Gateway on Pesticide Hazards and Safe Pest Management

Back to the Gateway

Paraquat/Paraquat dichloride

General Information

  • 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)

Additional Information