Sunday, September 19, 2010

More Methyl Bromide

I know, I sorta promised to back off on the methyl bromide platform, but I just can’t help it. Somebody just keeps serving up big fat lob shots. This time it is from a news story from It seems that two companies in the fair city of Suffolk have been using methyl bromide to fumigate pallets and other lumber products; a very good (effective) way of killing pests.

For the purposes of this blog we’ll ignore the alleged fact that the companies did not have state permits to use toxic chemicals, or that they were allegedly exhausting the excess methyl bromide to the atmosphere. The environmental folks will be looking into that. No what concerns me is that the companies were sited, according to the news article, near residential areas. In fact, one was near downtown Suffolk and the other is within 100 yards of a public school.

We would assume that the use of a toxic inhalation hazard chemical (at a rate of 10 tons per year) near a population center would place one firmly on the high-risk chemical facility list. But no, remember DHS took methyl bromide off their list of chemicals of interest (COI) when the EPA informed them that the chemical was being phased out and wouldn’t be around long enough for DHS to really regulate. OOPS….

I understand that DHS and industry are looking at updating the Appendix A list of COI. Let’s make sure that we put methyl bromide back where it belongs, on the list of release toxic COI. If and when the EPA actually approves effective alternate chemicals for the areas where methyl bromide is currently used, and actually prohibits the use of methyl bromide as a fumigant, and the remaining stocks are actually consumed/destroyed, if and when that happens, then DHS can remove the deadly chemical from the list at its leisure.

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