By Treven Pyles
Posted on March 12th, 2021
Pesticide/herbicide handlers, sprayers, and applicators are exposed to paraquat daily, large quantities, and over sustained periods. Even in relatively low doses, exposure to paraquat leads to the development of serious health conditions, including Parkinson's disease, one of the most common neurological disorders affecting us.
A rampant problem amongst most herbicide applicators is exposure to toxic chemicals from pesticides sprayed onto crops to combat diseases and weeds and raise productivity. Pesticides, including paraquat, can be harmful to humans depending on the toxicity of the ingredients, length of time of exposure, and how it enters the body.
The U.S. EPA describes paraquat as a controlled or restricted use herbicide utilized only in commercial farming and agricultural settings. Because it is a dangerous chemical, it contains a blue pigment so that it is not mistaken as a food product. Exposure can incur by ingestion, inhalation, and dermal exposure. Therefore, herbicide applicators are at the most risk for skin exposure or inhalation, leading to illness.
Herbicide/pesticide applicators who have been adversely affected by paraquat may be able to pursue a claim and recover compensation with the help of an experienced legal practitioner.
Originally marketed in 1962 as gramoxone, paraquat has been linked to Parkinson's disease and targets many claims being filed by herbicide applicators.
Numerous studies and clinical research have linked paraquat to an increased risk of Parkinson's disease. In 2011, an analysis found that paraquat exposure increased the risk of this neurodegenerative disorder by 250% for those who work with it regularly.
Herbicide applicators are those persons who directly handle pesticides, e.g., perform tasks in preparation for an application - mix a pesticide with water and load it into the knapsack.
Generally, restricted-use pesticides like paraquat are used only by individuals licensed through state pesticide applicator certification exams and licensing requirements. However, in some states, unlicensed applicators are authorized to use them under the direct supervision of a licensed applicator.
Herbicide applicators can be exposed to paraquat in a variety of ways, including:
Pesticides in concentrated form pose a greater risk to the user than do diluted products for the following reasons:
Moreover, herbicide applicators have no escape from exposure, as paraquat can literally follow them home after work in the form of residue on their clothes or its drift contaminating the air in their neighborhoods.