Gateway on Pesticide Hazards and Safe Pest Management
Beyond Pesticides offers resources below to evaluate the health and ecological effects of specific chemical exposure from ACTIVE INGREDIENTS in pesticide products, as well as regulatory information and supporting scientific documents. Because various pesticide products can contain more than one active ingredient, it is important to READ the LABEL to determine chemical components.
With 192 different active ingredients and counting, it is essential to establish the connection between the use of these chemicals and their respective hazards.
View the step-by-step guide on how to search for the active ingredient(s) in pesticide products below:
- Go to U.S. EPA's Pesticide Product and Label System and enter the product name. The generic product name may vary.
- After searching, click on the chemical ingredients tab or the link for the most recent label to find Active Ingredients.
Chemical List Label List
If one selects the chemical ingredients tab, skip to Step 4 . If not, proceed to step number 3
- To find the active ingredient(s) on the label, search for the page in the document containing the date of registration. Usually, the active ingredients section occurs within the first few pages of the label document.
- Return to the Beyond Pesticides Gateway and search for the active ingredient name in the yellow box to the right or from the list below.
- Fact Sheet: Paraquat.pdf
- Product Names:
- Chemical Class: Quaternary nitrogen herbicide
- Uses: Preplant or preemergence weed control on vegetables, grains, cotton, grasses, sugar cane, peanuts, potatoes, and tree plantation areas; postemergence around fruit crops, vegetables, trees, vines, grains, soybeans, and sugar cane; during the dormant season on clover and other legumes; as a desiccant or harvest aid on cotton, dry beans, soybeans, potatoes, sunflowers, and sugar cane; and as a post harvest desiccant on staked tomatoes; applied to pine trees to induce resin soaking. non-crop areas include public airports, electric transformer stations and around commercial buildings.
- Alternatives: Organic agriculture, Least-toxic weed control
- Beyond Pesticides rating: Toxic
Health and Environmental Effects
- Cancer: Likely (86)
- Endocrine Disruption: Not documented
- Reproductive Effects: Yes (13)
- Neurotoxicity: Yes (87, 88, 89)
- Kidney/Liver Damage: Yes (4)
- Sensitizer/ Irritant: Yes (4)
- Birth/Developmental: Not documented
- Detected in Groundwater: Yes (4)
- Potential Leacher: Likely (94, 95)
- Toxic to Birds: Yes (4)
- Toxic to Fish/Aquatic Organisms: Yes (91, 92, 93)
- Toxic to Bees: Likely (90)
- Regulatory Status:
- Supporting information:
- Drosophila DJ-1 Mutants Are Selectively Sensitive to Environmental Toxins Associated with Parkinson’s Disease. Meulener, M. et. al. 2005. Current Biology 15(17):1572-1577.
- Age-related irreversible progressive nigrostriatal dopaminergic neurotoxicity in the paraquat and maneb model of the Parkinson's disease phenotype.. Thiruchelvam, M., et al. 2003. Eur J Neurosci 18(3):589-600
- Agricultural pesticide use and risk of glioma in Nebraska, United States. Lee, W., et al. 2005. Occupational and Environmental Medicine 62(11):786-792
- Association between Parkinson's Disease and Cigarette Smoking, Rural Living, Well-Water Consumption, Farming and Pesticide Use: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.. Breckenridge CB, Berry C, Chang ET, et al. 2016. PLoS One.11(4):e0151841
- Cognitive impairment and increased Aβ levels induced by paraquat exposure are attenuated by enhanced removal of mitochondrial H2O2.. Chen, L., et al. 2011. Neurobiol Aging. [Epub ahead of print
- Combined exposure to agriculture pesticides, paraquat and maneb, induces alterations in the N/OFQ-NOPr and PDYN/KOPr systems in rats: Relevance to sporadic Parkinson's disease.. Bastías-Candia S, Di Benedetto M, D'Addario C, Candeletti S, Romualdi P. 2013. Environ Toxicol. doi: 10.1002/tox.21943
- Developmental exposure to the pesticides paraquat and maneb and the Parkinson's disease phenotype.. Thiruchelvam, M., et al. 2002. Neurotoxicology 23(4-5):621-633
- Developmental pesticide exposures and the Parkinson's disease phenotype.. Cory-Slechta D.A., et al. 2005. Birth Defects Res A Clin Mol Teratol 73:136–139
- Dopamine Transporter Genetic Variants and Pesticides in Parkinson’s Disease. Ritz BR, et al. 2009. Environ Health Perspect 117(6)
- Effects of melatonin in rats in the initial third stage of pregnancy exposed to sub-lethal doses of herbicides.. Almeida LL, Teixeira ÁAC, Soares AF, Cunha FMD, et al. Acta Histochem. 119(3):220-227.
- Environmental exposure to pesticides and the risk of Parkinson's disease in the Netherlands.. Brouwer M, Huss A, van der Mark M, Nijssen PCG, et al. 2017. Environ Int. 107:100-110.
- The herbicide paraquat-induced molecular mechanisms in the development of acute lung injury and lung fibrosis. Subbiah, R. and Tiwari, R.R., 2020. Critical Reviews in Toxicology, pp.1-97.
- Cellular injury leading to oxidative stress in acute poisoning with potassium permanganate/oxalic acid, paraquat, and glyphosate surfactant herbicide. Wijerathna, T.M., Mohamed, F., Gawarammana, I.B., Wunnapuk, K., Dissanayake, D.M., Shihana, F. and Buckley, N.A., 2020. Environmental toxicology and pharmacology, 80, p.103510.
- Environmental Exposures and Parkinson's Disease.. Nandipati S, Litvan I. 2016. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 13(9).
- Exposure to pesticides or solvents and risk of Parkinson disease.. Pezzoli G, Cereda E. 2013. Neurology. 80(22):2035-41
- Genetic modification of the association of paraquat and Parkinson's disease. Goldman, S, Kamel, F, Webster Ross, G, et al. 2012. Movement Disorders. 27(13):1652-1658