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Dangers of Methyl Bromide Fumigation

Methyl Bromide Fumigation

Methyl bromide fumigation is known as a highly toxic chemical element. That’s why many countries in the world prohibit its use in fumigation.

Especially in the fumigation of export commodity foodstuffs, developed countries no longer tolerate the use of methyl bromide in the fumigation of foodstuffs entering their country.

In Indonesia, the use of fumigants containing the active ingredient methyl bromide fumigation has also begun to be limited, in accordance with the safety of its use both for the environment and humans.

Getting to know Methyl Bromide Fumigation

Methyl bromide is also known as bromomethane. Methyl bromide is an organobromine compound with the chemical formula CH3Br.

This chemical element is a colorless, odorless and non-flammable gas.

Methyl bromide is generally used in fumigant products or fumigation drugs and also pesticides.

It is very toxic and is also known to be a chemical element that can damage the earth’s ozone layer.

Continuous use and large quantities can have an impact on global warming due to depletion of the ozone layer.

Dangers of Methyl Bromide Fumigation

Many studies have proven that methyl bromide fumigation is very dangerous to use, whether as a fumigant or pesticide.

The first danger that causes rejection of the use of methyl bromide fumigation is damage to the environment, in the form of air pollution and can also damage ozone.

When carrying out fumigation, it is not recommended because it affects a number of commodities such as:

  • Plant seeds
  • Rice
  • Wheat
  • Nuts
  • Flour
  • Other food ingredients.

The reason methyl bromide fumigation is not recommended for food is because it can leave residue. Especially in flour products, stains will appear during processing.

As for seeds, it will inhibit their growth. That’s why a number of countries have banned the use of methyl bromide.

Studies in humans also show it is very dangerous. Up to lung damage due to acute inhalation of methyl bromide fumigation.

Inhalation of methyl bromide can also cause neurological effects in humans as well as animals.

Acute Effects of Methyl Bromide on Humans

For its acute effects on humans, methyl bromide fumigation, if exposed directly to humans, will damage the lungs. If inhaled at high concentrations, it can cause pulmonary edema and impaired respiratory function.

Other acute symptoms in humans include dizziness, headache, fainting, weakness, apathy, confusion, visual effects, numbness, speech disturbances, and tremors.

The irritation itself will be felt directly on the eyes, skin and mucous membranes of the upper respiratory tract.

Methyl Bromide Substitute Fumigant

The recommended substitute for methyl bromide fumigation is liquid phosphine (PH3). That’s because this chemical compound is safe for the environment and also for the commodities being fumigated.

A derivative product containing the active ingredient phosphine, namely Fumilikuid 2 GA, has been marketed in Indonesian. After going through a series of tests in the laboratory, it was then declared to have passed the efficacy test at Biotrop Bogor.

Fumilikuid itself has been officially registered with the Ministry of Agriculture as a safe fumigant.

From a series of tests, it is known that Fumiliquid, which contains 2% phosphine and 98% carbon dioxide, does not leave residue on rice, wheat, beans, flour, etc.

Apart from that, liquid phosphine as a substitute for methyl bromide does not change the taste, color and nutritional value of food ingredients.

Dangers of Methyl Bromide Fumigation

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