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Despite Confirmed Health Concerns, EPA Continues Paraquat Distribution

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August 30, 2021

The Biden Administration recently confirmed the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) decision to reapprove and continue allowing paraquat on the public market. Furthermore, additional restrictions have been lifted, now permitting paraquat to be aerially sprayed.  

Paraquat is the number two globally highest-selling weedkiller, used on 100 varieties of crops. In 2015 alone, seven-million pounds of paraquat were distributed over 15-million acres of U.S. land. While this herbicide wipes out pesky bugs, it also destroys human health. Only four years ago, the EPA investigated the chemical and discovered that “One sip can kill.”  

The CDC states that exposure isn’t limited to ingesting, but also includes inhaling and skin absorption, creating higher rates of exposure across not only the herbicide’s direct application, but to neighboring communities. 

Additional paraquat exposure concerns include the chemical’s ability to drift through the air, with studies confirming a single farmer’s herbicide can travel via air, landing in nearby communities and impacting residents. Public water facilities pose another exposure threat, as Texas alone found 29 public utility services with the contaminated chemical. 

Paraquat is not solely life-threatening for children (confirmed to cause childhood cancer, autism, and an array of learning disorders), but adults who’ve been exposed for any length of time are subject to Parkinson’s disease, infertility, organ failure, and possible carcinogenic effects, which often result in cancer.  

“Paraquat kills cells through a mechanism called oxidative stress, meaning that altered cell chemistry leads to cell damage and death. Parkinson’s disease results from the loss of function in the dopamine neuron cells… these neurons may be more vulnerable to oxidative stress… and thus more affected by paraquat,” medical consultant Dr. Angela Hind explains.  

Several countries, including China, have permanently banned paraquat for its long-term damage to the environment and people. Now, American bills like Saving America’s Pollinators Act and Protect American Children from Toxic Pesticides Act have a stronger voice, with supporters pushing back and not only demanding that paraquat be removed from the market for good, but demanding an explanation for why the EPA, who confirmed paraquat’s fatal effects, would voluntarily reopen its distribution.  

“I am disheartened by the EPA’s failure to recognize the clear dangers of Paraquat use in farming communities across the United States,” Attorney Billy Ringger says. “Indeed, agricultural use of Paraquat is banned in over 30 countries, including the very countries where the chemical is produced.  Given the strong science from the National Institutes of Health linking Paraquat exposure to the development of Parkinson’ disease, one would expect the EPA to take this threat more seriously. However, it appears, for now, proliferation of this dangerous chemical will continue.” 

Over 150 state and federal cases are actively challenging the reintroduction of this dangerous pesticide, with Milberg leading the charge. Our Environmental and Toxic Tortsattorneys have a solid track record of keeping powerhouse corporations accountable for harming the environment and damaging the health of residents. With decades of experience filing lawsuits against these big-name corporations, and billions of dollars recovered for clients, our attorneys tirelessly continue investigating the deadly effects of paraquat, seeking justice for those who have been exposed to the deadly herbicide and since developed Parkinson’s disease.  

If you or a loved one were exposed to paraquat and developed Parkinson’s disease, you may have the right to take legal action. A free paraquat lawsuit review from Milberg is the first step in the process. Contact us today to talk to a lawyer

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