New Requirements for Users of Paraquat Herbicide

Paraquat dichloride is the active ingredient in products such as Gramoxone®, Devour®, Cyclone®, and Quik-Quat®. Earlier this year the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the following changes to paraquat requirements:

  1. Additional labeling requirements and the distribution of supplemental warning materials at the point-of-purchase are now required and highlight the toxicity and risks associated with paraquat products.
  2. Paraquat use is now restricted to certified applicators only. No longer can an uncertified handler use paraquat, even under the direct supervision of a certified applicator.
  3. Specialized, approved paraquat training is now required for anyone who will mix, load, apply, or handle paraquat.
  4. New, closed-system packaging will be used to prevent the transfer or removal of paraquat into unapproved containers or equipment.

These changes were sparked by unnecessary deaths of individuals who consumed paraquat which had been illegally poured into drink containers. Three of these deaths were children. Paraquat is highly toxic. Please, make no mistake about it, one sip of concentrated paraquat is nearly always fatal.

The EPA-approved paraquat training consists of a 30 minute video followed by a 15 question quiz. All 15 questions of the quiz must be answered correctly to pass. However, the quiz can be taken as many times as necessary to pass with no required waiting time before reattempting. The training is good for three years. For more information and a link to the EPA-approved paraquat training, please visit the EPA website here: https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-worker-safety/paraquat-dichloride-training-certified-applicators

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