While it is clear that we need ways to improve crop yields and eliminate troublesome weeds in order to feed our ever-growing population, it is important that we consider the health effects of the dangerous chemicals used in the fight against these weeds.
Paraquat is one such herbicide which contains a dangerous chemical that has been found to lead to devastating effects in those who are exposed to it. One of the contaminants found in Paraquat is MPTP, a chemical which has been correlated with the development of Parkinson’s Disease in those who have been in contact with the substance.
The Correlation Between Paraquat and Parkinson’s Disease
Through multiple studies conducted in 2009, 2011, and 2012 respectively, a correlation between exposure to Paraquat and Parkinson’s Disease became increasingly clear. Specifically, one of the chemicals found in Paraquat, a substance known as MPTP (Methyl-Phenyl-Tetrahydropyridine) is known to destroy dopamine-producing cells in the brain, which causes the similar symptoms to those seen in Parkinson’s Disease.
This disturbing finding is even more concerning given the fact that Paraquat is still widely used as an herbicide today.
Regulation and the Use of Paraquat
Despite the evidence of Paraquat’s damaging effect on the human nervous system, the weed-killer is still in use throughout the United States.
The substance is considered a “restricted use” chemical by the EPA and all those who handle the chemical are required to complete a government-approved training program. However, despite following all of the required precautions, the chemical can still enter the body and cause damage through skin contact, inhalation, or ingestion. Individuals who may come in direct contact with the chemical include:
- Agricultural Laborers.
Unfortunately, the effects of Paraquat are not limited to those who come into direct contact of the substance. Through phenomena known as “pesticide drift” and “overspray”, those who live or work near facilities using Paraquat may also suffer the ill-effects of the herbicide.
- Pesticide Drift. Pesticide drift is a natural phenomenon that occurs due to wind patterns. The term refers to the movement of pesticides through the air and into areas in which it was not intended.
- Overspray occurs due to pesticide use by untrained individuals or from errors made by the operator. This results in too much of the substance being sprayed on a given area which then expands into nearby regions.
Am I Eligible for a Paraquat Lawsuit?
If you have developed symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease as a result of Paraquat exposure, you may be entitled to a lawsuit. The first step you should take, should you start to develop symptoms of PD, is to seek a medical consultation in order to receive a definitive diagnosis. Once you’ve done this, you should strongly consider contacting a Paraquat lawyer. Consulting with an experienced Paraquat lawyer is the best first step you can take if you believe you qualify for a lawsuit. Many Paraquat lawyers offer free consultations and will guide you in the next steps you should take in order to receive the compensation you deserve.