Paraquat is a toxic and highly poisonous herbicide that can cause significant and deadly medical problems. Parkinson’s disease is one potential risk from paraquat exposure.
According to the National Institutes of Health and several other studies, people exposed to paraquat are significantly more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease than people without that exposure.
Yet, paraquat use remains legal in the United States, and it is currently used in all 50 states, including Kentucky. Therefore, agricultural workers need to know about the risk, what to do after exposure, and what to do if they develop symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, including reaching out to an experienced Kentucky personal injury lawyer.
What to Do Immediately After Paraquat Exposure
Drinking paraquat or getting it on your clothes or skin can cause dangerous health problems for agricultural workers. If you ingest or may have ingested paraquat, you should seek emergency medical care without delay.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also recommend that you get medical care as quickly as possible if paraquat gets on your clothing or skin, and immediately:
- Take your clothes off but not by pulling them over your head
- Thoroughly wash your body with soap and water
- Put your clothing in a disposable bag and throw it out, being careful not to touch any part of the clothing that may be contaminated
- Wash your eyes for 10-15 minutes with plain water if you experience any blurring vision, burning, or pain
These steps may help you survive the immediate emergency of paraquat exposure. However, once the immediate emergency subsides, you still face an increased risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.
Recognize the Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease
Inhalation of paraquat or paraquat exposure on your skin increases your risk of developing Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s disease is a nervous system disorder that may get progressively worse and affect your movement.
People with Parkinson’s disease exhibit different symptoms, which may include one or more of the following:
- Tremors or shaking. You may experience tremors or shaking. Often, this begins in a hand or fingers, even when your hand is resting. Tremors may also begin in a single limb.
- Slowed movement. Slower movements, also known as bradykinesia, may occur. You may take shorter steps or have trouble getting out of a seated position, for example. Your daily activities may become more challenging and take a longer time to complete.
- Muscle stiffness. Rigid muscles may occur in different parts of your body. You may experience pain and a limited range of motion.
- Stooped posture. You may have trouble standing up straight.
- Balance problems. Keeping your balance may become challenging as Parkinson’s disease progresses.
- Trouble performing automatic movements. Movements you don’t think about, such as blinking or moving your arms while you walk, may become difficult.
- Changes in speech. Parkinson’s disease impacts speech in different ways. You may have trouble speaking loudly, you may slur your words, or you may pause before speaking, for example.
- Fine motor difficulties. Handwriting may become challenging or illegible.
Two Calls to Make If You Experience Parkinson’s Symptoms After Paraquat Exposure
If you experience any of the symptoms described above or any other unusual health symptoms, we encourage you to contact your doctor right away. Currently, there is no cure for Parkinson’s disease, but early medical treatment may improve symptoms and delay the progression of your illness.
Additionally, we encourage you to contact a Kentucky personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. Our experienced attorneys have handled similar mass tort cases. We know how to investigate complicated claims and advocate for our clients’ full and fair recoveries.
Paraquat manufacturers and distributors know about the increased risk of Parkinson’s disease from paraquat exposure, but they may have failed to warn you of the risk.
Our Kentucky personal injury lawyer will fight for your recovery of past and future medical costs, lost income, out-of-pocket expenses, physical pain, emotional suffering, and other losses. Please contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation about your rights and to learn more about our No Fee Policy.