The Tragic Link Between Paraquat And Parkinson’s Disease, And TorHoerman Law’s Quest for Justice 1

Paraquat is putting farmers and farming communities across the nation in danger. The herbicide has been directly linked to Parkinson’s disease and has already been banned in many countries, including China, Brazil, and the EU. This begs the question of why farmers in all 50 states are still able to utilize the dangerous chemical. TorHoerman Law is on a mission to bring awareness to this dangerous chemical, the risks involved, and the legal options available to those who suffer from Parkinson’s linked to Paraquat exposure. 

Paraquat is a chemical agent used primarily as an herbicide in no-till farming. It’s most commonly used as a spray, being a less labor-intensive alternative to discing/standard tilling farming. As more weeds become resistant to RoundUp, Paraquats popularity in farming continues to grow across the US. In 2017, the last year in which data is available, use was estimated to be almost 10 million pounds annually in the United States.

The dangers of ingesting the chemical are fairly well-known, as a dose of just 2.5 grams is lethal. For this reason, it has been the cause of death in multiple suicides and accidental deaths. The immediate effects of Paraquat are deadly, but the lasting effects of Paraquat exposure may pose an even more sinister threat to farmers, pesticide applicators, tank fillers/mixers, and the families living in and around farming communities. 

A 2011 study by the National Institute of Health found that people exposed to Paraquat are approximately 2.5 times, or 250%, more likely to develop Parkinson’s Disease. Parkinson’s is a disorder of the central nervous system that affects movement, often in the form of tremors, stiffness, or loss of balance. Although certain medications can control the symptoms of Parkinson’s, there is no cure. The disease typically affects those that are 50 years of age and older. Parkinson’s is 1.5x more likely to present in men than women. Although often assumed that Parkinson’s is a genetic condition, studies have shown that genetics is the primary contributor to only 10% of Parkinson’s cases. Although genetics may lead to an individual’s predisposition to develop the disease, scientists now know that environmental exposures like herbicides and pesticides are the leading cause of Parkinson’s. Other causes are thought to be repeated head injuries and exposure to heavy metals. Early signs of Parkinson’s may be small tremors, increasingly smaller handwriting, and sleep problems. 

Studies in human cells demonstrated that low-level exposures to Paraquat causes cellular changes that mimic the effects of Parkinson’s. In animal studies, Paraquat is used to induce Parkinson’s disease so that scientists can study the disease. To be clear, researchers use Paraquat in animals to cause Parkinson’s so they can better understand the disease. Yet, the EPA continues to allow farming communities to be exposed to this dangerous herbicide.

Chad A Finley, Torhoerman Law’s lead Paraquat Parkison’s dise ase injury lawyer, understands this unfortunate reality first-hand. The son of a multi-generational farming family in Illinois, Finley recalls being exposed to planes and sprayers applying herbicides such as Paraquat to fields surrounding his home from a very young age. As a child, he remembers going outside to watch the airplanes and sprayers make their passes through the fields. It was not until later in life that Finley began to realize how he, his family, and others in farming communities were being highly exposed during and after spraying.

For Finley, Parkinson’s hits close to home. Finley’s grandmother was a longtime sufferer of Parkinson’s disease. Finley hopes to bring greater awareness to both farmers actively utilizing the dangerous chemical and individuals who have developed Parkinson’s as a result of Paraquat exposure.

“Most people in farming communities have no idea that Paraquat causes Parkinson’s or that the chemical is banned in many countries,” explained Finley. “They need this information to protect themselves and their families.”

Unfortunately, the link between Paraquat and Parkinson’s disease is still widely unknown to the public. Many farmers may be using the herbicide spray and putting their entire communities at risk simply because the dangers are not known by farmers. Well-meaning farmers may incorrectly assume that simply because a chemical is made available that it is safe to use. This could not be further from the truth.

If you or someone you know is currently suffering from Parkinson’s disease and believe it may be linked to Paraquat exposure, TorHoerman Law urges you to contact the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) immediately. In 2019, the EPA started taking public comments regarding the human health risks of Paraquat. Despite receiving requests to ban Paraquat from scientists, researchers, farmers, and advocate groups like the Michael J. Fox foundation, on October 23, 2020, the EPA refused to ban Paraquat usage in the United States. The EPA proposed some new safety measures for use of Paraquat, but did not ban the herbicide.

Said Finley, “It was the wrong decision. The decision was an economic one, and is not based on the available science. It is unbelievable that countries like China have banned this product, but the United States hasn’t. Even the EPA has banned Paraquat in residential areas, but they continue to allow farming communities to be exposed. People have been hurt and if Paraquat isn’t banned they are going to continue to be hurt.”

Chad A Finley and his team at TorHoerman Law are actively accepting Paraquat lawsuit cases. If you or a loved one were exposed to Paraquat and subsequently developed Parkison’s disease, Contact TorHoerman Law today to learn about your legal option. Visit Torhoerman Law Paraquat lawsuit page and use the chatbot to get a free, instant online case evaluation today to find out if you qualify for a Paraquat lawsuit. 


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