Does Paraquat Cause Parkinson’s Disease?

Recent studies have found a troubling correlation between exposure to the herbicide Paraquat and development of Parkinson’s Disease. This dangerous pesticide has been banned in multiple countries, but remains in use in the United States. While precautions can and should be taken by those directly handling the chemical, many people are indirectly affected and can develop PD symptoms due to natural occurrences such as “pesticide drift.”

If you suspect your Parkinson’s symptoms developed after exposure to Paraquat, you should strongly consider discussing your case with a qualified Paraquat lawsuit lawyer.

What Does the Research Say About Paraquat and Parkinson’s Disease?

For more than a decade, researchers have been defining a clear link between Parkinson’s Disease and Paraquat exposure. The association between decreased dopamine production and PD has been well-known for a very long time, and scientists have been able to predictably cause symptoms Parkinson’s disease in laboratory studies on animals by exposing these animals to chemicals found in Paraquat.

Numerous studies have built upon the initial findings that Paraquat causes Parkinson’s Disease, with one study from 2009 going as far as to claim that “exposure to paraquat within 1,600 feet of a residence increased the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease by 75%.”

Who is Most at Risk for Developing Parkinson’s Disease Due to Paraquat Exposure?

While the most at-risk individuals are those who are in close contact with the chemical itself such as farmers and groundskeepers. There is also significant risk for anyone who lives or works close to a farm that uses Paraquat. 

Through a practice called “overspray,” a deliberate or negligent application of pesticide in which too much of the substance is sprayed and extends past the target area, Paraquat applicators may spread the herbicide far and wide.

Additionally, instances of “pesticide drift” in which the wind naturally carries pesticides to further away areas, can occur regardless of how competently and appropriately the applicator sprays Paraquat to their target area.

Due to these issues that cause spread far beyond the farms in question, many individuals are vulnerable to the side effects caused by Paraquat; especially those who live or work near farms that heavily use the herbicide in question.

What is the U.S. Doing in Light of The Research Linking PD and Paraquat?

The EPA has labelled paraquat as a “Restricted Use Pesticide” and only qualified individuals who have passed a training course are allowed to handle and purchase the substance. However, this does not fully prevent user error or eliminate risk. 

Many other countries have recognized the danger of continuing to use the chemical and have therefore banned its use. The US, unfortunately, has not followed suit yet.

How Do I Know if I am Entitled to Compensation Due to Paraquat Exposure?

Calling an experienced Paraquat attorney and setting up a consultation is the easiest way to determine if you are eligible to receive compensation for your medical bills related to Paraquat Exposure. 

Parkinson’s disease can cause lifelong complications and can severely limit mobility and quality of life. If you believe that you may have developed PD as a result of Paraquat exposure, don’t delay. Call a lawyer today and figure out your next steps.