Sending Office: Honorable Nydia M. Velazquez
Sent By:

        Request for Cosponsor(s)

Endorsing Organizations (28): Fox Foundation, Farmworker Justice, CATA – El Comite de Apoyo a los Trabajadores Agricolas (The Farmworkers’ Support Committee),
Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste,  The Parkinson Alliance and The Parkinson’s Unity Walk, The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, The Davis Phinney Foundation, Parkinson Association of the Rockies, Hawai’i Parkinson Association, Brian
Grant Foundation,
Natural Resources Defense Council, Center for Biological Diversity, Greenhorns, The American Parkinson Disease Association (APDA), The Parkinson’s Foundation, Food & Water Watch, The Parkinson Alliance, that Power for Parkinson’s,
Experimental Farm Network, Friends of the Earth, Brian Grant Foundation, Sequoia Forest Keeper, Roots Action, Conservation Congress, Green America, Earthjustice, Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides, Beyond Pesticides, Farmworker Association of




116th Cosponsors: Rep Yvette Clarke, Rep. Danny Davis,


Dear Colleague,

Please join me as an original cosponsor of the Protect Against Paraquat Act of 2019. Paraquat is a highly toxic herbicide that’s already banned in over 30 other countries; chronic exposure leads to neurodegradation, heart failure, kidney failure,
liver failure, and lung scarring. Acute exposure leads to almost certain death with no antidote. The purpose of this act is to guard the safety of our communities and eliminate the use of paraquat in the U.S. By switching to less toxic herbicides, we can ensure
the safety of our agricultural workers.

Most notably, research shows that paraquat markedly increases the risk of Parkinson’s disease. A University of Guelph study[1] has shown that exposure increases an individual’s risk of Parkinson’s disease and
lowers the age of onset. A study of farmworkers and others who used paraquat (or rotenone, a pesticide) showed that those who worked with these chemicals developed Parkinson’s at a rate 2.5 times more than non-users.[2]
People who live in rural areas near where paraquat is sprayed are also at an increased risk of Parkinson’s.

Currently, all paraquat products in the U.S. fall under Restricted Use Pesticides and mitigations are in place. However, these mitigations do not go far enough to protect farmworkers and their families from chronic low-dose exposure from clothing, food and
the air. While this herbicide has been banned in over 30 countries, including the European Union (where it is manufactured) and China, it is still used in the United States.

The Protect Against Paraquat Act of 2019 would do the following:

  • Deems paraquat as causing unreasonable adverse effects to humans and marked as a neurotoxin that causes Parkinson’s disease
  • Prohibit further EPA registrations for paraquat use and cancel the registration of all uses of paraquat
  • Revoke any tolerance or exemption that allows the presence of paraquat or any pesticide chemical residue that results from its use, in or on food.
  • Prohibit sale and use of existing stocks of paraquat


In the interest of the health and safety of our citizens, I urge you to cosponsor the
Protect Against Paraquat Act of 2019.


For more information and to cosponsor, please contact Monica Garay on my staff


[1] Healey, D. (2018, May 25). U of G Study Uncovers Cause of Pesticide Exposure, Parkinson’s Link. Retrieved from

[2] Tanner CM, Kamel F, Ross GW, Hoppin JA, Goldman SM, Korell M, Marras C, Bhudhikanok GS, Kasten M, Chade AR, Comyns K, Richards MB, Meng C, Priestly B, Fernandez HH, Cambi F, Umbach DM, Blair A, Sandler DP,
Langston JW. 2011. Rotenone, paraquat and Parkinson’s disease. Environ Health Perspect; doi:10.1289/ehp.1002839 [Online 26 January 2011].

Related Legislative Issues

Selected legislative information: Environment, HealthCare, Natural Resources

icon eDC logo e-Dear Colleague version 2.0
e-Dear Colleagues are intended for internal House use only.