Around the world, many countries have banned paraquat, but the U.S. has not yet taken this action. Although sold under many names, usually, farmers can purchase the herbicide in stores as Gramoxone, manufactured by Syngenta.
Paraquat, one of the most deadly weed killers in existence, is at the same time a lucrative pesticide and a dangerous chemical that causes violent deaths. Research has also connected paraquat to Parkinson’s disease, which will eventually affect 1.2 million Americans by 2030, according to Parkinson’s Foundation. There is substantial information from studies and research proving that the toxic weed killer is causing exposed individuals to develop Parkinson’s disease.
Farm owners and workers know to be careful around the pesticide due to the warnings found all over its label about how toxic this substance can be for humans.
Paraquat is not only very toxic but also very quickly acting. A small quantity of the poison can kill a person. For this reason, users take care not to splash or spill even the smallest amounts of herbicide.
Still, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been slow to ban this substance altogether. Even though it is currently in the category of RUPs (restricted-use chemical) and can only be applied by trained people that have a license for its use, the agency is reluctant for some reason or another when push comes to shove.
This chemical is hazardous, but the farmers who still use it to keep weeds out of their crops and make more money, as a result, are still willing to take on risks.
As agricultural workers face more resistant weeds, the herbicide most used in farming today — glyphosate — is ineffective. For example, From Ohio to Indiana, in Midwest states, the weed marestail is a scourge. This situation leaves many people turning to paraquat as a solution but wondering how to keep up with crop production for future generations.