Analytical Chemistry Trinidad & 

Tobago Lab Resources

Paraquat and Pesticides used in Trinidad

The Pesticide Control Board is a statuary body under the Ministry of Agriculture mandated to implement the provisions of the Pesticides Control Act which control the importation, sale, storage, and use of pesticides in Trinidad and Tobago. Since there are no local manufacturers of pesticides in Trinidad, the Board has registered over 700 pesticide formulations for importation and sale in the country. However, only a little more than 20 of these products are sold in the country, most of which contain the same chemicals, namely paraquat.The most used and purchased brands are Gramoxone, Swiper, Fastac, Lannate, and Diazinon.¹ See Table below.

Paraquat Fatalities

Over 90% of paraquat poisoning are cases suicides. In developing countries, paraquat is known as a "suicide agent". ²
In Samoa from 1979-2001, 70% of suicides were of paraquat poisoning.
In southern Trinidad from 1996-1997, 76% of suicides were by paraquat ³.
This is because paraquat is easily available, it is widely used, fairly cheap, and has a low toxic dose of 10mls or 2 teaspoons to be fatal. Ingestion of paraquat damages the lung and kidney.

Emergency first aid

If paraquat is swallowed:
Try to vomit, if you have not already done so. Administer a purgative.4
Due to the product property to bind with clay, mix 150g Fullerís Earth, Bentonite, or Activated charcoal in 1L water, shake well, drink the solution and vomit into a bag.
Mix Epsom salts or other purgative into water, shake well and drink.
Call the hospital emergency room and go immediately, taking the vomit bag with you.

Syngenta, the leading manufacturer of paraquat, has added three safe-guard agents to avoid accidental ingestion and to deter misuse:
a blue dye,
an alerting agent (a strong and deterring odor),
and an emetic (to induce vomiting).

Pest Control Chemicals T&T

Brand NameActive IngredientChem ClassAActivity/UseHazardB
DiazinonDiazinonOPacaricides,bird repellant2
DiuronDiuronPhenyl ureaherbicides,algicidesU
Fastacalpha-cypemethrinPYacaricides, insecticides2
Fendona Salpha-cypemethrinPYacarides, insecticides2
KarmexDiuronPhenyl ureaherbicides, algicidesU
Kocide 101/DFCopper hydroxideCUbactericides,fungicides3
Methyl parathionOPacaricides,insecticides1a
Pestac 5ECCypemethrinPYacaricides, insecticides2
Pestban E/5CChlorpyritosOPacaricides,nematicides,insecticides2
Round UpGlyphosate isopropylamineOPherbicidesU
SwiperGlyphosate isopropylamineOPherbicidesU
VydateOxamylCacaricides,nematicides,insecticides 1b

A. OP = organophosphate; C = carbamate; PY = pyrethroid; BP = bipyridilium; CU = copper.

B. Based on WHO LD50 for rat: 1a = extremely hazardous; 1b = highly hazardous; 2 = moderately hazardous; 3 = slightly hazardous; and U = unlikely to present hazard in normal use.

1. Pinto Pereira LM, Boysielal K, Siung-Chang A. Pesticide regulation, utilization, and retailersí selling practices in Trinidad and Tobago, West Indies: current situation and needed changes. Rev Panam Salud Publica. 2007;22(2):83Ė90.
2. Dinham B. 1996: Active Ingredient fact sheet, Paraquat.
4. Paraquat Information Center - Syngenta Crop Protection AG.

Signature: Dhanlal De Lloyd, Chem. Dept, The University of The West Indies, St. Augustine campus
The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.
Copyright: delloyd2000© All rights reserved.