About Paraquat & Parkinson’s

What Is Paraquat Used For?

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has classified paraquat as a “restricted-use pesticide,” which means paraquat is not allowed to be used recreationally. Paraquat can only be used commercially by licensed applicators.

Paraquat is used as an herbicide and weed killer to prevent the growth of weeds and grass near crops on large and small commercial farms, estates, plantations, and orchards. Sold under the brand names Gramoxone and Ortho Paraquat, paraquat is a common alternative for weeds that have become resistant to glyphosate, an ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup.

Despite the known dangers of this toxic chemical, paraquat is still one of the most commonly used herbicides in the world.

Paraquat Poisoning Symptoms

Paraquat is a highly toxic herbicide, and paraquat poisoning can occur after even brief exposure, though prolonged exposure often results in more severe injuries and even death. Exposure or ingestion of paraquat can lead to many health risks, including an increased risk of Parkinson’s disease.

Immediate side effects of paraquat exposure include:

  • Breathing difficulties or failure, potentially resulting in death
  • Coma
  • Confusion
  • Dehydration
  • Elevated heart rate
  • Gastrointestinal distress (like nausea, diarrhea or bloody stool, and vomiting)
  • Muscle fatigue or weakness
  • Pain and swelling of the mouth and throat
  • Seizures

Paraquat poisoning can also result in more serious long-term health effects, like:

  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Atypical Parkinson’s
  • Multiple system atrophy
  • Progressive supranuclear palsy

Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease

Caused by a loss of neurons and the dopamine neurotransmitters they produce, Parkinson’s disease is a neurodegenerative brain disorder that worsens over time, causing a variety of both motor and non-motor symptoms to gradually appear.

While there is no cure for Parkinson’s, there are some treatment options available that may help lessen some of these symptoms.

Motor Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease

Motor symptoms refer to any symptoms that affect your movement or motor skills, like walking or controlling your body.

Parkinson’s disease is characterized by the some of the following motor symptoms:

  • Bradykinesia (slowness in voluntary movement and reflexes)
  • Impaired balance or postural instability
  • Limb rigidity or stiffness (resistance to passive movement)
  • Resting tremors (shaking movement when the muscles are relaxed)

Over time, people with Parkinson’s may experience difficulty walking and talking.

Non-Motor Symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease

For those with Parkinson’s disease, the non-motor symptoms of their disorder can often be more disruptive to their day to day than their motor symptoms.

Non-motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease include:

  • Apathy
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Insomnia or other sleep behavior disorders

If you were diagnosed with Parkinson’s after being exposed to the herbicide paraquat, you may be entitled to compensation. Get a free legal consultation today to see if you may have a case.