Paraquat - The link to Parkinsons

Paraquat - The link to Parkinsons

Paraquat is a chemical that is classified as "restricted use." Restricted means that you need a licence to procure and apply, which is strange considering it is an herbicide used to control weeds on a farm.

Anyone who owns a farm or has been to one knows that weeds can be a problem and need to be kept in check. Among the options, paraquat became one option when it was first made in 1961.

Since then, over 50 countries have banned it, and many more have restricted its use. Let us find out why.
Among the many problems it can cause, it has been linked to Parkinson's.

If the chemical comes into direct contact with your mouth or stomach lining, it can cause severe damage.

Ingestion of small amounts can result in heart failure, kidney failure, liver failure, and scarring of the lungs.

If, by accident, you end up overdosing, it can even result in a coma and seizures.

You could argue that you do not work on farms, and therefore the risk of exposure is small.

Unfortunately, consumers may be exposed to paraquats through their food.

Sometimes, to speed up a crop being made available, farms use materials as a desiccant.

A desiccant is a material used to dry something. In this case, the farm is killing immature sprouts and weeds to make it easier to harvest the crop.

Paraquat is one of the materials that helps with this. In fact, in some cases, paraquat has also been found in milk.

But let us go back to Parkinson's. People with a history of Parkinson's disease in their family have been shown to have specific gene types that make them more susceptible.

Such people have a greater than normal risk of paraquat causing the onset of the disease.

So, if members of your family have a history, check your food more carefully for a possible leak of this chemical into your "daily bread."

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