Citing accidental exposure that has caused injuries and even death, the Environmental Protection Agency is proposing new worker protection rules for those handling the herbicide, paraquat.
Among the changes are:
• New closed-system packaging designed to make it nearly impossible to transfer or remove the pesticide except directly into the proper application equipment.
• Special training for certificated applicators who use paraquat to emphasize proper storage.
• Changes to the pesticide label and warning materials to highlight toxicity and risks associated with the herbicide.
In addition, the changes, if approved, would prohibit paraquat application from hand-held or backpack equipment and restrict all uses to certified pesticide applicators. Individuals working under the supervision of a certified applicator would be barred from using paraquat.
The EPA will accept public comments for 60 days, ending May 19. To view the proposal, visit the EPA.