Paraquat is a very popular but very toxic herbicide. It has been used for over half a century in the United States. Paraquat is sold under many brand names, such as Gramoxone and Parazone. The chemical is typically sold at a 44 percent concentration.
Have you been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease after being exposed to paraquat?
At Nadrich & Cohen, our paraquat lawyers provide legal representation to farm workers and people who live next to farms who have been exposed to paraquat and suffered harm due to someone else’s negligence.
Contact our paraquat attorneys at 800-718-4658 or text us from this page today for a free consultation. All sensitive or confidential information you share with us will be kept private through a client-attorney relationship.
Paraquat is sprayed onto fields by agricultural workers to kill grasses and weeds which are resistant to glyphosate, a popular herbicide which is sold under the brand name Roundup.
People must undergo paraquat-specific training to become a licensed paraquat applicator because the herbicide is so toxic. Paraquat applicators must also wear protective clothing when spraying it because serious health issues can be caused simply by breathing in paraquat fumes.
Paraquat dichloride has been one of the most commonly used herbicides since 1962. However, products containing paraquat are known to be toxic to humans. Because of this, only certified applicators can spray paraquat in order to minimize hazards to safety.
Application Method Regulation
Application methods of paraquat are regulated by OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration). For example, one pound of paraquat is to be applied to every acre of alfalfa.
Certified paraquat applicators must not apply paraquat to more than 80 acres of land in a 24 hour time period.
Paraquat Exposure Is Regulated By The EPA
All agricultural workers using paraquat are required by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to complete a temporary pesticide registration application before they are allowed to purchase paraquat from local distributors or dealers. These workers must also take specific precautions when they handle this toxic chemical so they don’t accidentally poison others or themselves through exposure to paraquat.
Paraquat poisoning affected about two million agricultural workers in developing countries from 1982 to 2002, resulting in hundreds of thousands of deaths.
The EPA has even found that some farmers illegally transfer paraquat to beverage containers in medium to small amounts, causing a potentially deadly problem.
Exposure to paraquat can cause serious neurological issues and long-term health problems for agricultural workers, especially those who are subjected to spray drift.
These States Use The Most Paraquat
Paraquat is used on around seven million acres of agriculture every year in the United States.
It is mostly used on agricultural land in California and other states in the west which grow potatoes, beets, cotton, grapes and other crops which need a lot of weed control.
California uses about one quarter of all paraquat sold in the United States, followed by major agricultural states like Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.
Paraquat is used by farmers and ranch hands to kill weeds which require paraquat to be applied directly to the plant by a licensed applicator.
The estimated yearly paraquat use by state includes:
- California: Agriculture grown in California include cotton, grapes, potatoes, beets, rice, tomatoes and alfalfa. Paraquat is sprayed on around 9 million acres of agriculture in California every year.
- Florida: Around five billion pounds of sugar cane are produced every year in Florida. Paraquat is applied to around 1.5 million acres of sugar cane fields every year in Florida to kill invasive plants and weeds, like cogon grass, which can overwhelm crops by growing rapidly.
- Georgia: Around 1 million acres of peanuts and cotton are treated with paraquat each year in Georgia.
- South Carolina: Around 700,000 acres of soybeans and cotton are sprayed with paraquat every year in South Carolina because it’s the cheapest way for farmers to kill weeds growing in empty fields or between crop rows.
- Mississippi: Around 600,000 acres of cotton are treated with paraquat every year in Mississippi.
- Texas: Around 500,000 acres of sorghum, cotton, peanuts and rice are treated with paraquat each year in Texas. It is also common for residents and homeowners in Texas to use paraquat to kill weeds in their gardens and yards.
- North Carolina: Paraquat is sprayed by agricultural farm workers in North Carolina on about 500,000 acres of farmland each year. The herbicide is used to kill poison ivy and weeds between rows of crops since it is the cheapest way to do it.
- New Mexico: About 500,000 acres of sugar beets and peanuts are sprayed with paraquat in New Mexico each year since it is cheaper than other herbicides available locally to farmers.
- Oklahoma: About 325,000 acres of cotton are treated with paraquat each year in Oklahoma since it is very effective at killing weeds, and cheap.
- Washington: About 180 million pounds of apples are harvested in this state every year, and farmers commonly use paraquat to stop weeds from growing around their crops.
- Colorado: About 120,000 acres of sugar beets are treated with paraquat each year in Colorado because it can cheaply remove weeds from between crop rows without hurting the crops.
- Wyoming: Around 100,000 acres of alfalfa and potatoes are sprayed with paraquat every year in Wyoming to destroy weeds which grow between crop rows cheaply.
- Arkansas: Around 45,000 acres of cotton are treated with paraquat each year to kill weeds like Johnson grass and ragweed which grow between crop rows.
- Kansas: About 40,000 acres of alfalfa and cotton are sprayed with paraquat every year in Kansas because it is inexpensive and effectively kills weeds.
- Illinois: Around 25,000 acres of soybeans are treated with paraquat every year in Illinois to kill weeds like morning glory.
- Ohio: Around 20,000 acres of soybeans are sprayed with paraquat each year in Ohio because it is the cheapest herbicide that local farmers can buy.
- Michigan: Around 15,000 acres of potatoes are treated with paraquat each year in Michigan because other herbicides that local potato farmers buy are more expensive.
- Wisconsin: Around 11,200 acres of potatoes are sprayed with paraquat every year in Wisconsin because it is the least expensive herbicide available to local farmers.
- Pennsylvania: Around 5,500 acres of soybeans are treated with paraquat each year in Pennsylvania to kill weeds like Johnson grass and ragweed.
- New York: Around 5,000 acres of potatoes are sprayed with paraquat each year since it’s the least expensive option available to New York farmers.
- Indiana: Around 2,400 acres of soybeans are sprayed with paraquat every year since it’s the cheapest way for farmers in Indiana to kill weeds between crop rows.
- Kentucky: Around 1,700 acres of soybeans are treated with paraquat every year in Kentucky because it is so cheap.
- Pennsylvania: Around 1,500 acres of alfalfa are sprayed with paraquat each year in Pennsylvania to kill weeds such as morning glory.
- Utah: Around 1,400 acres of alfalfa are treated with paraquat every year in Utah to remove weeds like Johnson grass and morning glory.
- Minnesota: About 400 acres of potatoes are sprayed with paraquat each year in Minnesota because it is so inexpensive.
- Michigan: Around 300 acres of soybeans are sprayed with paraquat every year in Michigan to kill Johnson grass and ragweed inexpensively.
Parkinson’s Disease And Paraquat
Paraquat is a restricted-use herbicide in the United States. However, it is still used a lot in farming areas. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the negative health effects of ingesting or inhaling paraquat are a serious issue necessitating supportive care measures such as drugs and intravenous fluids to raise blood pressure and help with breathing.
Some people have developed Parkinson’s disease via skin exposure or paraquat injection, causing Drosophila melanogaster and oxidative stress.
Paraquat is a toxic contaminant which affects aquatic and terrestrial animals, according to a national water quality assessment.
Multiple progressive neurological system disorders have been caused by paraquat use, including Parkinson’s disease, which affects movement.
Paraquat use has more than doubled in agricultural settings from 2013 to 2017, according to US geological survey data.
Paraquat use has been found by researchers to contribute to Parkinson’s disease by affecting mitochondrial NDUFV1 proteins.
Those who are exposed to paraquat may develop Parkinson’s disease regardless of age or genetics.
Poisoning Via Paraquat
The EPA has been aware of paraquat’s harmful effects for decades. However, millions of dollars were spent on research into safer alternatives to paraquat, and it was determined that sufficiently effective alternatives didn’t exist, so paraquat is still used today.
Animal Testing Toxicity Levels
Environmental scientists tested paraquat on human lung cells around 20 years ago and discovered it killed human lung cells after 24 hours.
Later, EPA researchers gave rats and mice large amounts of paraquat through their diet or by injection, noting that the rats and mice developed severe health issues, including lung carcinoma, malignant kidney tumors, eye cataracts, pancreas inflammation and fatty liver degeneration.
Poisoning via paraquat is irreversible. It can be fatal.
It can also lead to severe health issues like kidney damage, as well as Parkinson’s like muscle spasms and tremors, which develop long-term.
Death can quickly result when paraquat is accidentally ingested by children. Paraquat is also sometimes used in suicide attempts.
A Case Of Accidental Death
A 40-year-old man outside of Detroit, Michigan sprayed 5,000 square feet of lawn with paraquat, walked cross his lawn, and collapsed from paraquat exposure.
Paramedics arrived within minutes, but were unable to revive the man despite following the correct procedure.
Paraquat is banned in most countries in the European Union, but it is still sold on the black market.
Unfortunately, those who purchase it illegally often don’t know it is extremely poisonous to animals and humans and can kill if it is accidentally ingested.
Paraquat is not soluble in water. It will not be washed off of vegetables and fruits by water before they are eaten. It will remain on produce even when the produce is rinsed underwater.
Paraquat is forbidden by the EPA to be used whenever there is a greater than negligible chance of runoff or drift to water bodies.
The herbicide is also very likely to contaminate groundwater after entering soil. For this reason, its use is forbidden by the EPA when it is likely to end up in water supplies.
Paraquat is classified by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) as “very highly toxic” to amphibians, aquatic invertebrates and fish. It remains in the environment for weeks before it breaks down.
Paraquat application is also discouraged by the EPA near drains or ditches near waterways because it can contaminate groundwater.
Also, many medical professionals believe that serious health issues can be caused by paraquat spraying.
Paraquat isn’t used anymore in the United Kingdom and it has been banned in the European Union. It is on California’s Proposition 65 list, meaning it needs a warning label on it whenever it is sold commercially in California.
Paraquat is still legal in China, South Africa, Pakistan, India and Russia.
Obtain Financial Compensation Through A Paraquat Lawyer
Have you been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease?
Have you been exposed to paraquat on a farm, at work, or at home if you live next door to a farm?
Our legal team represents chemical poisoning victims in cases involving paraquat and Roundup, which are two of the most commonly used herbicides in America.
Call our paraquat exposure lawyers at 800-718-4658 or text us from this page to recover financial compensation from paraquat manufacturers.
We are contingency fee lawyers, which means you will not be charged a fee unless and until we win your case.
We also represent family members who have lost loved ones through exposure to paraquat, including those who have lost licensed applicators.
Many lawsuits are being filed against paraquat manufacturers by survivors.