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Pesticide Safety Education Program

Ohio State University Extension


Paraquat Training

As of November 14, 2019, The United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (USEPA) Paraquat Dichloride Human Health Mitigation Decision set forth new requirements to mitigate risks associated with the herbicide, Gramoxone and other herbicides containing paraquat dichloride.

Herbicides containing paraquat include:  Gramoxone, Firestorm, Helmquat, Parazone and others.

Paraquat dichloride (paraquat), the active ingredient in Gramoxone, is an herbicide widely used for grasses and weeds in agricultural as well as commercial settings. Due to its high acute toxicity, it has been registered by the EPA as a restricted use pesticide in which only licensed pesticide applicators are able to legally mix, load and apply. Paraquat is highly poisonous and a single sip can be lethal if ingested. Exposure can also occur dermally or via inhalation and may lead to seizures, lung scarring and heart failure. Since 2000, there have been multiple deaths due to accidental ingestion of paraquat containing pesticides. As a result, the EPA has passed the Paraquat Dichloride Human Health Mitigation Decision to minimize potential exposures. To meet the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act standards for registration, the EPA has required the following risk mitigation measures:

  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 (less than 120 gallon) end use product containers of paraquat
  4. Restricting the use of all paraquat products to certified applicators only (i.e., prohibiting use by uncertified persons working under the supervision of a certified applicator).

Paraquat Dichloride Training: Certified applicators must complete the mandatory training prior to any mixing, loading or handling of paraquat dichloride containing new product labeling. This training was developed by paraquat manufacturers in response to the EPA risk mitigation requirements. Training is required every three years.

Online Paraquat Training: Certified applicators can register and take the online training modules and required quiz HERE (available in spanish HERE)

  • Training modules and quiz will take approximately 60 min
  • Certificate will generate upon successful completion of quiz
  • Spanish-language modules will be available soon. Please check the NPSEC website for details