produce at local farmers markets, or even start growing your own food at home. This will help guarantee that the crops have not been treated with neurotoxic herbicides like Paraquat. Although be careful growing food at home if you live within a 100 km radius of where Paraquat might be being used. When you purchase any fruit or vegetables, always thoroughly wash them to remove all traces of pesticides and herbicides. Ideally invest in a vegetable wash to ensure the food is completely free of any dangerous chemicals.
Paraquat Manufacturer Lawsuits
If you believe that you have suffered health problems due to Paraquat, you should join the dozens of people now filing lawsuits against Paraquat manufacturers. One of the main Paraquat manufacturers, Monsanto has been accused by a number of Parkinson’s patients. With growing evidence linking the use of Paraquat to Parkinson’s disease, it’s increasingly likely that these lawsuits will soon be a prominent feature in the news and be put in front of a judge.
Signs & Symptoms Of Parkinson’s Disease
If you or someone you know has Parkinson’s disease and you believe has been exposed to Paraquat in the past, please contact our team today. Here are the main signs and symptoms of Parkinson’s disease;
- Handshaking or a tremor. This usually starts in the fingers and hands.
- Slowed movement. Simple tasks may become more difficult to perform.
- Rigid muscles and stiffness.
- Impaired posture and loss of balance.
- Changes to speech or the development of a slur. ⁶
While there is nothing that can reverse or cure the onset of Parkinson’s disease, financial compensation could help to provide ongoing care for those affected. A successful lawsuit that prevents others from also becoming a victim of Paraquat exposure can also help. Often medications are required for the rest of a patient’s life in order to control the symptoms of this disease and in some cases, surgery may be required. If you need legal assistance, then you’ll want to see if you qualify for financial compensation.