What to do If You've Been Exposed to Dangerous Pesticides Like Paraquat

What Are Pesticides

Pesticides are chemicals that are used to kill insects. They are dangerous if ingested or used the wrong way by humans and are regulated by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). The EPA defines pesticides as a mixture of chemical substances that are used to destroy, prevent, or repel pests. Pesticide companies should be aware of chemicals that they are using and the adverse effects they can have on humans due to the fact that they are dangerous and can potentially cause serious harm. 

There is a lawsuit against Paraquat which is one of the widely used pesticides in America and the world. The lawsuit was filed because there are claims there is a link between Paraquat and Parkinson's disease. The main two active ingredients in pesticides are contaminants and impurities and when used, these two components have the potential to be hazardous to humans.

What Is Paraquat           

Paraquat was first used commercially by farmers in 1961 to control weeds on their crops. This pesticide was used on orchard crops, as well as fruit and vegetable crops. Paraquat is a toxic pesticide that is most commonly used on crops across the United States. Paraquat is an organic compound and it is under the chemical category of a viologen. This quick-acting chemical is the most used herbicide and kills any green plant immediately on contact. Paraquat is proven to be toxic to humans and animals and has also been linked heavily to the development of Parkinson's in humans. Most of the individuals who are affected negatively by Paraquat are farmers. Paraquat is currently banned in some countries because of its harmful effects on people.

The Link Between Paraquat Pesticides and Parkinson's Disease

Paraquat is a toxic pesticide to both plant and animal cells. There is growing research that shows a link between Paraquat and the second most common progressive neurodegenerative disease. There have been cases filed in court against various companies for using Paraquat Pesticides. One case, in particular, was by a gentleman in September 2017 and he filed a lawsuit against a company called Syngenta and Growmark. The gentleman had been farming his entire life and contracted Parkinson's disease from using Paraquat pesticide. But this case is so sad because the gentleman that filed the lawsuit ended up dying before he got his day in court. The lawsuit against Paraquat pesticides has been shown to be valid because scientists used Paraquat and other toxins to produce animal models of Parkinson's disease. They are also studies that have been performed and released by FAME which stand for Farming Movement Evaluation. The study found that farmers or people who are exposed to Paraquat pesticides are 2.5 times more often to contract Parkinson's than non-users. The reason why this pesticide is still being used is due to the fact that it is very effective in killing weeds and protecting crops. However, many farmers and other advocates for safer pesticides would like to find alternatives to using Paraquat.

What to Do If Exposed to Pesticides

There are many different ways that an individual can be exposed to pesticides. Three main routes of exposure are dermal, oral, and respiratory. Dermal exposure is when the pesticide comes into contact with the skin and eyes. Oral exposure is when the pesticide is ingested. Thirdly, respiratory exposure is when the pesticide is inhaled by the individual. The signs and symptoms that people should be aware of is vomiting, sweating, and pinpoint pupils. It is very important to recognize the symptoms and to seek treatment immediately if you have been exposed to pesticides. If exposure of any kind occurs and the individual is unconscious or having trouble breathing 911 should be called immediately. If the exposure does not have an immediate need for 911 to be called, you should check the label to see how to administer first aid. It is also imperative to contact The Poison Control Center to assist with first aid if exposure to any pesticide does occur.

Trying to remove the Paraquat pesticide from the market has been a challenge because of its effectiveness in saving crops. In 2016, the EPA made a public statement about the link between Paraquat and Parkinson’s disease. Since then they have introduced new policies to protect farmers which would include restricting its use to only certified individuals as well as requiring anyone who uses the pesticide to participate in additional training. For those who have been exposed to the hazardous chemical and believe it has caused irreparable damage, should seek assistance from a law firm.

Paraquat has already been banned in several countries including Europe and Switzerland while China is in the process of phasing out it’s use. Farmers should look into finding a safer alternative method to remove weeds from their crops. Individual’s health should be a top priority when using pesticides as part of their job.

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