More glyphosate is used for farming operations in Illinois than in any other American state. According to U.S. Geological Survey data, more than 24 million pounds of the herbicide were used in crop production throughout Illinois in 2016.
Illinois is one of the leading agricultural states in the nation, with crop sales generating more than $19 billion per year and accounting for employment of about 1 million Illinois residents.
That’s why in many places around the state, concern is growing about the potential harm caused by exposure to glyphosate, also known by the brand name Roundup. With thousands of roundup lawsuits across the country alleging that Roundup and glyphosate cause cancer, those exposed to the weed killer in Illinois should be aware of the risks and their rights.
Glyphosate Use in Illinois
The use of glyphosate in Illinois rose by an astonishing 3,800 percent between 1992 and 2016, according to the most recent information reported by the federal government. Glyphosate use hit its peak in Illinois in 2013, but the numbers have inched up since a slight drop between 2013 and 2014.
The state is the nation’s biggest producer of soybeans and second-biggest producer of corn, and Illinois has more than 26 million acres of farmland throughout the state. Which crops received the most glyphosate in 2016 in Illinois?
- Corn: 42%
- Soybeans: 57%
- All other crops: 1%
Well over half the glyphosate used in Illinois in 2016 was sprayed on soybean crops, which helps explain the state’s position as the nation’s biggest soybean producer. Soybean production has increased in the state in recent years, rising nearly 12 percent between 2014 and 2017. The state’s other major glyphosate recipient, corn, has seen production drop slightly in recent years, falling by about 6 percent between 2014 and 2017.
While there are farming operations throughout the state, some regions are much more fertile than others. The state’s northwest region, which includes the city of Rockford, is the largest producer of corn in the state, while east-southeast region, which includes the travel-hub city of Effingham, produces the most soybeans in the state.
Around 1 million Illinois residents are employed directly in farming or food production. With so much glyphosate being used throughout the state, that means many of those 1 million have probably received direct exposure to Roundup and glyphosate through inhalation or skin contact. But those involved directly in farming aren’t the only ones who will have come into contact with glyphosate.
While it’s the most popular weed killer used in farming today, Roundup is also a hugely popular product for use in residential lawns to control weeds. Many public spaces also see glyphosate used for weed control, such as parks, sports fields and even schools.
Several efforts are underway in Illinois to ban the use of Roundup in public spaces. As recently as 2017, residents of Naperville were petitioning the city to permanently prevent the parks department from using Roundup to control weeds in public parks throughout the city, and Chicago has a similar ban on the books.
The following graph shows the amount of glyphosate applied countrywide. The state of Illinois clearly is impacted by it’s agricultural application.
Illinois Residents at Risk
Those who work directly in farming and food production operations, as well as people who work as landscapers, professional gardeners or groundskeepers, are the most likely to come into direct contact with glyphosate, but the widespread use of the substance has created a potential public health crisis that could affect all of us.
Several rounds of recent testing has shown glyphosate residue present in orange juice, breakfast cereals, snack bars, granola and many more foods. Because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration did not have a way to test for glyphosate residue in food until 2016, we may never really know how many people in Illinois were exposed to the weed killer through the food supply.
Roundup Cancer Lawsuits in Illinois
A 2018 jury determined that a California man who developed terminal non-Hodgkin lymphoma got sick because of his exposure to Roundup. That jury issued a $289 million decision against Roundup’s manufacturer, Monsanto, and Monsanto’s parent company, Bayer AG. While that was later reduced to $78 million as part of an agreement, the jury determined that not only had the man gotten cancer by being exposed to Roundup but that Monsanto had concealed for years the risks associated with Roundup.
As of March 2019, Bayer is facing more than 9,000 cases alleging that Roundup causes cancer and other serious illnesses, including a new case that’s being heard in California, brought by another groundskeeper who says he got cancer from Roundup.
Illinois residents who worked in agriculture or food production and were regularly exposed to Roundup or glyphosate should know the dangers of the product and what their rights are if they later became seriously ill.
If you or a loved one were exposed to Roundup or glyphosate and later developed a serious illness, your time to act may be limited by Illinois state law. The state’s statutes allows consumers to file a product liability lawsuit no later than two years in the case of personal injury. This means that from the date of diagnosis and determination that Roundup caused cancer or another serious illness, an individual has only two years to begin legal proceedings.
The new cases being filed against Monsanto and Bayer are not a class action, which means that consumers may receive more favorable settlements than in the event of a class action, but it also means that consulting a qualified Illinois attorney is the best way to ensure that your claims will be heard and that you will be able to seek damages.
Roundup and Its Effect on Human Health
Several groups have determined that Roundup and glyphosate are unsafe for humans. The state of California lists the compound as a carcinogen, and the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer says glyphosate probably causes cancer. Until 1991, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency listed glyphosate as a probable carcinogen.
In addition to those determinations, several medical studies and advanced analyses of disease rates and glyphosate use have linked Roundup and glyphosate to cancer and other serious illnesses and conditions that affect thousands throughout Illinois.
Conditions that have been linked through direct medical study or research analysis include:
- Celiac disease
- Crohn’s disease
- Death of liver cells
- Autism spectrum disorder
- Breast cancer
- Childhood brain cancer
- Parkinson’s disease
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Thyroid cancer
How to File an Illinois Roundup Lawsuit
Illinois residents who came into regular contact with Roundup or glyphosate and later became seriously ill should consult with an Illinois attorney qualified to help you weigh your legal options.
The pending and underway lawsuits against the makers of Roundup are not a class action, which means that each individual case will be considered and tried on its merits. This is overall good news for consumers, but it also means that those who have legitimate claims against the company have limited time to initiate legal proceedings because of Illinois state law.
A qualified Illinois attorney can help you determine if you have a strong case and how best to proceed.
Illinois Roundup Cancer Lawsuit Lawyers & Attorneys
Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard
- Location: Chicago, Illinois
- Website: https://www.salvilaw.com/product-liability-lawyers/dangers-roundup-herbicide/
- Phone number: 877-568-9745
Pintas & Mullins
- Location: Chicago, Illinois
- Website: https://www.pintas.com/defective-medical-devices-products/roundup-weed-killer
- Phone number: 800-794-0444
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