When you buy a product on the market, you expect it to be safe. If there are possible dangers that come with use, you expect it to be listed on the label. Unfortunately, this isn’t always how it plays out in reality.
Many products say they are FDA approved. However, the truth is, the FDA doesn’t have time to test every product. They leave testing to the manufacturer making it easy for them to slack off on their processes and forge results.
Paraquat is a synthetic chemical compound that is often used in herbicides for weed and grass control. Over the years, it has been linked to an increased risk of Parkinson’s Disease. Several lawsuits have been filed against the companies that manufacture the chemical as a result.
If you or a loved one has developed Parkinson’s or other side effects when using Paraquat products, you deserve compensation. Babin Law has extensive experience representing Columbus, Ohio clients in personal injury and product defect cases. Read on to find out how we may be able to get you a winning result in a Paraquat lawsuit claim.
What is Paraquat?
Paraquat is a synthetic chemical compound that has been used in herbicides since the early 1960s. It is primarily available in liquid form. It has been classified for restricted use by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. This means it can only be used by licensed applicators.
Paraquat is one of the most popular herbicides in the United States. Its use has increased by 200% since 2009. It is commonly used in the agriculture industry by farmers whose weeds have become resistant to Roundup.
China and many countries in Europe have banned herbicides due to the health risks they present.
Who is at Risk for Developing Paraquat Related Health Conditions?
40% of the United States is comprised of farmland with millions of Americans working in the agriculture industry. Most of that is concentrated in Ohio.
44% of Ohio is considered to be prime farmland and 99% of Ohio farms are family owned. Most of these families have been exposed to Paraquat and other harmful pesticides.
Paraquat exposure is a concern for farmers and their families. It can also be a risk for:
- Agricultural workers working for companies that use Paraquat
- Certified Paraquat applicators
- Workers that transfer Paraquat into tanks
- People that live near croplands and no-till farms that use Paraquat
Paraquat is used by a variety of crops including the following:
- Orchard and vineland crops
- Soybean crops
- Hay (clover and alfalfa seed)
The chemical is also used in pasture renovation and the planting of ‘no-till’ fields.
Paraquat goes by a variety of names including the following:
- Para Shot
The good news is that Paraquat binds to soil after being used on land. Therefore, there is little risk of it entering water system. However, inhalation can cause severe health conditions.
Health Conditions Caused by Paraquat
Paraquat is known as the “deadliest herbicide on the market.” It is highly toxic to humans and even one sip of the substance can be fatal. Ingestion results in death 70% of the time.
The chemical’s toxicity is the main reason its use has been limited to certified and trained applicators. In addition to being extremely poisonous, it has also been known to cause other health dangers. Namely, it has been linked to an increased risk of Parkinson’s Disease.
Because Paraquat is so dangerous, it has been taken off the market in China and throughout Europe. The United States, on the other hand, has put warning labels on the product and made the packaging more tamper resistant. However, it remains available to American agricultural workers.
Paraquat and Parkinson’s
Parkinson’s Disease is a degenerative brain disorder that causes tremors, rigidity, slow movement, and impaired balance. Over time, symptoms worsen making it more difficult for patients to function.
The disease is caused by a degeneration of nerve cells in the substantia nigra, the part of the brain that controls movement. The damage causes the body to produce few dopamine neurons which are responsible for sending messages to nerve cells. As a result, affected individuals become unable to function with symptoms worsening over time.
In the last decade researchers have established a clear link between Paraquat and Parkinson’s. A 2011 study by the National Institute of Health shows that Paraquat users are 2.5 times more likely to develop Parkinson’s as compared to other individuals. This is due to the chemicals causing oxidative stress which leads to reduced dopaminergic neurons in the brain cells.
Last year, Paraquat came up for re-approval. Fifty-two organizations representing farmers and public health and conservation advocates signed a letter urging the EPA to ban the product. The New York Times wrote articles highlighting the dangers of Paraquat. A new book was released written by top experts in Parkinson’s Disease identifying Paraquat as one of the top risk factors for the disease.
But despite the mounting evidence showing the health risks linked to Paraquat, the EPA re-approved it and it is still available for sale in United States markets. However, there is still hope as bills have been introduced into Congress to end all Paraquat sales in the country.
Babin Law May Be Able to Help With Your Columbus, Ohio Paraquat Lawsuit
If you or a loved one used Paraquat and developed Parkinson’s as a result, you may be owed compensation for loss of wages, medical expenses, emotional and physical pain and suffering, and more. If we're able to take on your case, Babin Law will fight for justice.
Babin Law has extensive experience representing personal injury clients in Columbus, Ohio. We are known for treating our clients with a high level of care and respect. We will stop at nothing to get you fair compensation for your claim.
Don’t let companies get away with continuing to put harmful products on the market. Do your part by contacting Babin Law for a free consultation. We want to fight to get you the closure you need.