For that reason, paraquat is now sold with a blue dye to prevent licensed applicators from mistaking it for a drinkable substance.
Some people have mistaken paraquat for coffee or other beverages in the past and inadvertently poisoned themselves, particularly when paraquat is transferred into beverage containers (which is now illegal).
Paraquat on the market in the U.S. today also contains a strong odor to deter any user who tries to ingest it, as well as an agent that causes vomiting should someone accidentally ingest the herbicide.
Paraquat is so toxic that even a tiny sip of the chemical can be fatal.
Most individuals who are exposed to this dangerous herbicide are farmers, agricultural workers, and people who reside near farms and cropland.
Paraquat is most fatal when it is ingested, which can occur if paraquat has been transferred to another container and the applicator mistakes it for a beverage.
However, simply inhaling paraquat or having it touch the skin can result in serious illnesses.
Exposure can occur when an applicator mixes, loads, or applies the herbicide.
It can also happen when an applicator cleans out any container or tank designed to hold paraquat.
People who reside in agricultural areas can be exposed to the herbicide through various means, including contaminated water and wind drift.
Non-licensed individuals who reside with licensed applicators, such as the spouses of certified agricultural workers, can be exposed to paraquat if they come into contact with protective clothing worn by applicators on the job.
They can also potentially be exposed if they visit the applicator at their worksite.
Research has shown a direct link between exposure to paraquat and an increased risk of developing Parkinson’s disease, for instance.
Paraquat exposure can also cause problems with the liver, kidneys, heart, brain, lungs, and other vital organs.
Ingesting paraquat may cause symptoms such as tissue death, blood clots, kidney and liver failure, lung collapse, decreased blood pressure, dehydration, oral ulcers, cell death, and lung cysts.
If paraquat is ingested, the first signs will typically show up in the digestive system.
They include stomach pain and cramps, bloody stools, vomiting, oral bleeding and swelling, pain in the mouth and throat, and other symptoms.
These symptoms may lead to other serious side effects, including difficulty breathing, seizures, weakness, yellow skin, and even coma.
Long-term exposure to paraquat can also cause serious illnesses like Parkinson’s disease.
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurological disorder that usually begins with palsy (tremors) and progresses to slowed movements and muscle stiffness over time.
According to the Parkinson’s Foundation, more than 300 active lawsuits have been filed against the manufacturers of paraquat (the biggest manufacturers in the U.S. are Chevron and Syngenta), alleging that the manufacturers failed to disclose the link between Parkinson’s disease and the use of paraquat.
Because there are so many lawsuits, and more are likely to be filed, the courts combined the cases into multi-district litigation to help expedite the paraquat lawsuits.
If you have had adverse health consequences as a result of exposure to toxic pesticides, including any of the brands listed above, you may be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering, medical expenses, and lost wages.
TruLaw and their attorneys are investigating paraquat lawsuits today.
With over 25 years of legal experience, Jessie is an Illinois lawyer, a CPA, and a mother of three. She spent the first decade of her career working as an international tax attorney at Deloitte.
In 2009, Jessie co-founded her own law firm with her husband – which has scaled to over 30 employees since its conception.
In 2016, Jessie founded TruLaw, which allows her to collaborate with attorneys and legal experts across the United States on a daily basis. This hypervaluable network of experts is what enables her to share reliable legal information with her readers!
At TruLaw, we fiercely combat corporations that endanger individuals’ well-being. If you’ve suffered injuries and believe these well-funded entities should be held accountable, we’re here for you.
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