Is Paraquat in Roundup?

This article will answer common questions on what paraquat is, the link between Roundup and paraquat, what you can do if you have been exposed to paraquat or Roundup.
Updated on September 28, 2022
paraquat and roundup

No, the herbicide Roundup doesn’t have paraquat in it. The two compounds do, however, have a remarkable resemblance. Both are hazardous herbicides that have been the focus of several lawsuits across the United States.

Roundup has been linked to increased cancer risk. Meanwhile, in a paraquat exposure case, plaintiffs alleged that the poisonous weed killer paraquat caused them to acquire Parkinson’s disease. This article will answer common questions on what paraquat is, the link between Roundup and paraquat, what you can do if you have been exposed to paraquat or Roundup.

What is Paraquat?

In the United States, paraquat, also known as paraquat dichloride, was first registered as a herbicide in 1964. Paraquat is a toxic chemical component of many herbicides but it is not in Roundup. Its main application is in the management of grass and weeds in various agricultural and non-agricultural settings. Many farmers use pesticides on different crops before harvest. Popular targets include plants that have developed resistance to Roundup and other glyphosate-based weed herbicides. In addition, in the United States and Mexico, the pesticide is sometimes sprayed on illegal marijuana plantations. After consuming tainted marijuana, some people have fallen unwell.

Farmers in the United States presently consume more than 8 million pounds each year. Peanuts, citrus, wheat, soy, corn, almonds, artichokes, garlic, pears, strawberries, grapes, sweet potatoes, and cotton are among the crops commonly treated with paraquat. In 2020, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) allowed the use of paraquat anew despite its association with serious health risks after prolonged exposure. However, paraquat is only meant to be used by licensed applicators.

Paraquat herbicide brands

These are the most popular paraquat manufacturers in the United States:

  • Gramoxone
  • Parazone
  • Quick-Quat
  • Firestorm
  • Crisquat
  • Dexuron
  • Para-col
  • Dexuron
  • Esgram
  • Para-Shot 3.0
  • Helmquat 3SL
  • Cyclone SL 2.0
  • Ortho Paraquat CL
  • Devour
  • Bonedry
  • Blanco

Paraquat exposure and poisoning

Licensed paraquat applicators are at the most significant risk for exposure, but anyone who works in or near places where paraquat is used may be exposed. The at-risk group includes groundskeepers, farmers, growers, pickers, and other agricultural workers. Paraquat is extremely dangerous, and a number of countries have banned its use. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “only one drop [of paraquat] may kill.” The EPA has taken steps to mandate all kinds of paraquat to contain colors, strong scents, and a vomiting-inducing ingredient that prevents humans from mistakenly drinking the weed killer.

The short-term effects of the paraquat exposure and poisoning include falling into a coma, confusion, rapid heart rate, and multiple organ failure, to name a few. If people survive paraquat poisoning, they will be dealing with the long-term health consequences of the affected organs, such as damage to the lungs, scarring of the lungs, esophageal scarring, Parkinson’s disease, and problems with reproduction.

Paraquat and Parkinson’s Disease

Previous studies have linked paraquat and another common weed pesticide, Maneb, to an increased risk of Parkinson’s disease. Researchers from the University of Guelph in Ontario chose to investigate this link in 2018. They discovered that low-level pesticide exposure disturbs cells in a way that resembles the consequences of mutations linked to Parkinson’s disease. “When the impacts of the chemicals are combined with a genetic predisposition for Parkinson’s disease, the likelihood of disease development skyrockets,” they found.

In a systematic analysis of paraquat-related literature undertaken by researchers in 2019, the risk of Parkinson’s disease was 25% greater in people exposed to the herbicide and considerably higher in those exposed for more extended periods.

Recent research that looked at 31 pesticides and their links to Parkinson’s disease revealed paraquat to be one of the most dangerous weed killers in the group. Paraquat causes oxidative stress and cell damage by generating intracellular chemicals. Interestingly, oxidative stress is a recurring subject in research into what causes nerve cell death in Parkinson’s disease patients.

Another prominent research paper found that those exposed to paraquat from their teens to early adulthood had a 200 percent to 600 percent greater chance of getting Parkinson’s disease, depending on the number of years of paraquat exposure.

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What is Roundup?

The first glyphosate-based weed killer, Roundup, was created in 1974 and is being used today. Monsanto developed the chemical glyphosate as well as the Roundup formulation. Glyphosate is the world’s most extensively used herbicide. Even though glyphosate is offered under various brand names, Roundup remains the most popular. Bayer acquired Roundup from Monsanto in 2018.

Though everyone in the United States is exposed to Roundup due to its prevalence, it is the gardeners, landscapers, farmers, agricultural employees, applicators of herbicides, groundskeepers, and nearby homeowners who are more vulnerable to it. Exposure to the chemical is possible in three ways: inhalation through the nose and mouth, our food intake, and absorption through the skin.

Glyphosate has recently been identified as a possible human carcinogen, although many individuals have suspected it for a long time. In 2017, the World Health Organization (WHO) suggested recognizing this link. The WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) also determined that it is a genotoxic substance, which means that it harms DNA.

According to Jeffrey Smith, who authored “Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Food,” the effects of exposure to the product can be severe. The symptoms include eye irritation, burning eyes, impaired vision, skin rashes, burning or itchy skin, nausea, sore throat, asthma, trouble breathing, headache, lethargy, nose bleeds, and dizziness. Glyphosate and glyphosate-containing herbicides caused DNA harm in human cells and laboratory animals.

It gets worse, as glyphosate and glyphosate-containing herbicides have been a substantial contributing factor to lymphoma and other cancers. In Argentina, childhood cancer rates quadrupled within a decade of glyphosate and genetically modified plants being introduced to the nation. Increases in birth abnormalities and other diseases were also reported in the same research, which corresponded with the introduction of glyphosate. Furthermore, studies indicated that with higher exposure, malignant tumors appeared in several locations in laboratory animals, including the liver and kidneys.

A popular Roundup case is that of Dewayne Johnson, who was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma at the age of 42 after a terrible rash covered his body. He was given a large payment in August of 2018, with the jury concluding that the weed killer Roundup played a significant role in Johnson’s development of cancer. The jury’s decision was a step towards demanding herbicide manufacturers’ accountability for their neglect to inform the public of their products’ impact on humans.

Paraquat and Roundup Comparison

Weed killers paraquat and Roundup come in two distinct forms. But they are among the most commonly used herbicides in the US.

Gramoxone is made up mainly of paraquat, produced by the Swiss company Syngenta. Roundup, on the other hand, contains the active component glyphosate.

Several farmers use herbicides like Roundup and paraquat to keep weeds and undesirable plants at bay. Because it is less hazardous, glyphosate is frequently the primary choice for completing the task. Some weed species, however, develop resistance over time. If this happens, farmers will switch to the more potent and poisonous paraquat pesticide.

Both chemicals are hazardous to one’s health. According to the Pesticide Action Network (PAN), paraquat is 28 times more acutely dangerous than glyphosate. Paraquat is prohibited in more than 30 countries worldwide due to the adverse health effects linked to it.

Several years of rallies throughout the country calling for a ban on paraquat use have mostly failed. Worse, the United States is complicit. The EPA gave the pesticide an interim re-approval after finding no “clear relationship between paraquat exposure from labeled applications and unfavorable health outcomes such as Parkinson’s disease and cancer.”

Paraquat Lawsuits

Cancer and Parkinson’s disease are complex to combat. The occurrence of these diseases would have been prevented if products were extensively evaluated, and potentially dangerous herbicides were appropriately labeled.

A paraquat lawsuit is a product liability action. Plaintiffs pursue claims against a product’s producer for a defective design and fail to notify the public about the hazards of the goods under product liability law. Plaintiffs claim that paraquat’s producers, Syngenta and Chevron, were aware of the weed killer’s link to Parkinson’s disease but neglected to warn customers about the dangers.

Suppose you or a loved one develops Parkinson’s disease after being exposed to paraquat for an extended period. In that case, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the company that manufactured it. It’s worth mentioning that, depending on your area, there are deadlines for filing claims, so the sooner you contact a paraquat lawsuit lawyer, the better. Join a lawsuit to help you build a case and give you better odds for a settlement. In most circumstances, when misconduct is discovered in a lawsuit, it motivates more plaintiffs to sue the defendant and form new lawsuits. Contact us to review your case for free.

Join the Many is here to provide a free, no obligation case review to determine if you may be eligible for a settlement. If you are, we’ll carefully match you with the best attorney for your case. There are no legal fees unless you win compensation. Contact us today to get started.

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