Paraquat is a toxic herbicide that studies have linked to a higher risk of Parkinson’s disease.
Need a Texas Paraquat Lawyer? Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged. If you or a loved one was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease after being exposed to Paraquat, you should contact our lawyers immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit.
UPDATE: Syngenta Tried to Bury Evidence Linking Paraquat and Parkinson’s Disease
In June 2023, an investigation by The Guardian found that Syngenta secretly tried to influence regulators (such as the EPA) and bury scientific evidence linking paraquat with Parkinson’s disease. For example, Syngenta’s own scientists concluded that mice who were exposed to high levels of paraquat suffered a “statistically significant” loss of dopamine levels in their brain. Click here to read more.
Paraquat Lawsuits Centralized in MDL
In June 2021, dozens of lawsuits involving Parkinson’s Disease and Paraquat were centralized into a Multi-District Litigation (MDL No. 3004) in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois under Judge Nancy J. Rosenstengel. Within two years, more than 2,000 paraquat lawsuits nationwide were centralized in this MDL.
Texas Residents Hit With Aerial Spraying of Paraquat — “Death From Above”
Many people in Texas farm country have been hit by clouds of Paraquat from off-target crop-dusting, according to the Texas Observer. In May 2016, a 5-mile-long “chemical drift” incident in Quitaque, Texas destroyed trees, gardens, and caused people to suffer headaches and trouble breathing.
What is Paraquat?
Paraquat, also known as Gramoxone®, is a fast-acting, non-selective herbicide (plant-killing chemical). It is used to control weeds and grasses on more than 100 different crops worldwide. Paraquat has been on the market in the U.S. since 1961.
Paraquat is extremely toxic to the human body, including the brain, lungs, heart, kidney and liver. Just a single sip can be deadly. Once it gets into the body, there is no antidote or cure for poisoning.
What is the Problem?
In recent years, several Paraquat class actions and individual lawsuits have been filed by people who accuse Syngenta and other companies of failing to warn about the risk of Parkinson’s disease.
More than 2,000 lawsuits have been filed by people with Parkinson’s disease. The first case was a Paraquat class action that was filed in by three farmers in 2017 in St. Clair County, Illinois.
Since then, many other lawsuits have been filed, mostly by farmers and farm-workers who sprayed paraquat on crops. For example, a man with Parkinson’s disease filed a Paraquat lawsuit in Illinois in December 2019, (Case number 18-L-805), just a few months after another group of 10 lawsuits were filed in California state court in April.
Who Is At Risk?
- Farmers and farm-workers
- Pesticide sprayers
- Businesses that handle pesticides
- People who live in rural areas
- Family members of farm-workers
- Parks and recreation workers
- And more
“This Is Not Just a Farmer Issue”
Edwin Zane, a man from Hawaii whose father developed Parkinson’s disease after years of being exposed to Paraquat while working for the parks department on Maui, warned:
“A lot of communities are in danger. This is not just a farmer or blue-collar working issue. This is a quality of life issue for everybody.”
EPA Re-approves Paraquat in U.S.
On October 23, 2020, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) re-approved Paraquat for use in the U.S., confirming that it is “safe” to use. The decision ignored many studies linking Paraquat to Parkinson’s disease and other health issues, including a risk of death.
How Are People Exposed to Paraquat?
- Accidentally drinking Paraquat
- Skin contact
- Breathing Paraquat in the air
- Paraquat can get on clothing and rub off on vehicle seats or furniture at home, endangering families
- Eating food with Paraquat residue
- Water contamination
Paraquat Use At 20-Year High in U.S.
Despite its well-known dangers, Paraquat use in the U.S. is at an all-time high over the past 20 years. This is partly due to plants evolving resistance to other toxic herbicides like Roundup (glyphosate). Today, at least 32 countries have banned or phased out Paraquat due to its severe health risks, including the European Union, China, and Brazil.
What is Parkinson’s Disease?
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive brain disorder that causes shaking, rigid muscles, and problems walking and talking. The symptoms begin slowly and worsen over time, due to progressive damage in the part of the brain that coordinates movements.
Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease
- Shaking hands, arms, legs, jaw or head
- Stiffness in the limbs and body
- Slow movements
- Poor balance and coordination
What Causes Parkinson’s Disease?
No one knows what causes Parkinson’s disease, but several recent studies have shown that it is much more common among people who have been exposed to Paraquat — especially after years of exposure.
Studies Linking Paraquat to Parkinson’s Disease
In 2009, two studies of farm-workers in California’s Central Valley found a 200% to 600% increased risk of Parkinson’s disease after years of exposure to Paraquat and another herbicide called Maneb. The risk increased with the overall number of years of being exposed to Paraquat. — Source: “Dopamine transporter genetic variants and pesticides in Parkinson’s disease”
In 2011, a major study of pesticide risks called the Agricultural Heath Study discovered a 200% increased risk of Parkinson’s disease for farmers who mixed or sprayed Paraquat on crops. The study’s authors warned: “Paraquat use plays a role in human Parkinson’s disease. Because Paraquat remains one of the most widely used herbicides worldwide, this finding potentially has great public health significance.”
Need a Paraquat Lawyer in Texas?
Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged.
Collen’s amazing success in the courtroom and well known dedication to his clients has earned him the recognition of his peers as one of The Top Trial Lawyers in Texas.”
The Clark Firm has assembled a team of trial lawyers with more than 100 years experience, participation in over 600 jury trials and $260 million in verdicts and/or settlements. Please use the form below to contact our law firm for a free case review.