A person may suffer significant or even deadly injuries because of paraquat exposure. This could include accidentally ingesting, inhaling, or skin exposure to the highly toxic herbicide.
In addition, there is evidence to suggest that ongoing exposure to paraquat could have long-term effects, as well. This includes an increased risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.
What is Paraquat?
Paraquat is an herbicide usually used for agricultural purposes, such as to kill weeds and grass interfering with the growth of certain crops. It is highly toxic to people and animals.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), ingestion of even a small amount can cause serious harm or death. There is no treatment or antidote aside from treating symptoms.
Because paraquat is a restricted use pesticide (RUP), the only people with access to this chemical should be trained and licensed in its use. Those who typically suffer exposure and other side effects of use include:
- Certified herbicide applicators
- Other agricultural workers
What Happens if Someone Experiences Paraquat Exposure?
The side effects a person develops depends on many factors, including whether they swallow, inhale, or have skin exposure, their level of exposure, and how long the exposure lasts.
Symptoms may Appear Immediately
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), those who ingest paraquat will experience immediate pain and swelling of their mouth and throat. They may quickly develop nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and other digestive symptoms.
The gastrointestinal symptoms plus pain in the mouth and throat can cause dehydration, an electrolyte imbalance, low blood pressure, and other symptoms.
Because of the severity of side effects, any person with a known exposure should see a doctor immediately.
Organ Failure and Death could Follow
Over the following days or weeks, additional side effects may occur. This could affect one or more major organs. Some of the most common ways paraquat ingestion affects the body over time include:
- Heart failure
- Acute kidney failure
- Liver failure
- Lung scarring
In the most serious cases, pulmonary edema may occur. This leads to respiratory struggles and eventually respiratory failure. Coma, seizures, and death may also occur in these patients.
Many Suffer Lasting Damage after Paraquat Exposure
There are lasting side effects of unintended exposure to paraquat, including acute exposure or exposure over time. This could include:
- Long-term lung scarring and respiratory concerns
- Kidney failure
- Heart failure
- Esophageal damage
Paraquat Exposure may Increase the Risk of Parkinson’s Disease
Recent studies show there may be a connection between paraquat use and Parkinson’s disease. This includes a 2011 study published in Environmental Health Perspectives that found that those with occupational exposure to the herbicides rotenone and paraquat develop Parkinson’s disease at a rate that is 2.5 times greater than others.
Parkinson’s disease is a motor-movement disorder that is neurological in nature. It is progressive, and there is currently no cure, according to the Parkinson’s Foundation. Treatment includes addressing specific symptoms to improve quality of life.
Parkinson’s disease causes a range of symptoms that include:
- Gait struggles
- Rigid limbs
- Cognitive impairment
- Gastrointestinal symptoms
- Sleep concerns
Some with Paraquat Side Effects can Take Legal Action
If you are an agricultural worker or were otherwise exposed to paraquat and have a Parkinson’s disease diagnosis, you may have a viable claim for compensation. It may be possible to recover money to pay for your:
- Current and future medical care
- Lost income
- Pain and suffering
- Other losses
Some victims with similar stories have already filed lawsuits against paraquat manufacturers in several states. You may be able to, too. You should speak with an attorney with our firm as soon as you can.
Our law firm will assess your legal options with you for free. We handle cases with no upfront payment from clients, too. You will not have to pay anything out of your pocket to begin your lawsuit. You have dealt with enough. We want to be of service to you without draining your wallet.
Speak to the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine about Your Diagnosis and Exposure
At the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine, we are evaluating paraquat and Parkinson’s disease cases for clients now. You can speak with a team member for free today about your legal options during a consultation. We will listen to the details of your case and inform you of how we can help.
We offer responsive legal care, and our team always strives to go the extra mile for our clients. You will have your attorney’s phone number and receive frequent case updates. We may also be able to help you make appointments with specialists and take care of other tasks for you. Call now to learn more.