News on methyl bromide
Several news items on methyl bromide its environmental impacts and possible replacement fumigants have been published lately.
NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration of the United States of America), the agency which had undertaken the original study on the impacts of methyl bromide on the ozone layer in 1992 which lead to the consideration of methyl bromide under the Montreal Protocol, is reconsidering its evaluation of methyl bromide as a ozone depleter. The significant influence of methyl bromide emissions from the oceans and car exhausts were not considered in the original study. A revision of the methyl bromide ozone depletion potential is expected.
EPA (Environmental Protection Agency of the United States of America) has issued a final rule adding the fumigant to the list of ozone-depleting substances to be regulated under the Clean Air Act. Production and consumption of methyl bromide is to be eliminated from 2001-01-01, one year later than originally proposed in order to allow more time for the development of alternatives.
CSIRO, Australia's science agency, claims it has developed a new fumigant which is toxic to beetles, mites, moths and fruit flies. According to the agency the fumigant, carbonyl sulphide, is environmentally acceptable and a possible replacement of methyl bromide.
Pesticide Outlook 1994-02, p. 7.