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The most harmful pesticides still allowed in the U.S.

Over 45 million pounds of agricultural pesticide use nationwide comes from the 13 pesticides that are banned or in the process of phasing out in at least two other agricultural countries.

Most conventional pesticides are potentially toxic for farmworkers who regularly spray these chemicals on crops such as wheat, cotton, soybean, corn, and sweet potatoes. Still, there are certain pesticides whose use is highly dangerous, and exposure can result in crippling diseases.

Pesticide exposure can have chronic health effects, which is the case of paraquat exposure. Over the years, farmworkers who use paraquat might develop Parkinson's disease. This is because paraquat induces oxidative stress and neuronal loss in the substantia nigra region of the brain, which is responsible for dopamine production. When the substantia nigra is depleted of neurons, the person will experience problems with movement control, cognitive executive functions, and emotional limbic activity, which are the hallmarks of Parkinson's disease.

Ingesting small amounts of paraquat, which can happen accidentally if farmworkers do not wear adequate protective equipment when spraying the herbicide, can lead to the following adverse health effects within a few days to a few weeks:

  • heart failure
  • liver failure
  • kidney failure
  • lung scarring

There is no known antidote for paraquat poisoning, so farmworkers who use this herbicide should be extremely cautious and wear protective equipment when applying it to crops. Although paraquat has been banned in nearly 60 countries, it continues to be widely used in the United States, despite its well-documented toxicity.

However, there are numerous other toxic herbicides in addition to paraquat that are used in tremendous amounts in agriculture throughout the country, such as:

  • Glyphosate: This herbicide, mostly sold under the brand name Roundup, is believed to cause kidney disease. While glyphosate is banned in many countries, it is still widely used in the United States. Glyphosate exposure has a strong association with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Regular exposure to this herbicide was found to increase the risk of developing this cancer by 41%.
  • Atrazine: The herbicide is known to alter hormones and impact the immune system. Atrazine exposure is even linked to some congenital disabilities. It has many adverse effects on health, such as breast, ovarian, and uterine cancer, leukemia, and lymphoma. This herbicide is endocrine-disrupting, interrupting regular hormone function and causing birth defects and reproductive tumors.
  • Methomyl: This insecticide can have a poisonous effect on nerve cells or tissue. If a person is exposed to methomyl via ingestion, skin contact, or inhalation, the chemical might overstimulate the nervous system, resulting in nausea, confusion, dizziness, and, at very high exposures, respiratory paralysis and death. Methomyl is categorized as highly to moderately toxic when someone is exposed to the pesticide via mouth, eyes, or inhalation.
  • Rotenone: The insecticide may damage the liver and kidneys if the person is regularly exposed to it. Rotenone exposure can result in pharyngitis, nausea, vomiting, gastric pain, convulsions, muscle tremors, lethargy, incontinence, and respiratory stimulation, which is usually followed by depression. Respiratory depression and seizures can, in turn, lead to a low level of oxygen in the blood, which can be very dangerous.

It is important to note that this is by no means a comprehensive list, as there are dozens of other highly toxic pesticides that are currently used in agriculture nationwide, endangering the health of farmworkers. Other pesticides that pose a danger to agricultural workers include:

  • flupyradifurone
  • hexachlorobenzene
  • pirimicarb
  • imidacloprid
  • tebuconazole
  • epoxiconazole
  • isoproturon
  • 1,3-dichloropropene

Atraxia Law can efficiently help you file your paraquat exposure claim

With over 35 years of experience in assessing toxic exposure and personal injury claims, our expert team is ready to offer you the assistance you need if you were exposed to paraquat and now struggle with Parkinson's disease. To find out whether you are entitled to financial compensation, all you have to do is give us a call and send in evidence of your paraquat exposure and your medical records with your diagnosis.