What Is Paraquat?

Paraquat dichloride is a chemical agent most commonly used as an herbicide agent on a range of more than 100 different types of crops. Paraquat is banned in 37 countries, but in the U.S., it has become a popular alternative to Monsantoʼs Roundup.

A lethal dose for an average person is around 2.5 grams and it manifests through Ingestion, skin-absorption, and inhalation. It is manufactured and distributed by Chevron and Syngenta, and it is often commonly known as Gramoxone, Ortho, and Ortho Plus.

Common Brands That Use Paraquat

Block of logos for Ortho, Syngenta, Chevron and Gramoxone

A Similar, prior claim regarding damages caused by Paraquat

In September 2017, a lawsuit was filed in St. Clair County, IL, naming Syngenta and Growmark as defendants. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of three farmers who were exposed to Paraquat and developed Parkinsonʼs Disease as a result.

On October 6, 2017, an amended complaint was filed adding more plaintiffʼs and naming Chevron Chemical as another defendant with claims that they ʻacted in concertʼ with Syngenta.

In part, the class action lawsuit claims that common application methods result in spills, splashes, leaks, and spray driIs, all of which expose users to the dangerous neurotoxin and resulted in the development of Parkinsonʼs Disease. Furthermore, because Paraquat was marketed as a ʻsafeʼ and ʻeffectiveʼ product for decades, users had no way of knowing the danger they were in.

The lawyers associated with this website are not associated with the claims stated above.

Who is Exposed & How

Licensed applicators
Restricted Use Pesticides (RUPs) – Only licensed applicators can purchase and use paraquat.

Farm & agricultural workers
Mixing, loading and applying Paraquat during and after application.

Residents and neighbors
Living near farms where Paraquat is applied.*

*Within 1,600 feet of a home resulted in a heightened Parkinson’s disease risk of 75% Source: 2009 research published in the American Journal of Epidemiology

Health Risks Associated With Paraquat

Research attributes exposure to increased risk of developing:

  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Kidney damage – End stage renal disease (Stage 5)
  • Impaired lung function
  • Damaged immune systems
  • Reproductive dangers in both men and women

Paraquat and Parkinson’s

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that causes impaired movement and damages other brain function. A 2011 National Institutes of Health (NIH) study found that people who used Paraquat were approximately two and a half times more likely to develop Parkinson’s disease.

A study conducted in 2012 found that some individuals who used Paraquat were nearly 11 times more likely to develop Parkinson’s Disease than those who don’t. In a report from 2016, the EPA confirmed its belief that Paraquat is highly toxic to humans through all manner of exposure. In 2017, the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research urged the EPA to prohibit the use of Paraquat in this country.

Geographic Footprint

The following states have the overall highest usage of Paraquat, from 1992 to 2016.

Increase in Paraquat Usage

The following crops have the overall highest Paraquat application, from 1992 to 2017.

Learn more about the research on our helpful resources page.