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Paraquat Herbicide Parkinson’s Disease Lawsuit

Syngenta, the manufacturer of paraquat herbicide Gramoxone, has a pattern of unleashing dangerous chemicals that have harmed people the world over. Paraquat is so dangerous that it has been banned in 32 countries. Still, Syngenta has been able to leverage its corporate power to keep the product on U.S. store shelves. Syngenta becomes more greedy while hard-working farmers suffer. If you have used paraquat and been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, the two may be closely linked. Contact OnderLaw, LLC paraquat lawsuit attorneys at 800-799-2824 for a free consultation.

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What is paraquat herbicide?

Paraquat dichloride, commonly sold as Gramoxone, is one of the most toxic and most widely used herbicides in the United States. Studies show that it is strongly linked to Parkinson’s disease. In fact, a peer-reviewed study shows that farmers who use paraquat are 150% more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease than people who are not exposed to the pesticide.

Paraquat, sold under a number of trade names, is a weed and grass killer used in commercial crop operations, including cotton, almonds, walnuts, stone fruit, and other orchard crops. It has also been promoted for use in no-till operations for row crops.

Outside of agricultural use, paraquat is used to kill plants alongside highways, in pastures or fallow land, and around storage yards or commercial buildings.

Every year, farmers in the United States use more than 8 million pounds of paraquat dichloride. That number is on the rise as more weeds become glyphosate (Roundup)-resistant.

Paraquat is known as a non-selective pesticide because it kills any plant it touches. It also has a very long half life, which means it remains in soil and water for many years. From an environmental standpoint, it is a harmful chemical. From a human standpoint, we are learning that the effects can be deadly.

There is a strong link between paraquat and Parkinson’s disease. For decades now, scientists have known that paraquat inhibits and stops the brain’s ability to produce dopamine, which is an important neurotransmitter that controls movement. This results in Parkinson’s disease.

What is Parkinson’s disease?

Parkinson’s disease is a nervous system disorder characterized by stiffness, tremors, inability to walk or move, speech difficulties, depression, anxiety, severe gastrointestinal problems, and eventually, a constant need for care for even the most basic of tasks. People with this degenerative neurological disease suffer greatly, often for a decade or longer. People don’t die directly from this debilitating disease; they die from complications such as falls, pneumonia, and infections.

There is no cure for Parkinson’s disease.

What herbicides contain paraquat?

Paraquat is known by several trade names. Herbicides with paraquat brand names include:

  • Gramoxone
  • Cyclone
  • CycloneStar
  • Firestorm
  • Helmquat
  • Parazone
  • Paraquat 3 SL (Tigris)
  • Quick-Quat
  • Purgatory 3 SL
  • Willowood Paraquat 3SL
  • Blanco
  • Bonedry
  • Bonfire Herbicide
  • Devour
  • Para-SHOT 3.0
  • Paraquat 43.2% SL (RedEagle)
  • Paraquat Concentrate (Solera)
  • and more.

Who has been affected by paraquat-related Parkinson’s disease?

  • Farmers and farm workers
  • Herbicide applicators
  • Chemical mixers
  • Flaggers
  • Tank fillers
  • People living adjacent to fields where paraquat was used
  • Other workers who mixed and/applied paraquat.
Our Paraquat Lawyers Are Standing By
James Onder

Who makes paraquat?

Gramoxone is made by Syngenta. Syngenta AG, the parent company, is located in Switzerland and now owned by ChemChina. Syngenta Crop Protection LLC, located in Greensboro, N.C., is the U.S. arm of the corporation.

From 1966, when it first came on the market, until 1986, Gramoxone was distributed exclusively by Chevron. Now, Syngenta relies on a network of regional distributors, including GrowMark.

Is paraquat dangerous?

Yes. Paraquat is so dangerous that a special license is required for purchase. It kills plants on contact, and less than a teaspoon can kill a person when ingested. People can be exposed to paraquat through their skin, by breathing it in, by swallowing it, and by being exposed through the soil. As we are learning, its ties to neurological disease and other long-term effects can be debilitating and deadly.

Is paraquat a restricted-use pesticide (RUP)?

Gramoxone and other pesticides that contain paraquat are considered in the United States to be RUPs (restricted-use pesticides) and can only be purchased by certified licensed applicators. For years, however, anyone could use paraquat products, so long as they were purchased by someone who took a test to be licensed to buy it. That means many farmers and farm workers were exposed to this dangerous chemical even though it was purchased and used legally.

Can people who live near farm fields be exposed?

Paraquat’s dangerous effects can go beyond farm fields. A 2009 study found that people who lived 500 feet from fields where paraquat is used were 75% more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease.

Why are you suing paraquat makers?

Since 1966, Syngenta and its predecessor companies have profited billions of dollars from the sale of paraquat, knowing that it harms the very hard-working people who rely on it for their livelihood. Syngenta has caused immeasurable pain and suffering, and we believe their victims should be compensated.

At OnderLaw, we don’t just take on cases. We take on causes. We use the court system for what it was intended to do: to bring justice to people like you, and also to make sure future generations do not have to suffer at the hands of corporations that put profits over people’s lives.

Together, we believe we can make a positive difference.

Do I qualify for a paraquat lawsuit?

OnderLaw is representing victims who have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease following exposure to paraquat. This includes licensed applicators and others who worked directly with paraquat herbicide(s).

People who mixed, loaded or sprayed Gramoxone or other paraquat-based herbicides; flaggers who flagged fields during aerial spraying; and others who have proof of exposure to paraquat used by licensed applicators who have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease.

If you believe you or someone you love is eligible for a paraquat lawsuit, call us today at 800-337-4542.

Do I need a paraquat lawyer?

Hard-working farmers and agricultural workers are suing the makers of paraquat for:

  • Failure to adequately research the potential link between paraquat and Parkinson’s disease;
  • Failure to warn consumers about the Parkinson’s risks associated with paraquat exposure;
  • Failure to ensure that workers received adequate protection against the potential side effects of paraquat;
  • Misrepresenting the safety of paraquat for decades;
  • Negligently disregarding the potential paraquat risks.

Not only should you retain an attorney, you should seek a law firm with proven experience in mass tort and other large litigations against giant corporations prepared to pay millions of dollars to fight you. At OnderLaw, we have that experience. We’ve taken on Monsanto, Johnson & Johnson, and nearly a dozen other huge corporations, and we’re not afraid to take a stand.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease following exposure to paraquat, contact the paraquat attorneys at OnderLaw at 800-337-4542 for a free, no-obligation consultation. You may be eligible for compensation.

Paraquat FAQs

Paraquat is not banned in the United States. In fact, in 2019 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency caved to corporate lobbying and, despite hundreds of scientific studies, including dozens that were peer-reviewed, concluded that there is not enough evidence to link paraquat to neurological conditions. The Center for Biological Diversity and other science-based environmental groups harshly criticized the move. The same EPA administration similarly favored corporations that profit from glyphosate (Roundup), asbestos, and many other chemical pollutants we believe (and that science and juries have found) to be dangerous.

Paraquat is used as a desiccant on some crops, such as cotton, meaning it is used to kill any remaining green portions of a plant before it is harvested. It was also heavily marketed for no-till farming because, instead of disturbing soil by turning under weeds and other unwanted plants, Gramoxone and other paraquat chemicals kill any remaining unwanted growth prior to planting. It is used by farmers and corporations that grow peanuts, soy, citrus, corn, wheat, almonds,pears, artichokes, grapes, garlic, strawberries, and sweet potatoes.

Paraquat is currently banned in 32 countries across the world, including countries in the European Union, because it is so toxic. Just a tiny sip is enough to kill an adult. The toll on small animals and the delicate balance of the ecosystem is immense. Yet it continues to be one of the most widely used pesticides in the United States.

Unfortunately, diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease is not yet possible before substantial damage has already been done. In fact, some scientists believe that, for every person who is diagnosed, many more people are unaware that they have the disease.

There is no single test for Parkinson’s disease; instead, a battery of tests need to be performed, most often by a movement disorder specialist.

People with Parkinson’s disease are often unaware that they have it for years. The disease silently kills cells in a center of the brain called the substantia nigra, halting the production of dopamine. It is not until 60% to 80% of the dopamine neurotransmitters are destroyed that symptoms become significant and diagnosis can be made.

There are currently several ongoing lawsuits filed in the United States. Neither a class action nor a multidistrict litigation (MDL) has been established as of March 2021, but there is a good chance that an MDL will be established in the future.

Paraquat kills all green growth that it comes into contact with. It is dangerous to trees, weeds, grasses, and other plants.

Paraquat is identified by the World Health Organization as a Class II pesticide. According to its most recent publication of Guidelines on Hazardous Pesticide Management, “Paraquat has serious delayed effects if absorbed. It is of relatively low hazard in normal use but may be fatal if the concentrated product is taken by mouth or spread on the skin.”

Adults and children have died after drinking just tiny quantities when they mistakenly thought it was a soft drink in an illegally packaged beverage container. Ingestion has also occurred when people have attempted to suck on the outlet of the sprayer to make liquid rise through the vacuum tube.

Yes. Paraquat is deadly when ingested, and can cause serious problems when absorbed through the skin. It is also linked to neurological disorders that ultimately result in death.

Paraquat is different from glyphosate, which is the active ingredient in Roundup herbicide. Both have resulted in serious illness and death for hard-working farmers and agricultural workers. Paraquat is often used on fields where weeds have become resistant to glyphosate (Roundup).

They are not the same, though they both prohibit photosynthesis in plants.

In short, paraquat works by breaking down the cell walls of plants so that they cannot hold water. As a result, the plant shrivels and dies.


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