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Parkinson’s And Chemical Exposure

Lawsuits Allege Parkinsons Disease Caused By Chemical Exposure

Does Paraquat Exposure Cause Parkinson’s Disease?

The emerging evidence showing that exposure to certain chemicals can lead to Parkinsons disease is at the center of 2 major class action lawsuits that are currently ongoing.

Camp Lejeune Parkinsons Disease Lawsuits

Camp Lejeune is a military base in North Carolina. For decades, the water supply at Lejeune was contaminated with TCE and other solvents. Public health studies were done to examine the impact that this contaminated water had on the health of Lejeune residents and employees.

In 2017, the Veterans Administration identified a list of diseases and health conditions that could be presumptively linked to the contaminated water at Camp Lejeune. One of the presumptive Camp Lejeune diseases on this list was Parkinsons disease.

In August 2022, Congress passed a new law that gave victims of the Camp Lejeune water contamination the ability to bring civil lawsuits and seek compensation for their injuries. Thousands of former Camp Lejeune residents and employees who were subsequently diagnosed with Parkinsons disease are now bringing Camp Lejeune Parkinsons disease lawsuits under the new law. Since Parkinsons was one of the diseases that the VA listed as presumptively connected to Camp Lejeune, causation in these cases will be simple to prove.

Paraquat Parkinsons Disease Lawsuits

Contact Us About a Parkinsons Disease Lawsuit

Environmental Factors In Parkinsons Disease

Here are environmental factors that may play a role in the development of Parkinsons disease:

Although environmental exposure to these and other toxins is of continued research interest, its hard to determine if any one substance is a culprit. Most often, individual cases of Parkinsons disease result from a complex interplay between genetics and environmental and other factors.

Disabilities Secondary To Parkinsons Disease

While most people tend to think of Parkinsons disorder as a neurological movement disorder, and it most certainly is, many people do not realize that other systems in the body can also be severely affected by Parkinsons. Often, the same chemical exposure can also cause other disorders, such as ischemic heart disease. However, often it is the Parkinsons itself, or the medication used to treat it that is the causal factor in the development of a new disorder. Whether a veterans Parkinsons was caused by exposure to the TCDD in agent orange, pesticides, trichloroethylene, or its origins are unknown, Parkinsons cause many secondary health effects and disabilities.

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Paraquat Exposure Alert: Paraquat Linked To Parkinsons Diseaseagricultural Workers Could Be Entitled To Compensation

Agricultural workers who were exposed to the herbicide paraquat and have been diagnosed with Parkinsons disease may have a claim for financial compensation.

With lawsuits against paraquat manufacturers already filed in multiple states, attorneys are now investigating paraquat lawsuit cases at no charge.

A paraquat toxic exposure lawsuit may be your only chance to receive the compensation you need to cover the costs of treating Parkinsons disease.

Exposure To Pesticides And Solvents Increases Parkinsons Disease Risk

Pesticides are linked to Parkinson

The downside to bug-free fruit may be an increased risk of developing Parkinsons disease.

Weeds and insects arent necessarily desirable when it comes to our produce and gardenshave you ever chomped down on an apple only to find a worm? But the chemicals used to kill pests in fields and planters may be harming your health as well. After analyzing 104 studies, researchers from the University Hospital San Matteo Foundation in Pavia, Italy, found that exposure to pesticides targeting weeds and insects in farming was associated with a 33 to 80 percent increase in the risk of developing Parkinsons disease.

The researchers decided to take a closer look at the impact of pesticides, which are designed to kill things like insects and weeds but not to endanger human consumers or workers, when they noticed more and more patients reporting pesticide exposure. In every day clinical practice we frequently see patients reporting such exposure. Accordingly, it appears quite obvious to look at these exposures as risk factors, said study author Emanuele Cereda, MD, Ph.D., in an interview with Healthline.

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Health Effects Of Tce

The effects of TCE largely depend on two factors: the method and length of exposure. You can be exposed to TCE in one of the following ways:

  • Inhalation: The most common form of exposure, inhalation of TCE affects the central nervous system, and results in symptoms like dizziness, headaches, confusion, euphoria, facial numbness, and weakness.
  • Ingestion: This most likely occurs from drinking from a contaminated water supply, if TCE has infiltrated ground water. This may cause damage to your digestive organs, including
  • Physical contact: While possible, this is least likely to do the lasting damage as inhalation or ingestion. Physical contact to your skin may result in burning, dryness, or rash, while eye contact may result in burning, tearing, or problems with your eyesight.

Moderate exposure to TCE may result in headaches, dizziness, facial numbness, confusion, or sleepiness. High TCE exposure has also been linked to conditions in the kidney and liver and may affect the rhythm of your heartbeat.

The most concerns research links human exposure to TCE to certain cancers, particularly in the kidney, liver, cervix, and lymphatic system. Animal studies have also shown a prevalence of lung, liver, kidney, and testicular tumors and lymphoma.

Presumptive Conditions based on Camp Lejeune Exposure

What Are The Causes

Drug-induced parkinsonism is caused by medications that reduce dopamine levels in the brain. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that works to control bodily movements.

Dopamine is also part of the brains reward system. It helps you feel pleasure and enjoyment, and it supports your ability to learn and focus.

Medications that bind to and block dopamine receptors are called dopamine antagonists. These medications arent used to treat Parkinsons disease. Rather, theyre used to treat other conditions that might seriously impact your quality of life.

If your doctor has prescribed a medication that causes unwanted side effects, you may have options. You may also decide that the side effects are worth it if the medication effectively treats your condition.

Some medications that cause drug-induced parkinsonism include:

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What Is Agent Orange

Typically associated because of its orange label on its container, agent orange is one of a number of herbicides used during the Vietnam War to kill the overgrowth of the jungle in Vietnam that provided cover and concealment for the enemy.

The aerial spraying campaign was carried out using various aircraft which would lay down a thick blanket of the chemical that would stick to everything it came in contact with including military uniforms and equipment. The main toxic chemical Dioxin, which is known to be associated with various cancers and birth defects, is also linked to other diseases as well. U.S. military bases where these chemical agents were stored remain contaminated to this day.The U.S. Government stopped spraying agent orange in 1970, but it still contaminates soil today.

In 2010, after decades of intense advocacy by the former Parkinsons Action Network, Congress passed legislation that directed the VA to treat those who were linked to exposure during the Vietnam Era and were later diagnosed with PD. The VA created a criteria and treatment protocol for assisting veterans who believe they were exposed and later developed PD, including monetary settlements.

Measures Of Pesticide Exposure

Paraquat Herbicide Exposure and Parkinson’s Disease

In order to move beyond a broad assessment of direct pesticide application, the recalled pesticide products were classified into specific functional types and chemical classes. The chemical or trade name of each pesticide product was input into the Pesticide Action Network pesticides database to obtain its primary function and the chemical class of the main active ingredient. This database has been used for classification in other pesticide studies . For each functional type and chemical class, individuals were classified as ever exposed to the relevant class or type, ever exposed to any other pesticide, and never exposed to any pesticide.

In the residential history section of the environmental risk factor questionnaire, individuals were asked to “list the cities, towns, or communities in which you have lived for the majority of each year from childhood to now.” For each location, individuals were then questioned on their years of residence, whether they lived on or next to a farm, whether they drank well-water, and if so, the years of drinking well-water. Individuals who reported drinking well-water at any residence prior to their reference age were classified as ever exposed to well-water consumption. Cumulative duration was then determined and categorized into tertiles of exposure and a referent level of never being exposed.

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Pesticides Deplete Neurons Of Energy

It was found that the neurons that had been exposed to the chemicals had faulty mitochondria.

Mitochondria, also known as the powerhouses of the cell, are the organelles inside a cell that turn sugar, fats, and proteins into the energy our body needs to survive and function.

But this study demonstrated that the mitochondria inside the dopamine neurons affected by pesticides could not move freely as they normally would. This sucked the energy out of the neurons.

Importantly, the levels of chemicals used to impair these neurons were below the ones deemed lowest observed adverse effect level by the United States Environmental Protection Agency .

Prof. Ryan says that this means we should re-evaluate EPAs guidelines for these two pesticides.

This study shows that everyone is not equal, and these safety standards need to be updated in order to protect those who are more susceptible and may not even know it, he adds.

People with a predisposition for Parkinsons disease are more affected by these low-level exposures to agrochemicals and therefore more likely to develop the disease.

Prof. Scott Ryan

This is one of the reasons, he concludes, why some people living near agricultural areas are at a higher risk.

What Causes Parkinsons Disease

The exact cause of Parkinsons disease is not fully understood. Most scientists currently believe that PD is triggered by a complex combination of genetics and/or environmental factors. For a long time, genetics was believed to be the more significant factor. However, recent research has found that only around 15% of Parkinsons disease cases can be definitively linked back to genetics.

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Exposure To Any Pesticide

There was a weak inverse association of prevalent PD with ever use of any pesticide and with personally mixing or applying pesticides . This relation was apparent only after adjustment for type of participant but was seen in both groups . In contrast, there was a positive association of incident PD with ever use of pesticides and with personally mixing pesticides, and there was a stronger association for those who personally applied pesticides more than half the time . Cumulative lifetime days of use was associated with a dose-related increase in incident PD but not prevalent PD .

Pesticide use among self-reported Parkinson’s disease cases and controls identified in the Agricultural Health Study at enrollment in 19931997 or at follow-up in 19992003


For prevalent PD, insufficient data were available to evaluate the temporal relation of pesticide exposure to disease. Among incident PD cases, 64 of 78 reported an age of diagnosis consistent with diagnosis after enrollment the remaining 14 did not. Twelve of the latter had denied PD at enrollment, while the other two had missing data. Excluding these 14 cases did not substantively change results .

What Herbicide Is Linked To Parkinsons


Parkinsons disease is caused by the loss of dopamine-releasing nerve cells in the part of the brain called substantia nigra. Dopamine helps coordinate movement in the body.

So when these nerve cells are impaired, our motor function is affected. Thats when hallmark Parkinsons disease symptoms including difficulty balancing, tremors, and slowed movement start to set in.

But aside from biological and genetic factors, research has shown that environmental exposure to toxicants such as pesticides, pollutants, and herbicides may also trigger Parkinsons disease.

In fact, aside from trichloroethylene, several environmental factors have also been associated with the development of the disease.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , the popular herbicide known as Paraquat is a highly toxic substance which can put people at risk for severe poisoning in case of exposure.

Research has also suggested that people exposed to this herbicide may develop Parkinsons disease. In fact, the first Paraquat lawsuit back in 2017 was filed in behalf of agricultural workers and farmers who subsequently developed Parkinsons after occupational exposure to the substance.

The potentially harmful herbicide has since been banned in more than 50 countries, including China, Thailand, the United Kingdom, and other European Union nations. However, to this day, it is still widely used by farmers as a weed killer in the United States.

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Has Anything Changed Over Time

Since most of the studies concerning PD and rural living were done decades ago, a recent study sought to revisit this issue since farming life has changed in recent times. Pesticide use is reduced, there has been a large migration from rural to urban areas, and there is less dependence on well water in rural communities.

The new study was conducted in Finland and looked at the incidence of PD in rural versus urban areas. Interestingly, rural living remained a risk factor for PD. It is possible that current diagnoses of PD continue to reflect the environmental exposures of decades ago, and that risk reduction in rural areas due to decreased pesticide use and other changes in farming life may show more benefits in the future. However, the study suggests that we may not yet fully understand how the rural environment affects Parkinsons risk.

Parkinsons Disease And Traumatic Brain Injuries

Additionally, a 2018 study published in Neurology, demonstrated an increased risk of Parkinsons disease and parkinson like symptoms from traumatic brain injuries the report used U.S. military and VAs databases to identify vets with TBIs to study.

Below, well get into certain environmental factors, such as occupational exposure to chemicals, that have been linked to Parkinsons.

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What Is Parkinsons Disease

Parkinsons disease is a neurodegenerative disorder in which nerve cells in a part of the brain called the substantia nigra dont produce enough of the neurotransmitter dopamine, according to the Parkinsons Foundation. Not having enough dopamine is what causes the movement symptoms that distinguish Parkinsons disease, including tremors, limb rigidity, and gait problems.

Although it is a movement disorder, Parkinsons disease can bring about non-movement symptoms that include cognitive impairment, depression, sleep disorders, and constipation, according to the Parkinsons Foundation.

Parkinsons disease is a progressive disorder. This means the disease gets worse over time. Although Parkinsons disease is incurable, its symptoms are treatable. Data from some clinical research trials suggest that there is hope to slow Parkinsons disease progression through early intervention, although theres not enough data to conclusively demonstrate that this is possible, according to The American Journal of Managed Care.

Effects Of Parkinsons Disease On The Body Include:

Paraquat Linked to Parkinson’s Disease
  • Continue regular daily activities to help maintain mobility.
  • Lead as normal a life as possible, not restricting activities that are still possible.
  • Establish a regular exercise program consisting of stretching and weight bearing.
  • Walking 30 minutes each day can be a realistic goal.
  • Seek advice from a rehabilitation specialist as soon as possible for help determining an exercise level, overcoming problems with balance and safety, difficulties with speech, or for fatigue and stress management.
  • Adaptive training and use of quad-canes or straight canes, and other mechanical aids help with balance problems.
  • Try to avoid unnecessary stress in your life. Leading a healthy life, eating regularly, sleeping regularly, and exercising will help keep you fit both mentally and physically.
  • All symptoms of Parkinsons disease get worse under stress.
  • Ask the doctor about regulating treatments so that treatments are more effective during peak work conditions.

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Neurotoxicity Of Pq Mptp And Other Dopamine Congeners

Several studies suggest that systemic administration of PQ can cause neuronal damage and a parkinsonian-like syndrome in experimental animals . The linking mechanism between PQ exposure and Parkinsons disease is suggested by the alleged chemical similarity between this compound and others known to cause a parkinsonian syndrome, particularly MPTP. MPTP can reproduce most of the biochemical, neuropathological and clinical characteristics of human parkinsonism in both human and non-human primates, with the notable exception of Lewy body formation. MPTP toxicity has been studied in cell systems in mice and in non-human primates. In rats, dopaminergic neurodegeneration is observed at high doses, whereas mice have become the most commonly used species for MPTP studies as they develop a dopaminergic degeneration that may be related to human parkinsonism.

Figure 1

Mechanisms of PQ and MPTP toxicity. PQ can cause an oxidative stress either intracellularly by redox cycling or by activation at cell surfaces by the NADPH oxidase . Mitochondria can be affected indirectly or directly by PQ. In neurons the effects of PQ are believed to be primarily cytosolic. MPTP is converted to its toxic metabolite MPP+ and then sequestered through the dopamine transporter in dopaminergic neurons in which it primarily affects complex I, promoting oxidative stress and mitochondrial damage

It is apparent from this analysis that the initial targets and toxicity mechanisms of PQ and MPP+ differ .

Environmental Causes Of Parkinsons Disease

The latest scientific research on the causes of Parkinsons disease indicates that long-term environmental exposure to certain chemicals may actually be a primary contributing factor. Environmental exposure works in combination with genetics as there are certain people who are genetically predisposed to develop PD from exposure to toxic chemicals in their environment.

Ongoing research on the link between chemical exposure and Parkinsons disease has begun to definitively identify a handful of specific chemicals that appear to be associated with PD. The two chemicals with the strongest evidence of a causal link to Parkinsons are chlorinated solvents, and pesticides and herbicides.

Chlorinated Solvents and Parkinsons Disease

There is strong evidence showing that prolonged exposure to chemicals known as chlorinated solvents can lead to PD. The most common type of chlorinated solvent linked to Parkinsons is trichloroethylene . TCE is a chemical solvent that is widely used by many different industries. TCE is used in commercial dry cleaning, and it is a common metal cleaner and solvent used on heavy machinery.

Pesticides and Herbicides Cause Parkinsons Disease

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