Paraquat Investigation Linking Weed Killer to Parkinson’s Disease

Stephan Zouras, LLP is investigating claims, on behalf of farmers, gardeners and landscapers, that the popular weed killer, Paraquat is linked to Parkinson’s disease. Paraquat is one of the world’s oldest and most popular herbicides (plant killers) that has been used commercially in the United States since the early 1960’s. In the 1970s and 1980s, paraquat was sprayed over marijuana fields in Mexico and in the United States in an effort to eradicate marijuana use.

Paraquat is highly toxic to humans and has been banned in over 30 countries worldwide, including the European Union, based largely on human health concerns. In the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) classifies paraquat as a Restricted Use Pesticide (“RUP”), meaning that it can only be used by licensed applicators. Accordingly, licensed applicators are the most at risk for exposure. Paraquat is applied aerially, backpack sprayer and low pressure hand-wand and exposure occurs through ingestion, skin exposure, and inhalation.

Parkinson’s is a disorder of the central nervous system that affects movement, often in the form of tremors, stiffness, or loss of balance. Although certain medications can control the symptoms of Parkinson’s, there is no cure.

In 2011, the National Institute of Health (“NIH”) conducted the FAME study to determine the cause(s) of Parkinson’s disease. The study aimed to investigate the relationship between Parkinson’s and exposure to pesticides, including Paraquat and found that people who were exposed to Paraquat were 2.5 times more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease.

Lawsuits are being filed alleging that Syngenta, Chevron, and others involved in the process of manufacturing, marketing, and distributing Paraquat are liable for causing or contributing to the development of Parkinson’s disease.

If you or a loved one developed Parkinson’s or other serious side effects resulting from Paraquat exposure and are interested in learning about your rights, please contact us.

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