Paraquat

  • Paraquat dichloride, a toxic chemical also known simply as “paraquat,” is one of the most widely used herbicides in the United States. 
  • Paraquat is generally sprayed for weed and grass control and is only used in agricultural and commercial settings. Licensed applicators of paraquat are those most at risk of exposure.
  • In the United States, paraquat is designated as “restricted use” only to be applied by people who are licensed applicators.
  • Ingesting as little as one-third of an ounce of paraquat can cause severe bodily damage, including painful death.
  • Because it is highly poisonous, in the U.S. paraquat is marketed with consumer safeguards:
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  • Paraquat from outside the U.S. may not have these safeguards.

Illustration by Alexandra Li

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