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What Is Paraquat Found In?

Author
Alicia Betz
January 29, 2023

Around the world, farmers use herbicides and pesticides as part of their farming practices. Products such as these help save them time and money, which translates to savings for consumers as well. These savings come at a cost, however. Herbicides such as paraquat are extremely dangerous to humans. What exactly is paraquat, and what products contain the powerful herbicide? Learn more here. 

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If you believe that you or a loved one were harmed by Paraquat exposure, you may be entitled to compensation.

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What Is Paraquat? 

Paraquat is a toxic chemical that’s incredibly harmful to humans. You can become injured from paraquat by ingesting it, inhaling it, or even simply touching it. It’s an herbicide that kills weeds and grasses on farms and commercial properties. Because it’s so dangerous, it’s classified as restricted use and is not available for purchase by the average person. The chemical is outright banned in many countries, but it is still widely used in the United States.  It is largely used on farms, orchards, and other commercial properties. 

Ingesting the chemical can be deadly. It can also cause a number of health problems from mild to severe, including diarrhea, throat pain, seizures, coma, kidney failure, heart failure, and esophageal scarring. There is also evidence that paraquat exposure may be linked to Parkinson’s disease. 

Products That Contain Paraquat

If you’re trying to avoid paraquat, you’ll be happy to know that you haven’t sprayed paraquat on the weeds around your home or inadvertently bought it at the hardware store. That’s because as a restricted use herbicide, it’s only available to licensed users. You won’t find it at your local garden or hardware store. However, it is commonly sprayed on many of the products you buy and use, and it’s difficult if not impossible to know which products have been treated with paraquat. 

Although the average person hasn’t come across the actual herbicide, it’s helpful to know what products it’s in. The most common product brand name that uses paraquat is Gramoxone. Other herbicides that use paraquat as an active ingredient include: 

  • AH 501
  • Bai Cao Ku
  • Blanco
  • Bonedry
  • Crisquat
  • Cyclone SL 2.0
  • Devour
  • Dexuron
  • Esgram
  • Firestorm
  • Gramixel
  • Gramoxone
  • Gramuron
  • Helmquat 3SL
  • Ortho Paraquat CL
  • Para-col
  • Para-Shot 3.0
  • Parazone
  • Pillarxone
  • PP148
  • Quick-Quat
  • Tota-col
  • Toxer Total

For over 50 years paraquat has been used in the United States on common crops to kill weeds. The herbicide is used frequently on the following crops: 

  • Almonds
  • Artichokes
  • Citrus trees
  • Corn
  • Cotton
  • Garlic
  • Grapes
  • Peanuts
  • Pears
  • Soy
  • Strawberries
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Wheat

There is not yet concrete evidence that people have been harmed by consuming products that have been treated with paraquat, yet many people try to avoid these products just as many people try to avoid products treated with glyphosate. Rather than avoiding these foods altogether, you can shop for organic foods that have not been treated with herbicides or pesticides. You can also shop at local farmer’s markets where you can talk to the farmers and learn which herbicides they use on their crops. 

It’s important to note that paraquat is not the same as glyphosate, which is the active ingredient in Roundup. Ever since the popular herbicide glyphosate came under fire, many farmers have turned to paraquat as an alternative. While still dangerous, glyphosate is not considered as dangerous as paraquat and is sold to the average citizen. If you have used commercially available weed killers around your home, you have likely used glyphosate. 

How Can You Tell If a Product Contains Paraquat 

Because paraquat is so dangerous, it’s relatively easy to tell if a product contains the chemical. To prevent people from ingesting it, there are specific labeling requirements that require any container containing paraquat to be labeled danger/poison. These new labeling requirements went into effect in 2019. In the past, people have put paraquat in drinking containers, which has led to ingestion.  

Even if you come across paraquat in an illegal container, there are still some safeguards in place to help you identify the chemical. Any product containing paraquat should be tinted blue, and it should have a very foul and pungent odor. Additionally, paraquat has an additive that induces vomiting. 

What To Do if You Were Exposed to Paraquat 

Fortunately, most people haven’t been directly exposed to paraquat. You may have been exposed to trace amounts through the food you eat, but that has not yet been proven to be dangerous. However, if you have applied paraquat, worked on a farm, or lived near a farm, you may have been exposed to paraquat. 

And if you have developed Parkinson’s disease after exposure, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit against one of the manufacturers of paraquat products. Various paraquat lawsuits are currently underway, and payouts could be in the hundreds of thousands. 

Additionally, if you believe you have directly touched, inhaled, or ingested paraquat and you are experiencing symptoms such as pain or swelling in your mouth, nausea, or diarrhea, head to your nearest emergency room immediately.

Free Case Evaluation

If you believe that you or a loved one were harmed by Paraquat exposure, you may be entitled to compensation.

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We are here to help you and loved ones advocate for justice. Feel free to send us any questions you might have, either about an injury or the process for pursuing justice so we can help you exercise your rights.

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