Paraquat is Linked to Parkinson’s Disease: What Kentucky Agricultural Workers Need to Know About the Risk and Their Legal Rights

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Paraquat is Linked to Parkinson’s DiseaseParaquat dichloride was first manufactured in 1961. Since then, this herbicide has been used to control grass and weeds all over the world. However, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) restricts the use of paraquat in the United States because it appears paraquat is linked to Parkinson’s Disease. Here in Kentucky, only licensed professionals, i.e. agricultural workers, may use paraquat because of the significant danger it presents.

Paraquat Isn’t Always Called Paraquat

Paraquat is most often manufactured by Chevron Chemical Company and Syngenta in the United States, but smaller companies or international manufacturers may also supply the paraquat you use. Additionally, the herbicide you use may be paraquat but may have a different brand name.

One of the most common brand names of paraquat is Gramoxone. Other names for paraquat include:

  • Blanco
  • Bonedry
  • Bonfire Herbicide
  • Cyclone SL 2.0
  • Devour
  • Firestorm
  • Helmquat 3SL
  • Para-Shot 3.0
  • Parazone
  • Quik-Quat

This list is not all-inclusive, and other forms of paraquat may be on the market in the U.S.

Paraquat Use in Kentucky, the United States, and Around the World

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), paraquat is “highly poisonous” and may only be used by licensed professionals. Paraquat is most often used in liquid form. Paraquat that is marketed in the United States must contain:

  • Blue dye to prevent people from confusing it with other liquids, such as coffee
  • A sharp odor to warn people of danger
  • An added agent to induce vomiting if it is ingested

However, paraquat made in other countries may not have these safeguards.

Paraquat is not approved for residential use in the United States. Instead, it is used on more than 100 different crops, including corn and soybeans, which are commonly grown in Kentucky. Paraquat has been used in all 120 counties in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

The U.S. EPA most recently approved paraquat in October 2020, and as of 2020, paraquat use was at a 25-year high in the United States.

Other Countries Ban Paraquat Use

While paraquat is still used in the United States, other countries have banned this toxic herbicide, including:

  • The European Union
  • The United Kingdom
  • Brazil
  • Cambodia
  • China
  • Kuwait
  • Norway
  • Switzerland
  • Syria

Many other countries have restricted its use, including Belize, Chile, Columbia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Indonesia, New Zealand, Philippines, and South Korea.

Paraquat and Parkinson’s Disease

Paraquat poisoning can occur after swallowing, skin contact, or inhalation. One sip of paraquat can be fatal. Most people do not ingest paraquat on purpose, but it is sometimes stored in unmarked bottles, leading to accidental poisonings.

Additionally, paraquat can enter the body through skin exposure or inhalation. Many agricultural workers have no warning about skin exposure or inhalation risks, and the results can be devastating.

Paraquat is Linked to Parkinson’s Disease: Causes

More than a decade has passed since a National Institutes of Health study found that people exposed to paraquat were 2.5 times more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease than people without the exposure. The fact that paraquat is linked to Parkinson’s disease has also been discussed in well-respected medical journals, including:

  • The American Journal of Epidemiology
  • JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) Neurology
  • The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

According to researchers, paraquat can cause changes in the brain associated with Parkinson’s disease. More specifically, paraquat crosses the blood-brain barrier and interferes with the development of dopamine in the midbrain. Your midbrain controls motor function, and healthy dopamine cells are critical to muscle movement. Without healthy dopamine cells, you may experience tremors, loss of balance, an altered gait, and other symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

Parkinson’s disease affects the central nervous system. Neurologists typically diagnose Parkinson’s after an MRI confirms changes in the midbrain. Parkinson’s is a progressive disease. Your first symptoms may include a slight tremor or some stiffness. However, over time:

  • Tremors may become significant
  • Movement may slow down
  • Muscles may become rigid
  • Posture may become stooped
  • Balance may become difficult
  • Automatic movements, such as blinking or swinging your arms while you walk, may happen less frequently
  • Speech may change, and it may be harder to talk
  • The ability to write may be impacted

You may also experience cognitive changes, depression and emotional changes, trouble swallowing, chewing, and eating, sleep disturbances, bladder issues, constipation, blood pressure changes, sexual dysfunction, fatigue, and pain.

Medication may help control your Parkinson’s disease symptoms, and in some cases, surgery may be suggested.

Currently, Parkinson’s disease has no known cure.

Have You Been Hurt by Paraquat in Kentucky?

Kentucky farmers and agricultural workers who have developed Parkinson’s disease from paraquat exposure may have the right to pursue legal compensation. Lawsuits against Syngenta, Chevron, and other companies involved in making, marketing, or distributing paraquat are being filed around the country, and you may have the right to pursue legal action. At Gray & White Law, our Kentucky Paraquat Parkinson’s Disease lawyer has years of experience with similar mass tort cases and can help defend your rights to Paraquat injury compensation.

Paraquat Injury Compensation

Paraquat manufacturers, marketers, and distributors were well aware of the risks paraquat presented, and they chose to make the herbicide available anyway without sufficient warnings. You shouldn’t have to pay the cost for their decisions, but you are paying when you are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

A Kentucky paraquat injury lawsuit may help you recover financial compensation for all of the damages related to your paraquat injury, including but not limited to past and future:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost income
  • Out-of-pocket costs
  • Physical pain
  • Emotional suffering
  • Changes in the quality of your life

Additionally, your lawsuit may help encourage paraquat manufacturers to stop selling dangerous products because of the potential financial liability.

Hire Kentucky Paraquat Parkinson’s Disease Lawyers Risk-Free

Right now, you shouldn’t have to think about the financial cost of hiring a lawyer. Instead, our Kentucky Paraquat Parkinson’s Disease lawyers believe you should have the right to pursue justice without any financial risk.

We always offer free consultations, and we are pleased to offer you our No Fee Policy. You won’t owe us any hourly legal fees, and we will only be paid if your claim is successful. After your case settles or a court awards a verdict, we will be paid a previously agreed-upon percentage of your recovery.

Your case is personal to us. Our local Kentucky paraquat Parkinson’s Disease lawyers with a national reputation know how to gather evidence and pursue justice against big companies.

We want to help you, but your time to file a paraquat injury claim is limited by Kentucky law. Accordingly, we encourage you to call us, start a chat with us, or complete our contact form as soon as possible. We are here for you 24/7/365.

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