Farmers have used pesticides and herbicides on their land since the 1930s to keep crops safe from pests and weeds. Although they do their job, they often come with some pretty nasty side effects for humans. For example, pesticides classified as organophosphates and carbamates can attack the brain and nervous system; they can even cause coma and death in the worst cases. Given that the majority of herbicides have been banned across the EU and other places in the world, it’s surprising that paraquat is still widely manufactured and used in the US. Surely those making paraquat are aware of the health implications? If not, this article will examine the effects of paraquat exposure and why it is the subject of an ongoing lawsuit from TorHoerman Law.
What is Paraquat and How Does it Work?
Paraquat, an herbicide sold largely under the name Gramoxine, began mass production in the USA in 1961 and is one of the most common herbicides used today – even though it comes with some of the most deadly side effects. On weeds, it works by blocking the process of photosynthesis, which starves the weed and kills them – in heavy rain, it can be washed off and lead to contaminated water sources.
Although great progress has been made to ban paraquat, with 32 countries disallowing use, there is still widespread use throughout North America, although you need to have a license to buy it.
How Does Paraquat Exposure Affect Human Health?
As mentioned, exposure to paraquat is detrimental to human health and can enter the body through skin contact, inhaling, or even ingesting it. Once the herbicide has entered the body, it spreads through the body causing reactions to the toxins.
Once enough paraquat is absorbed, there are immediate signs of poisoning. The most immediate signs are swelling of the mouth, throat, and nasal passages. Following this, there are likely to be signs of gastrointestinal issues like nausea, vomiting, and possibly bloody diarrhea. Through moderate exposure, there are risks of heart, kidneys, liver, and lung failure. Even higher doses of paraquat can cause symptoms including coma, seizures, and respiratory problems leading to death. Further, a study by the National Institute of Health discovered that there was a definitive trend between those exposed to paraquat and the development of Parkinson’s Disease, which affects the central nervous system.
These side effects of paraquat are why an American-wide ban is being pursued.
Due to the continuing use of paraquat in America, Chad A Finley of Torhoerman Law knew that something needed to be done. He aims to spread the word on the dangers of paraquat and why it should be banned; their firm is actively accepting lawsuits from plaintiffs who have suffered paraquat exposure and developed Parkinson’s disease.
Too many people have been hurt by paraquat already. Countries including China have banned the herbicide and the EPA has put a stop to its use in residential areas. If you know someone who has suffered paraquat exposure and has Parkinson’s disease, you now know what to look for and where to direct them.