Paraquat is an herbicide used on over 100 crops to kill weeds and grass. Due to its toxicity, paraquat is classified as a restricted use herbicide by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which requires commercial farmers to recertify their applicators every three years.
Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is a disorder of the central nervous system that affects movement, often including tremors. Symptoms develop and progress over years and also include slowness of movement (bradykinesia, limb rigidity, gait and balance problems).
Multiple studies and published research papers have established a link between Parkinson’s disease and exposure to paraquat, including by the EPA and in the American Journal of Epidemiology. A National Institute of Health report showed paraquat users developed Parkinson’s disease approximately 2.5 times more than non-users.
Paraquat is one of only two pesticides still in use in the United States that has been banned or is being phased out in over 30 countries, including England, the European Union, Brazil. Switzerland and China.
In October 2020, the EPA reapproved the use of paraquat in the United States.