Following the lead by US mass-tort firms, Canadian based law firms are also perusing paraquat lawsuits across all provinces.
A proposed class action lawsuit is currently underway against the maker Syngenta Canada Inc. and Syngenta International AG. Paraquat is still being sold and used in Canada with special requirements for its use.
Lawyers are looking at the link of developing Parkinson’s disease indicated by some studies from exposure to paraquat. These studies, source links provided at the bottom of this article, indicates that Paraquat kills cells via a process called oxidative stress, however it is currently unknown how this process happens.
The studies examined genes involved in part of the mechanism paraquat uses to produce oxidants; it’s these oxidants that cause stress in cells. The researchers focused on a region of the brain known as the substantia nigra pars compacta because this region may be more at risk for oxidative stress.
“Certain people with genetic mutations could have high levels of this gene. They would be very susceptible to paraquat poisoning while working on a farm, for example” quoted Navdeep Chandel, PhD.
“We thought it was a metabolic protein that paraquat was activating to generate oxidants,” Chandel said. “So we localized our work to the 3,000 genes that encode for metabolic proteins, rather than the 18,000 to 20,000 genes human cells have in total.”
Paraquat is still being used in Canada, even though the Government of Canada studied the effects and saturation of paraquat in drinking water. Currently paraquat is NOT banned in Canada.
It was also studied by the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) they initiated a special review of pest control products containing paraquat based on a prohibition by the European Union (EU) in 2007 for health and environmental reasons.
The PMRA has evaluated the aspects of concern that prompted the special review of paraquat. The aspects of concern are relevant to human health and the environment, and were identified as:
- Potential risk of health effects as a result of accidental exposure in occupational settings
- Potential risk to workers mixing, loading and applying paraquat using backpack equipment
- Persistence in soil and sediment
- Potential effects to sediment dwelling organisms
- Potential reproductive risk to birds and potential risk to mammals
As in the US paraquat is a highly regulated herbicide, and is registered in Canada for the control of grasses and broadleaf weeds in established crops (for example fruit crops, filbert and hazelnuts, and vegetables) or as a pre-emergent treatment (for example potatoes and field crops) at the maximum application rate of 1.1 kg paraquat as dichloride/hectare. Paraquat can be applied alone or tank-mixed with other herbicides using groundboom equipment and backpack sprayer.
Paraquat Incident Reports in Canada.
In August 2015 incident reports submitted to the PRMA showed 10 incidents in Canada were from dermal and/or inhalation exposures from mixing/loading and spraying operations, spill, or leakage, as well as accidental ingestion of paraquat. Reported effects were of serious nature in most cases, including permanent skin damage, oral and esophageal ulcerations, and 2nd and 3rd degree chemical burns. Minor to moderate eye irritations were also reported. Accidental ingestion resulted in life threatening or fatal outcomes. In almost all cases of accidental ingestion, the product was ingested after being put into a beverage container despite the warning on the current end-use product label to never transfer the product to another container; two cases were unknown. Two respiratory incidents occurred while spraying the product and included minor to severe respiratory effects (for example shortness of breath, tachypnea, and pleural effusion).
The review of incident reports related to human health identified the following main health hazards:
- Corrosive nature of paraquat resulting in severe skin and eye effects, and
- Accidental ingestion of paraquat from unmarked containers resulting in life-threatening or fatal outcomes.
Special Precautionary Labeling for Paraquat in Canada.
From the Canada.ca health services website has this information:
“Currently, the Gramoxone Liquid Herbicide label includes several precautionary label warnings and requires workers to use personal protective equipment to minimize dermal and ocular exposure. For example, the label includes hazard label statements “Skin Irritant and Corrosive to Eyes” and “Harmful if absorbed through skin” and “DO NOT get on skin or clothing”. Mixers/loaders are instructed to wear a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, shoes with socks, chemical resistant gloves, and a chemical resistant apron. Workers using backpack sprayers are also instructed to wear coveralls over a long-sleeved shirt and long pants.
The label also directs the user to remove contaminated clothing as soon as possible. Furthermore, the label requires applicators, mixers/loaders and other users to wear protective eyewear (such as goggles and/or face shield) and recommends a consultation with an eye specialist after eye splashes. However, based on the review of the submitted incident reports, additional risk reduction measures (for example additional personal protective equipment (PPE), additional warning statements and treatment advice) are proposed to further minimize the potential for dermal exposure (see Section 5.0).”
How do I join the Paraquat Lawsuit in Canada? Is there a Timeline for Filing?
For those living in Canada, if you were diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and have been using any paraquat product, you may be entitled to a cash payout from the victim’s settlements funds.
The basis for this paraquat lawsuit for Canada is the manufacturers failure to warn consumers on the dangers of exposure to paraquat.
Were you diagnosed with Parkinson's following regular herbicide usage?
Call the experienced paraquat lawyers & attorneys at Schmidt National Law Group today to see if you qualify for the paraquat lawsuit by either using the secure form on this page or by calling us direct: 1-800-631-5656. We also have a Paraquat Lawsuit Settlements Claim Form here.
Paraquat Lawsuit Canada page updated on August 31, 2021.