Wallace Miller represents individuals who have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease or symptoms due to their use of or exposure to the toxic chemical, Paraquat. Paraquat is a fast-acting, non-selective herbicide—meaning it kills all plant material that it contacts. The most popular brand names of Paraquat in the United States include Blanco, Bonfire Herbicide, Devour, Firestorm, Gramoxone, Helmquat 3SL, Para-Shot 3.0, Parazone, Quik-Quat, Bonedry, and Cyclone SL 2.0.
Paraquat was first produced for commercial purposes in 1961 and entered the U.S. Market in 1964. It is currently banned in over 30 countries worldwide due to the health risks it presents. Despite the known risks—and numerous calls for its removal from the market by health care experts and advocates—the use of Paraquat is still allowed in the United States and continues to be manufactured by Syngenta. The Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) classifies paraquat as a Restricted Use Pesticide (“RUP”), meaning that it can only be used by licensed applicators, which are typically farmers and other agricultural workers.
One of the first links between Paraquat and Parkinson’s Disease was discovered by the National Institutes of Health in a 2011 study entitled Farming and Movement Evaluation Study (FAME). The FAME study examined the long-term causes of Parkinson’s Disease by focusing on environmental factors. Using data compiled in the Agricultural Health Study, researchers were able to track more than 80,000 farmers, agricultural workers, and their immediate families. They determined that individuals who used Paraquat were among those who were roughly two and a half times more likely to develop Parkinson’s.
Parkinson’s Disease is a neurodegenerative disorder that affects movement and fine motor skills. The disease occurs when brain cells responsible for producing the movement-coordinating chemical dopamine stop working or die. Often associated with tremors and uncontrollable spasm, individuals afflicted with the disease often watch their quality of life permanently vanish as their movement and motor skills slowly deteriorate. Parkinson’s tends to manifest during mid-to-old age, and there is currently no known cure or means to slow or reverse its progression. If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease following prolonged exposure to Paraquat, you may have a legal claim against the manufacturer, Syngenta. Contact an attorney at Wallace Miller today to discuss your options.