Ethylene Dibromide Fumigation of Citrus in Reefer Compartments on a Refrigerated Ship

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A cooperative study to test the feasibility of shipboard fumigation of citrus with ethylene dibromide (EDB) was conducted in September 1981, in Long Beach, Calif. The refrigerated holds (reefers) were used as fumigation chambers. Concentrations of EDB in the reefers during fumigation and aeration were measured using an infrared analyzer. Sixteen separate areas through the ship where seamen would normally work, eat, and sleep during a voyage were monitored from the start of fumigation through 5 days after fumigation. Work areas of potential human exposure had either no EDB or concentrations that were well below 130 ppb. During transit, the aerating reefers were checked daily for EDB concentrations; EDB concentrations at various positions on the ship and in the fumigated reefers were measured before and during unloading. In Hong Kong, fruit (oranges and lemons) was inspected and samples were sent to the United States for residue analysis. These tests indicated that shipboard fumigation of commodities for export may be an alternative to chamber fumigation on land because the method meets current worker health and safety considerations.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 1984

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