In the decades afterward, the market was flooded with an increasing array of paraquat-containing herbicides.
As the use of paraquat increased, however, so did awareness of the chemical’s potential to cause injury and death in those who were exposed to it.
In the 1970s, the United States federal government attempted to use paraquat to destroy marijuana plants that were coming into the country from Mexico, though the Mexican farmers selling the plants thwarted the U.S. government’s plans and shipped the marijuana north anyway.
The U.S. government again attempted to destroy marijuana plants with paraquat in the 1980s.
Today, paraquat is made by numerous companies, though Chevron and Syngenta are the two primary manufacturers in the United States.
Paraquat is marketed and sold under brands like Gramoxone, Firestorm, Parazone, and Helmquat.
However, due to the herbicide’s high level of toxicity and potential for causing serious health conditions like Parkinson’s disease, paraquat herbicides have now been banned in more than 50 countries, including the United Kingdom and China.
Paraquat is still sold in the United States, but can only be purchased and used by licensed applicators who are certified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
It is illegal for anyone but a licensed applicator to purchase and use paraquat, even an agricultural or farmworker who works under a licensed applicator.
Even though the herbicide is considered “restricted use,” it remains one of the most popular herbicides on the market in the United States.
As weeds and plants become resistant to other popular herbicides, like the possibly carcinogenic herbicide Roundup, many in the agricultural industry have turned to paraquat herbicides.
Unfortunately, like Roundup, health risks have been associated with paraquat use and application.
People who are exposed to paraquat — either through accidental ingestion, inhalation, or skin absorption — are at an increased risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.
This includes farm and agricultural workers, chemical mixers, crop dusters, and even people who reside near commercial farms where paraquat is regularly used and applied.
Residents in these areas can be exposed to paraquat when wind drafts carry the herbicide into residential areas or through groundwater contamination.
Young people who are exposed to paraquat are especially prone to contracting Parkinson’s later in life.
While the EPA has attempted to limit the use of paraquat to trained applicators, applicators aren’t the only people who can be affected by paraquat use.
In recent years, individuals who developed Parkinson’s disease — along with other serious health conditions such as heart failure, lung collapse, liver failure, and kidney failure — after being exposed to paraquat-containing herbicides have filed lawsuits against various manufacturers of the chemical.
In the lawsuits, plaintiffs have accused paraquat manufacturers of failing to warn customers about the risks of using and applying paraquat products.
The plaintiffs are suing for damages including 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!
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