A Reminder About EPA Safety Requirements for Paraquat

Sample paraquat label.

Paraquat is the active ingredient used in a number of herbicides including Gramoxone SL 2.0, Gramoxone SL 3.0, Devour, Helmquat 3SL, Para-Shot 3.0, Parazone 3SL, Quik-Quat, and Willowood Paraquat 3SL. These commonly used contact herbicides are classified as Restricted Use pesticides with the words Danger/Poison on the label.

Despite its classification and signal words on the label, reports of people accidentally coming in contact or ingesting this material by mistake continue to surface. To make this product safer, in 2019 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) made changes to the product label, including who can use the product and a closed-system container requirement. This closed system will allow mixers and loaders to transfer product from non-bulk containers (less than 120 gallons) directly to application equipment.

No old-labeled product has been shipped from manufacturer since November 14, 2019. However, old-labeled products may still be in your stock. Remember, you must follow directions for use according to the label on the container you are using. Since September 30, 2020, all paraquat products must comply with the new closed system requirements for all containers. Additionally, ALL use of paraquat will require:

  • Certified Applicators License. This means that all applicators will have to have a pesticide license in order to use this product
  • Non-certified applicators will not be allowed to use herbicides containing paraquat, even under direct supervision of a certified applicator
  • Users of this product must obtain a paraquat-specific training certification
    • This training will have to be completed every three years

“USE” is defined as: mixing/loading; applying; moving opened containers; cleaning equipment; disposal of rinsate or empty containers.

To learn more about the closed mixing and loading system or the paraquat training for certified applicators, visit the following websites:

Dale Whaley professional headshot.

For questions or comments, contact Dale Whaley via email at dwhaley@wsu.edu or phone at 509-745-8531.