Have You Been Exposed to Paraquat?


Paraquat is a weed killer that is commonly used in the U.S., despite clinical studies that have found a link between paraquat exposure and the development of Parkinson’s disease. Paraquat is currently banned in 32 other countries but remains the herbicide of choice in the U.S.

Paraquat Toxicity 

Paraquat is a toxic chemical that’s used commercially for weed control. Due to the dangers linked to paraquat exposure and its high level of toxicity, this herbicide can only be used by licensed applicators. Agricultural workers, farmers and licensed applicators are at the highest risk of the health effects linked to exposure. 

Accidental paraquat ingestion has resulted in seventeen deaths since 2000. Exposure to paraquat can lead to severe health effects that result in the development of Parkinson’s disease, lung damage, liver failure, kidney failure and more. 

Signs of Paraquat Poisoning

Paraquat can damage unprotected eyes and exposed skin. This chemical can also severely injure a person if aerosolized drops are inhaled. Paraquat ingestion can be fatal. Anyone who has come into direct contact with paraquat is advised to wash their body with soap and water and flush their eyes with plain water. The next step is seeking emergency medical attention. Unfortunately, there is no antidote for paraquat poisoning. 

Symptoms of paraquat poisoning include:

  • Diarrhea 
  • Bloody stool 
  • Vomiting 
  • Increased heart rate
  • Nausea 
  • Abdominal pain 
  • Trouble breathing 
  • And other gastrointestinal symptoms 

Ingesting or inhaling paraquat may also result in lung scarring, liver failure, renal failure and fluid buildup in the lungs. This toxic herbicide damages anything it comes into contact with, including the intestines, stomach lining, throat and mouth. A person can also fall ill if the chemical comes into contact with their skin. Even small amounts of paraquat may result in severe health consequences. 

Exposure to paraquat may cause: 

  • Acute kidney failure 
  • Respiratory failure 
  • Pulmonary edema 
  • Low blood pressure 
  • Heart failure 

The Health Effects of Long-Term Exposure to Paraquat 

People who survive long-term paraquat exposure will often suffer from life-altering consequences. 

Damage to the lungs and organ failure is still possible. The scarring of the esophagus can make it difficult for a person to eat, drink and swallow. Reproductive issues, depression, anxiety, pain, and certain cancers and diseases have also been linked to paraquat. Damage to the nervous system is another serious consequence of paraquat use. A link between paraquat exposure and Parkinson’s disease has resulted in several California paraquat lawsuits. There is no cure for this progressive neurodegenerative disease. Farmers, agricultural workers, licensed applicators and people who live near farms or fields where paraquat is used are at risk of developing Parkinson’s disease and other health conditions associated with paraquat exposure. 

Specialized Training Required for Paraquat Applicators 

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is aware of how toxic and dangerous paraquat and other popular herbicides are. The EPA initially classified paraquat products as restricted use, back in 1978, meaning only a qualified, licensed applicator can use this product. 

Recently, further restrictions have been implemented. Anyone who loads, mixes or applies this toxic herbicide must complete a training program. The Environmental Protection Agency also now requires the paraquat products to be produced in closed system packaging. This will eliminate the chemical from being accidentally transferred during unpackaging, or in the event of leaks or improper handling of the sealed product. A licensed applicator is also required to wear personal protective gear. Paraquat’s label has been changed to highlight the risks and dangers associated with handling and using this herbicide. 

Serious Health Risks 

Herbicides, pesticides, and insecticides can place serious health risks on the people who are exposed to them. 

Unfortunately, paraquat is so toxic that even a small amount can pose serious health risks.  If someone is exposed, they must seek immediate medical treatment. The health effects of paraquat ingestion can be fatal, depending on how much was ingested and how long a person waited before seeking medical care. 

Even if a person seeks medical treatment, the damage that is caused by exposure can be too much for a person to recover fully. Paraquat exposure can affect multiple organs, resulting in devastating injuries. 

Skin exposure is another way paraquat can enter the body. However, skin exposure is less toxic than ingestion. Small particles of the chemical can enter through the skin. As the levels of paraquat build in the body, a person may experience organ damage, difficulty breathing, or they may develop Parkinson’s disease. 

Parkinson’s Disease and Paraquat Use 

Many human studies that have been conducted reached the same conclusion – exposure to paraquat can make a person 2.5 times more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease. This neurodegenerative disorder can result in balance and coordination issues, trouble talking, muscle weakness, trouble walking, and tremors. 

Multiple lawsuits have been filed against the manufacturers of paraquat by agricultural workers, farmers and paraquat applicators who were regularly exposed to paraquat. Unfortunately, the negligent manufacturers failed consumers by not adequately warning them of the dangers linked with exposure. 

Contact Nadrich & Cohen Today 

If you have been exposed to paraquat and were diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, now is the time to act. This progressive disease requires around-the-clock care in its final stages. The high treatment costs for a person with Parkinson’s disease can pose a major financial burden on families. Unfortunately, there is no cure for PD. If you were diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease due to paraquat exposure, you must hold the manufacturers responsible for their negligence. At Nadrich & Cohen, we will advocate on your behalf and fight for the compensation you deserve for costly medical bills, loss of earning capacity, pain and suffering, and more. 

Contact the paraquat lawyers at Nadrich & Cohen today at 800-718-4658 or text or email. We offer free, no-obligation case reviews. We will meet with you to discuss your case and explain your rights and legal options. If you decide to work with us, we will get to work right away, building a strong case that will prove the manufacturers owe you compensation for your losses. Contact our office today to schedule a free consultation and let the team at Nadrich & Cohen help you seek the justice and compensation you deserve.


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