Submitted to: Outlooks on Pest Management
Publication Type: Literature Review
Publication Acceptance Date: October 10, 2012
Publication Date: April 30, 2012
Citation: Johnson, J.A., Walse, S.S., Gerik, J.S. 2012. Status of Alternatives for Methyl Bromide in the United States. Outlooks on Pest Management. 23(2):53-58.
Methyl bromide is a fumigant used for disinfestation of soils, commodities and structures. Listed as an ozone-depleting chemical international environmental protocols and the U.S. Clean Air Act require that its use be severely restricted. Although use of this fumigant has fallen considerably, the U.S. still requests Critical Use Exemptions (CUEs) for those applications for which no alternative exists. More than 90% of U.S. CUE allowance goes to soil fumigations, with more than 30% used for strawberries alone. Various alternative fumigants, alone or in combination, are being developed and adopted for soil applications, as are alternatives such as host resistance, soil solarization, crop rotation and cultural practices. The largest postharvest CUE allowance is for structural fumigation of mills and food processing plants. Many processors have begun to use the alternative fumigants sulfuryl fluoride and phosphine, which are also useful for many commodity treatments, however, these alternatives are not as useful for applications that require rapid treatments.