Paraquat Parkinson’s Disease Lawsuit
If you or a loved one was exposed to paraquat and were subsequently diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, you may be entitled to participate in the Paraquat lawsuit. Contact Craig Kelley from Inserra | Kelley | Sewell Injury Attorneys for a no-obligation consultation to discuss your legal options.
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Paraquat dichloride (paraquat) is a chemical agent commonly used as an herbicide. It was first produced more than 130 years ago, but its application as an herbicide did not become widespread until the mid-20th century. Paraquat is now used as an herbicide agent on more than 100 different types of crops.
Is Paraquat Safe?
According to the American Council on Science and Health, Paraquat’s relative toxicity of glyphosate, another popularly used herbicide known to be toxic, ranges from 33-250. A lethal dose for an average person is around 2.5 grams, and it is even more toxic when inhaled. Paraquat’s toxicity has made it a traditionally popular agent for suicide because it can kill a person with a single sip.
Paraquat exposure has also been linked to adverse health effects, include Parkinson’s disease.
Paraquat Linked to Parkinson’s Disease
Researches has attributed exposure to paraquat to increased risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.
In February 2011, the National Institute of Health (NIH) conducted a study – the Farming and Movement Evaluation (FAME) – exploring claims that exposure to the popular herbicide Paraquat could be linked to a greater risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.
FAME drew data from the Agricultural Health Study, a larger project that tracked more than 80,000 farmers, agricultural workers, and their spouses. FAME researchers identified 115 individuals who had developed Parkinson’s, studying 110 of these individuals who were open to providing information on the herbicide they frequently used.
Dr. Freya Kamel, a scientist at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, a branch of the National Institutes of Health and a co-author of the FAME study, found the FAME study data linking Paraquat to Parkinson’s “about as persuasive as these things can get.”
A similar study conducted in 2012 – the Genetic Modification of the Association of Paraquat and Parkinson’s Disease – found that individuals who used Paraquat and who also had a specific genetic variation were 11 times more likely to develop Parkinson’s, indicating that some people are put at greater risk by being exposed to the chemical.
Paraquat Banned in Multiple Countries
Paraquat is banned in 32 countries. Notably, although Paraquat is produced by Swiss manufacturer Syngenta, use of the herbicide has been banned in Switzerland since 1989.
Paraquat has been on the banned substances list in England and throughout the European Union since 2013 yet one of Syngenta’s largest Paraquat manufacturing facilities is located in Northern England, but most of the yield is sent to the United States.
China also produces Paraquat. Although it is known for being an industrial nation with lax environmental regulations, China announced in 2012 that it would begin to phase out Paraquat to “safeguard people’s lives”. All production is now exported.
Many other nations are now following suit and venturing away from the herbicide, citing research that links the chemical to health risks.
Increased Paraquat Use in the United States
Conversely, in recent years, Paraquat has become a popular alternative to Monsanto’s Roundup in the USA. Roundup has long been the preferred herbicidal agent for American agricultural workers, but as weeds and pests are becoming more resistant to it and lawsuits alleging dangers and injuries arise, farmers are turning to alternative herbicides and pesticides to treat their crops.
Paraquat has become the preferred herbicidal alternative, in light of the issues surrounding Roundup, especially for soybean fields, where the number of pounds used is up fourfold over the last 10 years. In 2016 alone, the United States sprayed 7 million lbs. of Paraquat over nearly 15 million acres of land.
It is important to note that all Paraquat products are Restricted Use Pesticides (RUPs), meaning only licensed applicators are able to purchase and use the herbicide. All applicators must be “licensed in accordance with EPA regulations and state, territorial and tribal laws.”
Paraquat Lawsuit Filed
There is currently a Paraquat lawsuit filed in St. Clair County, Illinois. The lawsuit, which was filed on Oct. 6, 2017, is filed on behalf of farmers and agricultural workers who were exposed to Paraquat and, as a result, developed Parkinson’s disease. The original defendants named in the Paraquat lawsuit were Syngenta and Growmark.
Plaintiffs in the Paraquat lawsuit claim that Syngenta and Growmark manufactured Paraquat, distributed and sold it as Gramoxone or by other names since 1964.
In an amended complaint, plaintiffs also named Chevron Chemical as a defendant, claiming that Chevron acted in concert with Syngenta and Growmark.
Plaintiffs argue that, before the recent studies linking paraquat to Parkinson’s, they were completely unaware that the chemical posed any long-term health risks.
Can you Participate in the Paraquat Lawsuit?
If you have previously been exposed to Paraquat — or similar herbicide Rotenone — and subsequently developed Parkinson’s disease or signs of ongoing developing Parkinson’s, you may qualify to participate in the Paraquat lawsuit.
Contact the offices of ISK Injury Attorneys today for a no-obligation Paraquat lawsuit case consultation. Our experienced chemical exposure law team can help you assess your case and your best plan of action.
You are not alone. There are resources and support groups available to guide you. Help, support, and advice are only a click away.
Causes of Parkinson’s
Environmental Risk Factors and Parkinson’s Disease
Environmental Exposures and Parkinson’s Disease
National Institute of Health 2013 Study
Parkinson’s Groups Call for Ban of Herbicide Linked to Parkinson’s Disease
Unified Parkinson’s Advocacy Council & Michael J. Fox Foundation Paraquat Letter
Find a Support Group
The Michael J. Fox Foundation
“Dems Propose Sweeping Overhaul Of Pesticide Regulation.” Law360,
Hakim, Danny. “This Pesticide Is Prohibited in Britain. Why Is It Still Being Exported?” The New York Times, The New York Times, 20 Dec. 2016,
“How to Get Certified as a Pesticide Applicator.” EPA, Environmental Protection Agency, 15 Nov. 2018,
Mercola, Dr. “Herbicide Used in Suicide Attempts Is Banned in 32 Countries, But the USA Isn’t One of Them.” Mercola.com, Mercola.com, 3 Jan. 2017,
“Paraquat Dichloride.” EPA, Environmental Protection Agency, 29 May 2018,