Over the last 25 years, Paraquat use has risen higher than ever. Farmers in the United States use more than eight million pounds of Paraquat per year—an increase of nearly 200% since 2009. Paraquat is used that frequently, even considered a Restricted Use Pesticide (RUP). Trained and certified applicators are required to use it, and the European Union, China, and Brazil have all banned the chemical.
Toxic exposure cases help empower employees to fight for their right to be protected, satisfactorily informed, and to stay safe. They also bring awareness to challenge and higher the expectations of companies who are not serving their employees justly.
Over 40 epidemiological studies have been published on the subject of paraquat toxic exposure, providing important data on the potential risk of Parkinson’s. As a result, many countries have moved to ban the widespread use of the pesticide. However, the United States still allows industrial farms and other agricultural operations to utilize several products containing potentially dangerous chemicals, some brand names which include the following:
In 2020, the EPA proposed new safety measures on the use of paraquat, but fell short of banning the herbicide altogether. The agency said the new measures are meant “to reduce risks associated with paraquat in order to better protect human health and the environment.” The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has admitted in the past, “There is a large body of epidemiology data on paraquat dichloride use and Parkinson’s disease.”
So why are these potentially hazardous pesticides still in regular rotation around the country? Legal experts suggest that there is not enough pressure on the companies producing the chemicals. But the tide may be turning. In 2017, a lawsuit was filed against Syngenta and Growmark, the manufacturers of paraquat. The claim was filed on behalf of farmers and agricultural workers who allegedly developed Parkinson’s disease after paraquat exposure. Chevron Chemical has also been named as a defendant in paraquat exposure lawsuits.
It may come as no surprise that certain pesticides can be extremely toxic. But it often takes research teams a long time to prove what many believed for ages. Over the last thirty years, a number of respected epidemiological studies have suggested an association between exposure to paraquat and other herbicides and the development of Parkinson’s disease, cancers and other adverse conditions.
In 2018, the U.S. National Toxicology Program (NTP) announced a review of paraquat dichloride exposure and Parkinson’s disease. The agency acknowledged past studies that had investigated the link between paraquat exposure and Parkinson’s disease, and the review will attempt to chart evidence of the herbicide’s serious health risks.
A study conducted in 2012 called 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 than their peers. The study concluded both genetic factors and environmental factors (toxic exposure) were responsible in tandem for the heightened risk for developing PD.
In 2014, the Annual Review of Pharmacology and Toxicology published a report of five case-control studies that revealed a greater risk of Parkinson’s disease in individuals who had experienced exposure to paraquat. Paraquat applicators allegedly faced twice the risk of Parkinson’s disease than the general population. The study also noted genetic susceptibilities of some individuals who suffered a heightened risk of paraquat toxicity.
In 2009, a study published in Occupation and Risk of Parkinsonism concluded the association of disease risk with pesticides. The study noted that the occupational use of pesticides was associated with an 80 percent increased risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.
In 2011, the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, in association with the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, published results from a study of Parkinson’s disease cases and pesticides. The study concluded that “Parkinson’s disease was strongly associated with” paraquat. The authors of the study noted the potential for exposure to paraquat reaches beyond occupational exposure risks and agricultural settings, and that many individuals may be exposed to the pesticide in their communities.
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Joseph Lyon has 17 years of experience representing individuals in complex litigation matters. He has represented individuals in every state against many of the largest companies in the world.
The Firm focuses on single-event civil cases and class actions involving corporate neglect & fraud, toxic exposure, product defects & recalls, medical malpractice, and invasion of privacy.
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Paraquat is a widely used toxic herbicide (plant killer), common in agricultural and commercial farm settings. A body of research has been building and now indicates that acute or chronic exposure to Paraquat may increase the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.
The chemical has been around for decades. Paraquat was produced for commercial purposes in 1961. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has called paraquat a toxic chemical. In the United States, paraquat is available as a liquid in various strengths. Because paraquat is highly toxic, particularly if ingested, the pesticide has a blue dye, a sharp odor, and an added safety agent to induce vomiting if ingested.
Paraquat (1,1′-dimethyl-4,4′-bipyridine), a broad spectrum herbicide, is used to control pests in several crops: soybeans, sorghum, sugar cane, cotton, corn, apple, and others.
Though banned in some nations, worldwide it remains one of the more commonly used herbicides. According to Department of Agriculture data, the use of paraquat is up more than fourfold over the past decade.
Both farm workers and rural communities are at risk. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency classifies paraquat for “restricted use,” which means only licensed applicators can legally use the chemical. But regardless of who initially uses the herbicide, every individual in the vicinity may be at risk of toxic exposure.
In 1997, the EPA warned that paraquat exposure was possible during the mixing, loading, and application of the herbicide, as well as during the post-application process. The agency said that despite the herbicide not being registered for residential use, exposure is possible for individuals who live near farms using the chemical.
Many countries have banned the chemical due to its acute pulmonary and cutaneous toxicity, and others have established restrictions.
As of late 2020, more than 40 countries have taken some action on limiting the herbicide. Even China, not typically known for progressive environmental regulation, has moved away from paraquat in order to protect the health of its citizens. The U.S. regulatory arm maintains that paraquat is safe “when used properly,” but each year there is more and more pressure to review the safety of industrial chemicals.
Aside from the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease due to chronic exposure, the herbicide may pose serious health risks without taking the necessary precautions. Paraquat poisoning cases have been recorded in the past, due to ingestion or direct contact with the skin. The extent of toxic poisoning depends on the amount, route, and duration of exposure. Paraquat will cause a toxic chemical reaction throughout the body, primarily the lungs, liver, and kidneys.
Days, or even hours after exposure, individuals may experience serious respiratory issues, liver failure, kidney failure and pulmonary edema.
Herbicides containing paraquat include the following products produced by Chevron, Syngenta and GrowMark:
The possible Parkinson’s link has been cited in many studies, and researchers continue to study the consequences of toxic exposure and the potential causes of Parkinson’s disease. One study headed by the National Institutes of Health looked at the exposure of farmers and other agricultural workers who sprayed paraquat, as well as individuals who lived in the same areas of herbicide use.
One epidemiologist who has studied the connection between paraquat and Parkinson’s disease was quoted as saying, “The data is overwhelming.” Those are the words of Dr. Samuel M. Goldman, a scientist involved with the San Francisco Veterans Affairs health system. “I’m not a farmer, I don’t need to kill weeds,” he said, “but I have to believe there are less dangerous options out there.”
Syngenta, at the moment, denies the Parkinson’s link. Philip Botham, Syngenta’s head of product safety has stated, “We would never market or continue to market any chemical which we genuinely felt posed a health risk or an environmental risk.”
A toxic tort is a specific type of personal injury that occurs as a result of the exposure to toxic materials or chemicals. Many people are unknowingly exposed to dangerous substances at their work place and only discover the past exposure after they have been diagnosed with a serious condition associated with the toxic material.
Many people are familiar with the term “class action.” A class action lawsuit is appropriate where the claims are all the same and can be handled in one case without a party being prejudiced. Since most toxic tort cases involve different issues related to the amount of exposure, the types of injuries being claimed, and the manner of which those damages were caused, class action treatment is usually not appropriate in toxic tort cases.
However, toxic tort cases often involve many similarities related to the liability and general causation questions, and consolidation can be effective for both parties through a mass tort program. A “mass tort” is similar to a class action in that there are procedural steps to consolidate similar claims before one Court to more efficiently litigate the case.
Typically, these cases are consolidated for the purposed of pre-trial discovery, but the case is not joined for a trial. Through pre-trial consolidation the Courts can avoid inconsistent rulings and have a more manageable discovery process.
The Lyon Firm has years of experience litigating sensitive and valuable toxic exposure cases on behalf of plaintiffs. Joe Lyon takes pride in holding companies responsible following consumer injury or workplace toxic exposure. The Lyon Firm focuses on the following practice areas:
Many years after the discovery of its cancer-causing potential, still one of the largest toxic tort litigation in America involves asbestos exposure. Asbestos is a toxic material that is commonly used in commercial and residential construction, and a wide variety of industrial installations because of its high resilience to heat and effective insulating properties.
Long-term exposure and inhalation of asbestos fibers, however, causes serious respiratory diseases and cancers such as lung cancer and mesothelioma. You can qualify for an asbestos exposure claim if you have developed cancer linked to past workplace exposure to toxins.
A huge wave of lawsuits involving Monsanto’s iconic weedkiller, Roundup, have hit Bayer with massive verdicts, putting pressure on the company to settle thousands of claims.
Roundup’s active ingredient, glyphosate, has been linked to an increased risk of developing leukemia and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Farmers, groundskeepers, plant nursery workers and landscapers have filed toxic tort claims, alleging that Roundup exposure led to the development of cancer. You may qualify for a Roundup lawsuit if you have been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma or leukemia and have documented use of a weedkiller or pesticide in the past.
Johnson & Johnson faces thousands of cancer claims in lawsuits alleging the company’s talc and Baby Powder products were contaminated with asbestos, leading to the development of mesothelioma and ovarian cancer in many women who used the product regularly. Plaintiffs may file a claim if they have used a talcum powder product for many years and developed cancer.
Plaintiffs say the company was aware of the contamination and cancer risks decades ago but chose not to alert the public in fear of harming the company’s reputation. Many product liability lawsuits involve companies who place profit before the health of the consumer.
Benzene exposure has been linked toAML cases nationwide. Many workers in the oil and rubber industries have fallen ill after many years of workplace exposure. Workers who have worked with rubber, PVC, vinyl chloride or other chemicals containing benzene can file a claim if they have developed cancer.
Drug injury cases are complex, and are generally filed as part of a class. When defective drugs are recalled and patients are injured by a pharmaceutical, a toxic tort attorney may be necessary to represent victims, and to assist in recovering rightful compensation.
Drug defect injury cases are quite common and can involve drug contamination, a failure to properly perform clinical trials, dosage and labeling errors, and undisclosed side effects.
In the last ten years, the most famous types of toxic exposure cases involve property damage claims due to oil spills. Most notably, the BP Spill in the Gulf of Mexico damaged the environment and cost local business owners billions of dollars due to the impact on the local economy. A toxic tort lawyer can help to restore the environment and those small business losses through a settlement.
Whether the damages are financial or a combination of financial and human losses suffered due to a personal injury, toxic tort litigation exists to compensate those individuals and their families who have been harmed through no fault of their own.
Often people are unknowingly exposed to a dangerous substance and only discover the exposure once they have been diagnosed with a serious illness associated with the toxic material. While the government often levies fines when companies violate certain regulations, the civil justice system solely provide for the families human losses, property damage, or business losses.
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a progressive neurodegenerative condition that is thought to have toxic exposure and genetic susceptibility. Epidemiological studies have investigated the role of pesticides in the development of PD. In more recent years, scientific studies have connected Parkinson’s disease to environmental exposures, like pesticides.
Parkinson’s disease causes impaired movement and affects other brain function. Symptoms of Parkinson’s start gradually and increase in severity over time. Symptoms can differ from cases to case and may start on one side of the body. Some early signs and symptoms of the disease may include:
The initial symptoms can lead to more serious cognitive or memory problems, depression, pain, or chronic fatigue.
Symptoms of Paraquat poisoning include:
Fast heart rate
There are at least 200 lawsuits pending in six different federal district courts, filed against Chevron and Syngenta, alleging similar causes of action. One of the first lawsuits was filed in 2017 against Syngenta and Growmark.
The Lyon Firm is currently reviewing a wide range of toxic exposure claims. If you have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s and have a history of pesticide exposure, contact Joe Lyon to discuss your case. The Lyon Firm offers free and confidential consultations.
Plaintiffs can consider filing toxic exposure lawsuits and product liability claims against the manufacturers and distributors of toxic industrial or household products. Plaintiffs are alleging that herbicide manufacturers sold hazardous products and failed to warn the end user about the inherent dangers of their products.
Class Action Paraquat lawsuits are currently being filed on behalf of plaintiffs. The Lyon Firm accepts cases on a contingency fee basis, and offers free case evaluations. A settlement could help you pay for medical costs, lost wages, and compensate for your pain and suffering. Pursuing a toxic exposure claim can also push chemical manufacturers to fully test their products before releasing them to the public.
The Lyon Firm aggressively, professionally, and passionately advocates for injured individuals and families against companies due to a defective product or recalled product to obtain just compensation under the law.
The Lyon Firm has represented numerous plaintiffs across the country in Roundup cancer settlements. Bayer has been targeted with thousands of lawsuits, claiming the popular herbicide may raise the risk of certain cancers and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Bayer began settling cases with Lyon Firm clients in 2020, and the firm is still accepting new Roundup Exposure claims.
(Hamilton County, Ohio): Confidential Settlement. Lead Counsel in a case that involved secondary lead exposure to two children. Their father worked at a local recycling plant that routinely recycled computer equipment. The company violated numerous OSHA regulations related to providing safety equipment and clothing to prevent lead particles from being transferred home. As a result, the Plaintiffs father transferred lead dust to his children who then suffered lead poisoning. The case was covered extensively by the Cincinnati news media and referenced in peer-reviewed medical literature. The settlement will provide educational needs to the children who suffered neurological injuries due the exposure.