Paraquat has been used for many years by Wisconsin farmers to control weeds and grasses. But what are the dangers of using this powerful herbicide and do you have grounds for a paraquat lawsuit?
Continue reading to learn more about paraquat and your legal rights.
What is Paraquat?
Paraquat is the chemical name for a powerful herbicide or weed-killing product that is marketed under dozens of different brand names. Many people know paraquat as Gramoxone, Alligare, FarmWorks, Bayer Advanced Brush Killer, Firestorm, Spectracide, Avenger Weed Killer, Glysophate Plus, Helmquat, or Parazone.
Paraquat is a powerful and effective herbicide, but that same power makes it very dangerous to people.
In the United States, paraquat is available as a liquid that typically has additions like a blue dye and a sharp odor to serve as warnings not to ingest it, plus an additional agent that will cause vomiting if it is consumed.
However, ingestion of the product is not necessary to cause harm. Harm can be caused by skin exposure or even just inhalation of the fumes. When a person is exposed to paraquat, they can experience damage to the exposed part of their body. Then, the body distributes the paraquat throughout the system, where it can damage other organs and cause long-term illnesses.
Where is Paraquat Used?
Paraquat is a product that is very effective for weed control, killing nearly every plant it contacts. Commercial farmers and other workers in the United States agricultural industry have been using paraquat to control invasive weeds and grasses since it was introduced in the 1960s. It is also often applied to commercial crops like corn, soy, and cotton, to dry out or kill the plant before harvesting.
Paraquat herbicide has been used in the commercial agricultural industry since the 1960s to control invasive weeds and grasses.
Paraquat has been banned in the European Union since 2007, due to the growing evidence that it is extremely dangerous to European farmers. Despite these restrictions in other parts of the world, it is not banned in the United States. In fact, it is one of the most widely used herbicides in the nation.
The US Environmental Protection Agency classifies paraquat as “restricted use.” This means that the highly toxic product can be used only for commercial use by people who are licensed applicators. There are no paraquat products available for use by the general public, and paraquat should never be used on home yards and gardens, parks, or schools.
The prolonged ‘restricted use’ of the herbicide has spurred several concerned paraquat attorneys to work with farmworkers to ensure their health has not been negatively impacted by herbicide exposure. But what should you be on the lookout for?
What are the Dangers of Using Paraquat?
Similar to many other strong agricultural chemicals, paraquat is extremely dangerous when ingested, causing damage to the mouth, stomach, and intestines. It can also be inhaled, entering the body through the lungs, or absorbed through the skin.
After paraquat enters the body, it is distributed to the rest of the body, causing toxic chemical reactions in areas like the lungs, liver, brain, and kidneys.
Symptoms of Paraquat Exposure
The paraquat lawyers at Murphy & Practhauser have been looking into the impact of paraquat exposure to find that it does vary depending on how (and how often) the exposure occurred.
If you swallow a large amount of paraquat, the poisoning will cause strong symptoms to appear quickly. Paraquat poisoning will cause pain and swelling in the mouth and throat, followed by gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea.
For less extreme and obvious exposures, most people will experience both short-term and long-term symptoms. Short-term symptoms typically occur within hours to weeks after exposure, and can eventually be fatal.
Short-term paraquat exposure symptoms can include:
- Accelerated heart rate and eventual heart failure
- Fluid in the lungs, lung scarring, and respiratory failure
- Gastrointestinal problems like nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea
- Kidney and liver failure
- Muscle weakness
Paraquat and Parkinson’s Disease
Farmers and other agricultural workers who are exposed to smaller amounts of paraquat over a long period of time may not show short-term symptoms, or any other symptoms, for many years.
Instead, these individuals often experience long-term side effects from paraquat exposure, such as:
- Lung damage and scarring
- Kidney and heart failure
- Esophagus scarring
- Reproductive problems
- Increased risk for developing Parkinson’s disease
If you’ve experienced any of these symptoms, contact a paraquat lawsuit lawyer now using our free online case evaluation.
Has Your Quality of Life Been Impacted By Paraquat Exposure?
Murphy & Prachthauser paraquat lawsuit attorneys are investigating cases of individuals working with paraquat developing Parkinson’s disease or symptoms. The individuals using this product are typically farmworkers, as well as individuals living in farming communities.
If you have been directly exposed to paraquat and have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, or are experiencing tremors, contact your local law firm, Murphy & Prachthauser, to learn more about the growing paraquat lawsuits and if you have a case. There are no out-of-pocket costs for you to discuss this with our experienced team of paraquat attorneys. Murphy & Prachthauser is your local firm that has been helping people for over 40 years, with offices in Downtown Milwaukee, Southside Milwaukee, Waukesha, Mequon, and West Bend. Trust our team to help you understand your legal rights. Complete a free case evaluation now.