This year, 2021, is turning out to be a big year for mass tort cases. A potential mass tort is rapidly developing this year and could be more dangerous than Roundup. Paraquat is known to be harmful to people and can potentially cause serious health issues. Read on to find out more about the developing lawsuit and how Paraquat is allegedly harming people.
What is Paraquat?
Paraquat dichloride or “paraquat,” is a chemical herbicide that many farmers and companies use for killing weeds in massive amounts. The herbicide also goes by the name Gramoxone (a popular end-use product), and it is one of the most common herbicides today. However, Paraquat is being found to be highly toxic, harmful, and is causing major health issues to people.
Problems with Paraquat
When a person inhales Paraquat, it can be highly toxic and causes serious issues almost immediately. After one ingests or inhales a large amount of paraquat, a person can develop serious injuries. The most common way of Paraquat poisoning is ingesting it by eating or drinking something that is contaminated with the chemical. It can also affect people who work with or around the chemical by breathing the chemical in substantial amounts.
There are many symptoms of Paraquat poisoning such as:
- Abdominal pain
- Diarrhea/Bloody Diarrhea
- Muscle Weakness
- Respiratory Failure
- Difficulty Breathing
- Fast heart rate
Furthermore, there can be even worse experiences days or even hours after Paraquat poisoning, such as:
- Acute kidney failure
- Liver failure
- Lung Scarring
- Pulmonary Edema
- Respiratory failure
Paraquat and Parkinson’s
The long-term effects of Paraquat are being linked to Parkinson’s disease. There are many instances where people studied Paraquat to look at toxicity levels, such as:
- 2011: Environmental Health Perspectives found that exposure to paraquat increased the risk of Parkinson’s disease by 250%.
- 2012: A study by the Parkinson’s Institute showed that the risks of developing Parkinson’s increased 11 times in people who worked with paraquat.
- 2017: Additionally, a study found people exposed to paraquat at an early age had an increased Parkinson’s risk of 200-600% depending on years of exposure.
- 2018: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Toxicology Program (NTP) announced its protocol for a review of paraquat dichloride exposure and Parkinson’s disease.
- July 2019: The Protect Against Paraquat Act of 2019 (HR 3817) was introduced which seeks to eliminate the use of paraquat in the United States after studies show the risk of Parkinson’s Disease.
- October 2020: the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) began to review Paraquat and its toxicity to humans. They opened the review to the public for commentary, a program that re-evaluates all pesticides on a 15-year cycle. Also through this program, EPA is ensuring that Paraquat’s re-registration is based on current scientific and other knowledge, including its effects on human health and the environment.
After studies into Paraquat, due to alleged harmful effects, there are now people filing multiple lawsuits against the makers of Paraquat. Currently, the main manufacturers involved in the Paraquat lawsuits are Syngenta and Growmark.
In 2017, farmers and other agricultural workers began to file a lawsuit against the makers of Paraquat after exposure to the herbicide and allegedly developing Parkinson’s disease. Recently, an official MDL for the Paraquat will take place in the Southern District of Illinois. Additionally, we are seeing many developing Paraquat cases which will result in a very large mass tort this year.
It is important to note that every 15 years the EPA reviews all herbicides to make sure they are safe and up to date with federal safety standards. The EPA began reviewing paraquat in 2017 and has until October 2022 to decide on its future use.