Paraquat is a popular industrial weed-killing herbicide that is strictly limited to commercial use due to its high toxicity. Recent studies have found that individuals exposed to paraquat have an up to 2.5 times greater risk of developing Parkinson’s disease compared to people who were not exposed to the herbicide. The primary routes of paraquat exposure are during the preparation, application, and post-application of this herbicide.
Chevron and Syngenta have known about the link between Paraquat and Parkinson’s disease, yet continued to distribute the herbicide without providing adequate warnings to consumers. This lack of ethical standards is inexcusable.
Because of its commercial success, there are many brands of paraquat on the market. One of the most popular is Gramoxone, manufactured by Swiss-based agrichemical corporation Syngenta. Syngenta (formerly Zeneca) is the world’s largest agrichemical corporation. Paraquat is produced in many countries under various trade names, such as:
- Paraquat Concentrate
- Cyclone SL 2.0
- Helmquat 3SL
- Para-Shot 3.0
Despite its high toxicity to humans, Paraquat has become one of the most widely used weed killers in the U.S. Paraquat has been commercially available since 1962. The form that is distributed in the U.S. has a blue dye in it to prevent ingestion via food or beverages, a sharp odor, and an added agent to cause vomiting if someone drinks it. Paraquat has been banned or disallowed in 32 countries, including the entire European Union. In 10 other countries, including the U.S., Paraquat use is restricted.
Paraquat falls into the EPA’s Restricted Use Pesticide (RUP) category. It can only be purchased and used by licensed/certified individuals. Each state has different RUP applications, but most require a Pesticide Safety Education Program be completed prior to licensure application. We are accepting cases from both licensed and unlicensed individuals.
Regardless of the precautions taken, Paraquat can enter the body through:
- Accidental Ingestion – (most likely);
- Skin absorption;
- Inhalation; or
- Penetration through damaged skin.
Paraquat can be rapidly absorbed by the body once inhaled or ingested. Absorption from the skin is generally low but is significantly increased if the skin is damaged. Once in the human body, Paraquat attacks lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids in humans. These are the same parts of the body that Parkinson’s Disease eats away at.
One farmer reportedly died in less than four hours after spraying diluted Paraquat from a leaking container. Many others have died from simply spiling concentrate on their skin.
More than a dozen lawsuits across the U.S. have been filed against Syngenta as well as Chevron corporation, which held the rights to sell paraquat in the 1960s under an agreement with a company that was eventually purchased by Syngenta. If you or a loved one were diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease after working with Paraquat, you may be entitled to compensation. Join us in holding Syngenta accountable for its irresponsible actions. Call us today to speak with an experienced attorney or complete our online case evaluation by following the link above, and let us get to work for you.