Fumigation is a method of eliminating pests, termites or any other harmful living organisms to prevent transfer of exotic organisms. Fumigation is executed, by suffocating or poisoning pest, within an area of specified space by using fumigants. It is used to control pests in buildings (structural fumigation), soil, grain, and food commodities & is also used during processing of goods to be imported or exported to prevent transfer of exotic organisms. This method also affects the structure-affecting pests that inhabit the physical structure, such as woodborers and dry wood termites.
Fumigation is required to prevent damage of commodities etc which get damaged by the insecticide, weeds and other insecticides.
Methyl bromide is used as a fumigant in soil to control fungi, nematodes, and weeds; in space fumigation of food commodities (e.g., grains); and in storage facilities (such as mills, warehouses, vaults, ships, and freight cars) to control insects and rodents. Methyl bromide is also used as a chemical intermediate as a methylating agent, as a refrigerant, as a herbicide, as a fire extinguishing agent, and as a solvent in aniline dye manufacture; for degreasing wool; for extracting oils from nuts, seeds, and flowers; and in ionization chambers.
AlP is used as a rodenticide, insecticide, and fumigant for stored cereal grains. It is used to kill small verminous mammals such as moles and rodents. The tablets or pellets, known as “wheat pills”, typically also contain other chemicals that evolve ammonia which helps to reduce the potential for spontaneous ignition or explosion of the phosphine gas.
All containers must be fumigated under gas proof sheets unless it can be shown that they comply with the specified pressure test standard for gas-tightness. This process must be undertaken every time before any container is fumigated. The gas tightness should be determined using a pressure decay test. This corresponds to a pressure halving (or decay) time from 200-100 Pa of 10 seconds or more. Containers that cannot be pressurised to 250 Pa (the starting pressure for the test) are deemed to have failed the test and must be enclosed under gas proof sheets before being fumigated with methyl bromide.
The length of time required for a fumigation varies. A fumigation can take anywhere from six hours to one week depending on the type of infestation, dosage, temperature, size of the structure and other factors.
• Mbr – CH3Br
• Alp – AIP
• Assess potential risks for harm before application and take steps to minimise risks. Obtain all relevant information regarding surrounding areas.
• Only licensed operators may use methyl bromide.
• Follow the instructions on the label or permit for storage, use and disposal.
• Obtain material safety data sheets (MSDS) for all hazardous substances from the manufacturers and make available to anyone who may be exposed. Keep the MSDS handy as it contains vital information for emergencies.
• Store pesticides in the correct containers with the approved label.
• Use the lowest dosage necessary.
• Spray only in suitable weather conditions to avoid drift outside the target area.
• Ensure people are not downwind of spray.
• Provide adequate buffer areas between the application and dwellings or sensitive areas.
• Provide adequate instructions and training to employees before application is carried out.
• Ensure that employees are trained in emergency procedures.
• Ensure that equipment used is well maintained and calibrated.
• Each person who may be exposed during the operation must wear appropriate personal protective equipment according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This includes chemically resistant gloves, boots, and a self-contained breathing apparatus or supplied-air respirator with full face-piece.
• Allow gas to evaporate before entering treated areas.
• Absorb spills with sand/soil or other non-combustible material. Do not allow methyl bromide to enter sewer or storm water drains. Ventilate closed spaces. Isolate hazard area.
Methyl bromide is highly toxic to humans and animals. It may be inhaled or absorbed through the skin. Acute exposure can cause severe chemical burns of the skin, eyes and airways, delayed chemical pneumonia which produces water in the lungs, severe kidney damage and has devastating effects on the central nervous system. The effects may be fatal.
MBR comes in 2 kinds & mostly 98% + 2% is widely used across the globe
1. 100% MBR
2. 98% MBR + 2% Chloropicrin (since MBR is odourless Chloropicrin acts as a warning agent & helps detect any kind of presence in the given area)
Fumigation is a hazardous operation. Generally it is a legal requirement that the operator who carries out the fumigation operation holds official certification to perform the fumigation as the chemicals used are toxic to most forms of life, including humans.
o Cylinders – 20 Kg / 50 Kg / 100 Kg
o Cans – 1 Lbs / 1.5 Lbs
• ALP: (3 grams tablets of ALP 56% minimum)
o Bottle – 1 Kg
o Pouch – 10 grams / 34 grams
Yes, these products are tested and ISO certified.
The following steps shall be considered:
• The area intended should be fumigated and covered to create a sealed environment.
• The fumigant is released into the space to be fumigated.
• The space is held for a set period while the fumigant gas percolates through the space and kills any infestation in the product, next the space is ventilated so that the poisonous gases are allowed to escape from the space, and render it safe for humans to enter.
• If successful, the fumigated area is now safe and pest free.