A National Institute of Health study found that people who used paraquat developed Parkinson’s disease approximately 2.5 times, or 250% more often than non-users. Makers of Paraquat, Syngenta and Chevron, knew in 1969 that paraquat could enter the brain and cause tissue damage. Such damage can lead to Parkinson's, affecting movement, often in the form of tremors, stiffness or loss of balance.
Paraquat dichloride, more commonly referred to as “paraquat,” is a highly toxic herbicide used to control weeds in many farming and commercial groundskeeping settings, in addition to being sprayed as a pre-harvest desiccant on some crops such as cotton. In the US, only certified applicators may purchase and use the product. Paraquat has been sold in the US for nearly sixty years.
The Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, notes that “one sip can kill”. Paraquat is also known to cause liver, heart and kidney failure, eye and skin damage and brain diseases such as Parkinson’s. If inhaled with enough concentration it will lead to asphyxiation and death. In some countries, because the liquid is so toxic, it is commonly used as method for suicide by drinking it.
People who can identify their working directly with paraquat, perhaps as a mixer or person who sprayed the chemical, along with being diagnosed by a doctor as either having Parkinson's disease or exhibiting symptoms of the disease. Some people who may have incidental exposure, such as someone living next to a farm that uses Paraquat where the spray drifts towards their home may also be considered in certain circumstances.
"One sip can kill," says the EPA.
Not everyone exhibits symptoms similarly. A doctor is needed for a qualified diagnosis. Some of the symptoms may include: muscle stiffness, decreased movements including slower walking or reduced blinking, involuntary shaking, difficulty with balance and coordination, constipation, low blood pressure, sexual changes, increases sweating, urination problems, apathy, cognitive issues, mood disturbances, sleep problems, loss of smell, slurring words, choking, dry eyes. *(per the Michael J. Fox Foundation)
Herbicide applicators - including farm workers or groundskeepers (such as on golf courses), and some property owners living near farms using paraquat
Amantadine, Apokyn, Artane, Aziliect, Cogentin, Elepryl, Kynmobi, Sinemet, Mirapex, Neupro, Nourizanz, Reqip, Xadagao, Zelepar
Blanco, Bonfire, Cyclone SL, Devour, Firestorm, Gramaxone, Helmquat, Para-SHOT, Parazone, Quik-Quat