Today’s material comes from an MSU Ag Alert regarding Paraquat Mitigation Measures, put out by Dr. Cecil Tharp, MSU Pesticide Education specialist.
|Photo by Kari Lewis|
The EPA has approved several paraquat mitigation measures due to increased human health concerns. Paraquat was first registered in 1964 in the US for weed control and crop desiccation; however, it is categorized as highly toxic through all routes of exposure by EPA where as little as one sip can be lethal with no known antidote. Many human poisonings through the ingestion of paraquat, either accidental or intentional, have been reported to EPA from poison control centers, product registrants, health agencies, environmental agencies and individual consumers.
EPA has ordered the following measures to adequately protect applicators and the public.
1. Label changes emphasizing paraquat toxicity and supplemental warning materials.
2. Targeted training materials for paraquat users.
3. Closed-system packaging for all non-bulk (< 120 gallon) end use containers of paraquat.
4. Restricting the use of all paraquat products to certified applicators only.
In regard to the Targeted Paraquat Trainings, EPA is requiring all applicators who handle paraquat to take an EPA-approved paraquat training program when indicated on the new product label. EPA-approved paraquat training programs must provide information on: (1) paraquat toxicity; (2) a summary of the new label requirements; (3) consequences and examples of misuse of paraquat; (4) how to apply paraquat; (5) what to do in case of accidental exposure, and (6) appropriate handling, storage, disposal, and personal protective equipment requirements and instructions. The paraquat training program will be available via an internet link included on all paraquat end-use labels. All persons handling paraquat are expected to take the training every three years and retain documentation of successful completion.
At this point, we have not yet received specifics on the Targeted Paraquat Trainings, but we’ll be sure to keep you updated as we have more information. The MSU Extension Pesticide Education program will continue to provide updates on that platform as we receive more information. In the meantime, be sure to keep this on your radar. For anyone needing a restricted use pesticide license or who would like one of their employees to become certified, you may test in your local Extension Office, or attend the training that will be held on April 17 in Conrad, watch for details on that. Registration deadline is April 12, so register now to be sure to get on the list!