Posted on March 10th, 2021
Paraquat, a toxic herbicide, has been widely used throughout the United States since 1962. It can be found under numerous brand names, such as Blanco and Parazone, and most products that contain it have a concentration of 44% paraquat. However, there are certain states where paraquat is employed in tremendous amounts.
Since 1962, agricultural workers in the United States have been using paraquat to destroy weeds and grasses that are resistant to glyphosate, another toxic herbicide sold under the brand name Roundup. Because paraquat is highly toxic, only licensed applicators who underwent the mandatory training provided by the Environmental Protection Agency can use it. In our country, paraquat is available mainly as a solution that is sold in various strengths. It is classified as a "restricted use pesticide".
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the estimated paraquat use in agriculture has doubled from 2013 to 2017, which is the latest year for which figures are available. It was found that approximately 10,000,000 pounds of paraquat are used by agricultural workers every year. However, paraquat is not employed in relatively equal amounts by farmers in each state and, consequently, there are certain states where the use of paraquat is significantly greater. Approximately 3 pounds of paraquat are used per square mile in the following U.S. states, which is a tremendous amount:
It is important to be aware of the places with the greatest paraquat use, as exposure to the herbicide is more likely to occur in people who live in these states, whether they are farmers or individuals who live near farming communities. Exposure to paraquat, especially when it is prolonged or frequent, can lead to Parkinson's disease, a diagnosis for which people with a history of exposure to this herbicide can recover financial compensation with the assistance of a lawyer who specializes in toxic exposure.
Between 3,500 and 8,500 acres of fallow land treated with paraquat were reported every year between 2010 and 2018. While the rates vary, they are typically between 0.50 lb. and 1.0 lb. per acre. Unfortunately, there are no measures you can take if you live near a farm whose agricultural workers use paraquat, as you will inevitably be exposed to a certain extent. Alarmingly, the rate of Parkinson's disease diagnosis increased by 107% from 2013 to 2017, which undoubtedly has a connection with the emerging use of paraquat.