Posted on March 05th, 2021
The incidence of Parkinson's disease increased significantly in 30 years from 1990 to 2020, and we know why - if we pay attention to what the epidemiological evidence is telling us. In recent decades, a flood of scientific research has confirmed that paraquat may cause the onset or accelerate the development of Parkinson's.
Universally recognized as one of the most dangerous and highly toxic chemicals globally, paraquat was widely used as an herbicide, primarily for weed and grass control. For example, in the 1980s, the federal government used paraquat to destroy illegal marijuana cultivation, even though the poison had been banned from national forests because of environmental concerns.
The most notorious public health issue linked to the rapidly-acting, nonselective herbicide paraquat is the growing scientific evidence linking the herbicide to Parkinson's disease.
The First Link - The suspicion that pesticides might increase the risk of developing gene-specific and sporadic Parkinson's disease incidences was first theorized in the 1980s following a wave of drug-induced Parkinson's-like illnesses.
While some epidemiological studies and animal data linking Parkinson's disease with herbicides like paraquat have been inconsistent at first, convincing evidence is continually emerging that demonstrates paraquat exposure greatly increases the risk of developing Parkinson's disease.
While the Environmental Protection Agency of the United States did not find "sufficient evidence" of the paraquat's adverse health effects, the herbicide has already been banned in many countries, including Brazil, Cambodia, Kuwait EU nations.
Even China, the world's largest manufacturer of paraquat, started phasing out the chemical in 2012. In addition, in 2017, Parkinson's organizations in the national, state, and regional levels sent a letter to the EPA urging them to ban paraquat because of its substantial and demonstrated risks.