Gateway on Pesticide Hazards and Safe Pest Management

How To Find Ingredients in Pesticide Products

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:

  1. Go to U.S. EPA's Pesticide Product and Label System and enter the product name. The generic product name may vary.
  2. 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

  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.

  4. 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. 

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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