As required by EPA’s Paraquat Dichloride Human Health Mitigation Decision and amended paraquat dichloride (a.k.a. paraquat) product labels, certified applicators must successfully complete an EPA-approved training program before mixing, loading, and/or applying paraquat. The training provides important information about paraquat’s toxicity, new label requirements and restrictions, and the consequences of misuse.
The EPA-approved training module can be accessed here or by going to this website. This training was developed by paraquat manufacturers as part of EPA’s 2016 risk mitigation requirements and has been approved by EPA.
Since 2000, there have been 17 deaths – three involving children – caused by accidental ingestion of paraquat. These cases have resulted from the pesticide being illegally transferred to beverage containers and later mistaken for a drink and consumed. A single sip can be fatal.
In addition to the deaths by accidental ingestion, since 2000 there have been three deaths and many severe injuries caused by the pesticide getting onto the skin or into the eyes of those working with the herbicide. To prevent these tragedies, EPA is requiring this special training for certified applicators who use paraquat. One of the purposes of the paraquat training is to reinforce that paraquat must not be transferred to or stored in improper containers.
Any person who intends to use paraquat must be a certified applicator and is required to take the training. “Use” includes pre-application activities involving mixing and loading the pesticide; applying the pesticide; and other pesticide-related activities, including, but not limited to, transporting or storing opened pesticide containers, cleaning equipment, and disposing of excess pesticides, spray mix, equipment wash waters, pesticide containers, and other paraquat-containing materials.
The use of paraquat, which is a restricted use pesticide, is restricted to certified pesticide applicators only; noncertified persons working under the supervision of a certified applicator are prohibited from using paraquat, including mixing, loading, applying the pesticide, and other pesticide-related activities.