Exposure to Paraquat Can Lead to Parkinson’s Disease

Toxic Exposures at Chemical Plants

Exposure to Paraquat Can Lead to Parkinson’s Disease

Paraquat has been linked to Parkinson’s Disease. Paraquat is a toxic chemical that is used as an herbicide to kill weeds and grass. It comes in a liquid form that can be used in different strengths based on the application. It is classified as a toxic substance and a restricted use chemical so it can only be used by people who are properly licensed. In the United States, paraquat has blue dye and a strong odor to distinguish itself and a chemical added to cause vomiting if it is swallowed.

People can be exposed to paraquat in different ways. It can be swallowed, absorbed through the skin, or inhaled. When it is ingested, it is poisonous so it is very harmful, especially if it does not contain the additives that cause vomiting and a strong odor. If it touches the skin for a long time or is very concentrated, it is more likely to poison people. It can also enter the body through open skin like cuts and sores. People most likely to be exposed to paraquat are the ones licensed to use it. They have a greater chance of touching it, allowing it to enter their body.

Paraquat is very poisonous, so people can have very severe side effects after exposure. If a person ingests a large amount, he or she might experience pain and swelling of the mouth and throat. The person could then experience nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and (possibly bloody) diarrhea. People can also become dehydrated, have electrolyte abnormalities, and low blood pressure. Ingesting a small or medium amount of paraquat can lead to heart failure, kidney failure, liver failure, and lung scarring up to multiple weeks after the exposure. Someone exposed to paraquat could experience these symptoms hours or days after the exposure: acute kidney failure, confusion, coma, fast heart rate, injury to the heart, liver failure, lung scarring, muscle weakness, fluid in the lungs, respiratory failure, and seizures.

People exposed to paraquat can also have different long-term effects. If the person survives exposure to paraquat poisoning, the exposed person will most likely develop lung scarring. The person could also suffer from kidney failure, heart failure, or esophageal strictures (scarring of the esophagus). People who were licensed or those that worked for them also have a chance of developing Parkinson’s Disease or impaired motor functions.

Impaired Motor Functions

Hand tremors, prolonged or extreme stiffness, difficulty with body movements, loss of balance, difficulty walking, difficulty speaking, reduced facial expression/blank stare, drooling, small handwriting, trembling, whole body fatigue or dizziness, amnesia or confusion in evening hours, early awakenings or sleep disturbances, and anxiety or apathy.

If you were licensed to work with paraquat (and did) or worked for someone who did and now have Parkinson’s disease or an impaired motor function listed above, you could be entitled to compensation. Contact us today by calling 412-471-3980 or by filling out our contact form. One of our attorneys or staff members will get back to you as soon as possible to review your case.

“Facts About Paraquat” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Emergency Preparedness and Response [Link]

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