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Safety to humans

As with all chemicals, including pesticides such as paraquat, care must be taken to minimize human exposure. FAO guidelines for personal protection when working with pesticides in tropical climates can be read here.

Safety instructions on the product label must be read and appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) used. Normal recommendations are: long-sleeved shirt, long trousers and boots for spraying. The addition of a face shield and gloves are recommended when mixing and handling the concentrated product. Any spills of undiluted product should be washed off the skin immediately and body, clothes and equipment thoroughly washed as normal after spraying.

Provided this care is applied and the product is used as directed, there is no risk to human safety with the use of paraquat. This is the conclusion reached on the basis of extensive laboratory toxicology studies with paraquat and over 50 years of experience in use.

The comments below relate to the acute toxicity of paraquat dichloride (the technical active ingredient). Formulations of paraquat may have different acute toxicity due to dilution of the technical material and the addition of co-formulants.