How Much Paraquat is Used in the United States?
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that about 1.3 million pounds of paraquat are applied annually in the United States. Paraquat herbicide is sprayed on crops to kill weeds, and it is also used as a desiccant to dry out crops before harvest.
Paraquat Use by State
- California: Paraquat is sprayed on around 9 million acres of cotton, grapes, potatoes, beets, rice, tomatoes and alfalfa in California every year.
- Florida: Paraquat is applied to around 1.5 million acres of sugar cane fields every year in Florida to kill invasive plants and weeds.
- Georgia: Around 1 million acres of peanuts and cotton are treated with paraquat in Georgia annually.
- South Carolina: Around 700,000 acres of soybeans and cotton are sprayed with paraquat every year in South Carolina.
- Mississippi: Around 600,000 acres of cotton are sprayed with paraquat in Mississippi annually.
- Texas: Around 500,000 acres of sorghum, cotton, peanuts and rice are treated with paraquat each year in Texas.
- North Carolina: Paraquat is used to kill poison ivy and weeds between rows of crops in North Carolina on about 500,000 acres of farmland each year.
- New Mexico: About 500,000 acres of sugar beets and peanuts are sprayed with paraquat in New Mexico each year.
- Oklahoma: About 325,000 acres of cotton are treated with paraquat each year in Oklahoma.
- Washington: Farmers in the State of Washington commonly use paraquat to stop weeds from growing around their 180 million pounds of apples and other crops.
- Colorado: About 120,000 acres of sugar beets are treated with paraquat each year in Colorado.
- Wyoming: Around 100,000 acres of alfalfa and potatoes are sprayed with paraquat every year in Wyoming to destroy weeds which grow between crop rows.
- Arkansas: Around 45,000 acres of cotton are treated with paraquat each year to kill weeds like Johnson grass and ragweed.
- Kansas: About 40,000 acres of alfalfa and cotton are sprayed with paraquat every year in Kansas.
- Illinois: Around 25,000 acres of soybeans are treated with paraquat every year in Illinois.
- Ohio: Around 20,000 acres of soybeans are sprayed with paraquat each year in Ohio.
- Michigan: Around 15,000 acres of potatoes are treated with paraquat each year in Michigan.
- Wisconsin: Around 11,200 acres of potatoes are sprayed with paraquat every year in Wisconsin.
- Pennsylvania: Around 5,500 acres of soybeans are treated with paraquat each year in Pennsylvania to kill weeds.
- New York: Around 5,000 acres of potatoes are sprayed with paraquat each year.
- Indiana: Around 2,400 acres of soybeans are sprayed with paraquat every year.
- Kentucky: Around 1,700 acres of soybeans are treated with paraquat every year in Kentucky.
- Pennsylvania: Around 1,500 acres of alfalfa are sprayed with paraquat each year in Pennsylvania.
- Utah: Around 1,400 acres of alfalfa are treated with paraquat every year in Utah.
- Minnesota: About 400 acres of potatoes are sprayed with paraquat each year in Minnesota.
Who Invented Paraquat?
Paraquat was first manufactured in 1961 by Imperial Chemical Industries under the trade name Gramoxone. Gramoxone is currently manufactured and marketed by Syngenta, but paraquat is also sold under the trade names Blanco, Bonfire Herbicide, and others.
Where is Paraquat Banned?
Paraquat is banned or severely restricted in the following countries:
- South Korea
- Dominican Republic
Related Article: Is Paraquat Banned in the US?
Why is Paraquat Still Used?
One of the main reasons why paraquat has not been banned in the United States is because that it destroys weeds and grasses that are resistant to glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, which has been linked to an increased risk for cancers like non-Hodgkin lymphoma and other serious side effects.
Who is at Highest Risk for Paraquat Exposure?
People with the highest risk of exposure to paraquat-containing weed killers include:
- Farmers who use paraquat herbicides
- Applicators including “manual” sprayers and those operating tractors that spray paraquat
- People who live on or around farms applying paraquat
- People who drink well water contaminated with paraquat
- Rural schoolchildren who attend schools located near farms spraying paraquat
Get a Free Case Review With Our Attorneys
Paraquat is a dangerous herbicide that’s available under several brands and manufactured by many corporations in the US.
If you or your loved one have been exposed to paraquat, you should file a lawsuit.
Schmidt & Clark lawyers have experience dealing with lawsuits against large organizations. We can help you get the damages you deserve and have an easier life after paraquat exposure.
Contact us today for a free consultation.