open access

Vol 57, No 1-4 (2006)
MARITIME HEALTH
Published online: 2010-03-26
Submitted: 2013-02-18
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Health risks by bromomethane and other toxic gases in import cargo ship containers

Xaver Baur, Fang Yu, Bernd Poschadel, Wim Veldman, Tosca Knol-de Vos
International Maritime Health 2006;57(1-4):46-55.

open access

Vol 57, No 1-4 (2006)
MARITIME HEALTH
Published online: 2010-03-26
Submitted: 2013-02-18

Abstract

Containers are increasingly used for the worldwide transport of all kinds of goods. Consistent with national and international regulations on pest controls, a growing proportion of these containers undergoes fumigation. Frequently, the prescribed labelling is missing. According to literature, this situation may lead to accidents and represents a significant health risk to dock workers, inspectors and custom workers. Furthermore, warehouse workers and even consumers may come in contact with these toxic fumigants. Presented measurement data underline this health risks due to bromomethane but also due to other fumigants and, surprisingly, due to further noxious gases. So far, no routine method for sensitive and specific measurements on the spot has been available. The consequences of container fumigation should always be carefully weighed up, and alternatives to pesticides, e.g. heat treatment or atmospheres with reduced oxygen and for high CO2 concentrations should be considered. In addition, stringent international controls as well as sanctions if IMO’s “Recommendations on the safe use of pesticides in ships” are disregarded are required.

Abstract

Containers are increasingly used for the worldwide transport of all kinds of goods. Consistent with national and international regulations on pest controls, a growing proportion of these containers undergoes fumigation. Frequently, the prescribed labelling is missing. According to literature, this situation may lead to accidents and represents a significant health risk to dock workers, inspectors and custom workers. Furthermore, warehouse workers and even consumers may come in contact with these toxic fumigants. Presented measurement data underline this health risks due to bromomethane but also due to other fumigants and, surprisingly, due to further noxious gases. So far, no routine method for sensitive and specific measurements on the spot has been available. The consequences of container fumigation should always be carefully weighed up, and alternatives to pesticides, e.g. heat treatment or atmospheres with reduced oxygen and for high CO2 concentrations should be considered. In addition, stringent international controls as well as sanctions if IMO’s “Recommendations on the safe use of pesticides in ships” are disregarded are required.
Get Citation
About this article
Title

Health risks by bromomethane and other toxic gases in import cargo ship containers

Journal

International Maritime Health

Issue

Vol 57, No 1-4 (2006)

Pages

46-55

Published online

2010-03-26

Bibliographic record

International Maritime Health 2006;57(1-4):46-55.

Authors

Xaver Baur
Fang Yu
Bernd Poschadel
Wim Veldman
Tosca Knol-de Vos

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