(Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced
Dec. 15 the finalization of safety measures created to prevent poisonings
caused by ingestion of the herbicide paraquat. Paraquat can cause severe
injuries or death from skin or eye exposure.
have occurred since 2000 from accidental ingestion of paraquat, including three
deaths of children. According to the EPA, these deaths mostly occurred when the
substance was taken out of its packaging illegally and placed into beverage
containers. Because of this, people mistook the product for a drink and consumed
it. A single sip of paraquat can be fatal, the EPA noted.
In order to
prevent such tragedies in the future, the EPA is taking a three-pronged
approach. This involves new closed-system packaging to effectively make it
impossible to transfer paraquat from its container unless directly into the
proper application equipment, special training for certified applicators who
use paraquat, and changes to the pesticide label and warning materials. These
labels must better highlight the risks associated with paraquat.
a widely used herbicide in the United States. It is used to control weeds in
both agricultural and non-agricultural settings.