Yes, paraquat is sprayed in cotton fields, including cotton fields in Kern County, CA, Fresno County, CA, and Salinas, CA.
Paraquat was first marketed as a desiccant, or drying agent, for cotton in 1967, according to History of Cotton Harvest Aids. It is typically sprayed when at least 80 percent of the cotton bolls are open.
Paraquat continues to be used today as a cotton desiccant, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Paraquat helps mature cotton bolls open when it is applied along with ethephon, thidiazuron, or Folex, according to researchers from Mississippi State University, the University of Arkansas, and the University of Tennessee.
Paraquat is used as a desiccant on cotton because cotton has to be dry enough for bolls to be easily snapped off the plant before stripper harvesting can be done, according to Cotton Incorporated.
It is used to remove leaves and kill new plant tissues before harvesting, according to Arizona Pest Management Center. It is also used to control seedling Palmer amaranth, which has grown resistant to glyphosate and ALS, according to South Carolina Pest Management Handbook for Field Crops – 2016.
Paraquat and Parkinson’s Disease
Paraquat exposure has been linked by numerous scientific studies and analyses to an increased risk of developing Parkinson’s disease, including:
- Exposure to paraquat increases the risk of Parkinson’s disease development by more than two times, according to two separate 2009 studies: Study 1 – Study 2
- A 2011 study claims that paraquat exposure leads to more than 2.5 times the risk of Parkinson’s disease development.
- Paraquat exposure leads to over two times the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease, according to a 2013 meta-analysis.
- Paraquat exposure leads to 1.54 times the risk of Parkinson’s disease development, according to a 2017 study.
- 25 percent more Parkinson’s disease diagnoses were seen in those with paraquat exposure, according to a 2019 meta-analysis.
- People who are exposed to paraquat have 1.64 times the risk of Parkinson’s disease development, according to a 2019 meta-analysis.
Paraquat and Domaminergic Neurons
Paraquat can kill dopaminergic neurons, according to a 1999 study. These neurons produce dopamine, which our body needs for motor control, and these neurons do not grow back when they die. When too many of these neurons die, dopamine levels fall, and the motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are the result.
Paraquat induces oxidative stress, according to a 2004 study, and oxidative stress can kill dopaminergic neurons.
What essentially happens is that:
- Paraquat makes its way into the body via inhalation, digestion, or absorption through the skin.
- Once this happens, it eventually makes its way into the brain.
- Once in the brain, due to its redox properties, paraquat undergoes a never-ending cycle known as redox cycling, which produces superoxide radicals that induce oxidative stress that kills dopaminergic neurons.
- Since this cycle repeats indefinitely in the presence of molecular oxygen, which is plentiful in brain cells, a single molecule of paraquat can lead to the production of countless molecules of superoxide radicals.
- Thus, once paraquat gets into your brain, it will continue to kill more and more dopaminergic neurons over time as long as you live.
Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms
Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disease affecting the human motor system. It cannot be cured, and its progression cannot be stopped or slowed. Current treatments for it can temporarily and partially relieve the symptoms of the disease, but their effectiveness wanes over time, and they can produce unwanted side effects.
The primary symptoms of Parkinson’s disease are motor symptoms, such as:
- Shaking even when your muscles are relaxed
- Slow reflexes
- Slow voluntary movements
- Balance problems
These symptoms cause secondary symptoms, including:
- Slurred, quiet, monotonous voice
- Freezing gait
- Handwriting that shrinks
- A stooped posture
- Muscle spasms
- A mask-like expression
- Excess saliva
- Coordination impairment
- Problems with swallowing
Parkinson’s disease can also lead to non-motor symptoms, including:
- Loss of smell
- Altered smell
- Low blood pressure upon standing up
- Disturbances in sleep
Many products containing paraquat have been sold over the years, including:
- Ortho Paraquat CL
- AH 501
- Bai Cao Xu
- Para-Shot 3.0
- Cyclone SL 2.0
About 1,300 lawsuits have already been filed alleging that the manufacturers of products containing paraquat knew or should have known that paraquat may cause Parkinson’s disease yet negligently failed to warn about this risk.
These lawsuits seek to recover financial compensation for plaintiffs’ damages relating to:
- Past and future medical bills
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Wrongful death
The lawsuits point out that paraquat manufacturers knew or should have known that it may cause Parkinson’s disease since:
- It has been known since the 1930s that paraquat has redox properties
- It has been known since the 1960s about paraquat’s toxicity in humans due to oxidative stress
- Countless studies have linked paraquat with oxidative stress, the death of dopaminergic neurons, and a higher risk of developing Parkinson’s disease
The lawsuits claim that paraquat manufacturers negligently failed to test their products adequately and manufactured and sold products that are defective by design since they may cause Parkinson’s disease even when used as directed or in a reasonably foreseeable manner.
How Can Paraquat Lawsuit Lawyers Help Me?
Nadrich & Cohen is currently representing those who have developed Parkinson’s disease after being exposed to paraquat. You may qualify for financial compensation if you or a loved one developed Parkinson’s disease after being exposed to paraquat while working or living in or near agricultural fields.
Parkinson’s disease cannot be cured and only gets worse over time, so it leads to a lifetime of medical bills, which we can help you get paid. We can also get you to better doctors if you are unhappy with the care you are currently receiving.
While Parkinson’s disease can have terrible consequences for its sufferers, we are here to support you and help you as much as we can through this difficult time. We know how terrible Parkinson’s disease is, we know that it presents great challenges for its sufferers and their families, and we are here to help with those challenges.
We are contingency fee lawyers, which means we do not charge a fee unless and until we obtain financial compensation for our clients. So, you will never owe us even a penny out of pocket for us to represent you in a paraquat lawsuit.
Contact Nadrich & Cohen’s Paraquat Lawsuit Lawyers Today
Nadrich & Cohen have been representing victims of exposure to toxic substances such as asbestos, benzene, AFFF firefighting foam, and Roundup since 1990. We have recovered over $350,000,000 on behalf of clients.
Our tremendous experience and success in representing victims of toxic exposure will allow us to fight for you to obtain the maximum possible compensation in a paraquat lawsuit.
Parkinson’s disease can inflict a terrible financial burden upon its sufferers and their families, and we can help ease this burden for you and support you every step of the way through the legal process.
Contact us today for a free consultation or text us from this page to see if you qualify for financial compensation.