Posted on March 12th, 2021
Farmers are usually unaware of the pesticides they are exposed to, the health effects of such exposure, or the compensation they are entitled to if they have been adversely affected by toxic pesticides, such as paraquat. Therefore, we help farmers stricken by Parkinson's from using paraquat seek compensation from its manufacturers.
Farmers are typically hired by commercial farms or, in many cases, by contractors who coordinate labor in non-residential farms and act as intermediaries between farmers and agricultural workers. Farmers who operate farm businesses often conduct their work under grueling conditions that put their health and safety at risk:
Farmers working on non-residential farms are regularly exposed to high levels of paraquat, one of the most widely used herbicides in the U.S. Even with the best management practices while handling and applying paraquat, farmers are still at risk for exposure.
As a farmer, you are well aware of pesticides' benefits, but you may be less knowledgeable on the human health effects paraquat use can impose. Farmers can be exposed to paraquat in a variety of ways:
Paraquat was designed to have a near-immediate and generally lethal effect on a wide range of annual grasses and broad-leaved weeds and the tips of established perennial weeds. Still, unfortunately, that is not all it can do. In addition, the use of the weed-killing agent paraquat dichloride has been linked to increased rates of Parkinson's disease in farmers with exposure to the acutely toxic herbicide.
Today, there are about 2 million commercial farms in operation in the U.S., covering an area of 922 million acres. Each year, thousands of them experience serious short- and long-term health risks from pesticide exposure.
Short-term (acute) effects may include:
The long-term health impacts are delayed or not immediately apparent and may include:
As per the studies, paraquat contains certain chemicals, exposure to which might contribute to Parkinson's disease. From a medical standpoint, Parkinson's disease is caused by the death of brain cells in an area of the mid-brain known as the substantia nigra.
Cell death results in losing dopamine production, which is essential for central nervous system functions. Administration of paraquat in laboratory rats has proven to cause the death of cells in the substantia nigra.