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downtown Jackson Mississippi

Were You Exposed to Paraquat, A Common Herbicide Ingredient?

People who have been exposed to paraquat, a widely-used ingredient in many herbicides, could be at a heightened risk for many different maladies, especially Parkinson’s Disease. Those affected include:

  • farmworkers, generally
  • paraquat applicators, specifically
  • chemical mixers and tank fillers
  • those living in or near farm communities

Over the last year or so, there have been many lawsuits filed on behalf of these folks in jurisdictions around the country.  However, in June 2021 those suits were consolidated into one class-action lawsuit in federal court. Substantial settlements and verdicts are expected. If you think you were exposed to this deadly poison, here are some things you should know.

Paraquat is most commonly sold under the brand name Gramoxone®, and is manufactured by Syngenta, a Swiss company. Chevron Chemical marketed the herbicides, under different brand names, which contain it.

The US Environmental Protection Agency classifies paraquat as restricted use. This means that it can be used only by people who are licensed applicators.

Because it’s extremely toxic, paraquat has a blue dye to keep it from being confused with beverages such as coffee.  Paraquat also has a sharp odor to serve as a warning, and an added agent to cause vomiting if someone consumes it. (Paraquat from outside the United States may not have these safeguards, by the way.) It is banned in 32 countries, but not the US.

After paraquat enters the body, most commonly through the lungs or skin, it is distributed to all areas of the body.  Paraquat causes toxic chemical reactions to occur throughout many parts of the body, primarily the lungs, liver, and kidneys. Although it has been linked to several different maladies, the most common affliction resulting from exposure is Parkinson’s Disease.

How toxic is Paraquat? Very. In fact, in 2009, he American Journal of Epidemiology found that any exposure to paraquat within 1,600 feet of a home resulted in a heightened Parkinson’s disease risk of 75 percent.

Bottom line:  If you think you were exposed to paraquat, and have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, call our office immediately. You may be entitled to substantial monetary compensation.  And, as with all our personal injury lawsuits, you pay nothing unless we win!