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Does Paraquat Cause Kidney Disease?

Riddle Brantley LLP   |  January 10, 2022   |  

Paraquat is an herbicide that has been used to rid everything from home gardens to commercial farms of weeds since the 1960s. However, this popular weed killer has recently been linked to an increased risk for a wide variety of health problems. Hundreds of lawsuits have been filed alleging that Paraquat exposure caused Parkinson’s disease. A recent lawsuit alleges that Paraquat may also be linked to kidney disease. So, of course, many consumers are now asking whether Paraquat causes kidney disease after long-term exposure.

Does Paraquat Cause Kidney Disease?

Does Paraquat Cause Kidney DiseasePresently, there are no studies or medical data linking Paraquat to long-term kidney disease. However, the kidney is the main organ that filters toxins like Paraquat from the body. In cases of acute Paraquat exposure through ingestion, kidney failure is a common symptom. Based on this information, it seems relatively reasonable to believe that paraquat exposure may cause kidney disease. However, more research is needed to further investigation the potential connection between paraquat and kidney disease.

Because of its obvious effects on the kidney during acute, high-dose exposure, some paraquat lawsuits are alleging that there is likely a link between long-term Paraquat exposure and kidney disease. Our law firm is actively investigating these claims, as well.

What is Paraquat?

Paraquat is an herbicide that is known to be toxic to humans. However, due to its effectiveness, it has been used in commercial and residential agriculture across the globe since its development. It even had a boost in popularity after exposure to its competitor Roundup was linked to the development of certain cancers.

Paraquat is sold under several brand names, including:

    • Paraquat
    • Blanco
    • Bonfire Herbicide
    • Devour
    • Firestorm
    • Gramaxone
    • Helmquat
    • Para-SHOT
    • Parazone
    • Quik-Quat

What are the Risks Associated with Paraquat Exposure?

As we mentioned before, Paraquat is toxic to humans. Both acute and long-term exposure can cause a range of health issues. Parkinson’s disease has been linked to paraquat exposure, and there have been allegations made that paraquat causes kidney disease.

Acute, high-dose exposure to Paraquat through ingestion or inhalation can cause:

  • Pain and swelling of the mouth and throat
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Heart failure
  • Kidney failure
  • Lung failure
  • Lung scarring
  • Confusion
  • Coma
  • Muscle weakness
  • Seizures

Long-term exposure to Paraquat through low-dose inhalation or contact with the skin may not manifest in these extreme symptoms but may lead to chronic health conditions later in life, such as neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s disease.

A study by the University of Guelph found that “low-level exposure to the herbicide (paraquat)… disrupts cells in a way that mimics the effects of mutations known to cause Parkinson’s disease.”

The National Institute of Health also conducted a study that found that Paraquat’s chemical structure was very similar to the active metabolite MPTP in the body. MPTP is a neurotoxicant that causes neurodegeneration at above-average levels of exposure.

This has further convinced researchers of a possible link between Paraquat exposure and Parkinson’s disease later in life.

Who May Be Exposed to Paraquat?

According to the CDC, there are several methods by which someone can be exposed to Paraquat:

  • If Paraquat does not contain safeguard additives (dyes or substances to induce vomiting), it is clear and relatively odorless and can contaminate food, water, or other beverages without being detected.
  • Paraquat can be absorbed through the skin.
  • Paraquat can be inhaled.

Several studies have found that those most at risk for Paraquat exposure leading to long-term health effects are:

  • Farmers
  • People exposed to farm animals
  • People who live on farms
  • People with known exposure to pesticides
  • People who drink well water
  • People who live in a rural area

Additionally, “overspray” and “agricultural drift” can lead to Paraquat exposure in people who do not necessarily work or live in an agricultural setting, which widens the potential for Paraquat exposure beyond agricultural workers. Nearby property owners and rural schoolchildren may be at especially high risk.

Paraquat Lawsuits for Kidney Disease

Currently, there has been a lawsuit filed in the Southern District of Illinois against Syngenta and Chevron, two of the major manufacturers of Paraquat. This lawsuit alleges that long-term exposure to Paraquat led to the claimant’s kidney disease and other health issues.

Neither manufacturer has yet issued a statement in response to this lawsuit, but they have previously defended other lawsuits that claim the manufacturers have downplayed the risks associated with Paraquat exposure and not put adequate warnings and safeguards in place to prevent Paraquat poisoning long-term.

Do You Qualify for a Paraquat Lawsuit?

Riddle & Brantley is actively investigating claims that paraquat causes Parkinson’s disease and we would love to help you if we can. If you’ve been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease after exposure to paraquat herbicide, call 1-800-525-7111 for a free consultation. There are no upfront costs and we don’t get paid unless you do. Our experienced Paraquat lawsuit attorneys would love to help however we can. Please call 1-800-525-7111 or complete the fast and easy form below for a free, no-obligation consultation.