CH3Br sensors from smartGAS for detecting methyl bromide

Methyl bromide, also known as bromomethane, is a highly toxic gas that is often used for the fumigation of containers. The gas is used to kill harmful pests that come in with the products. It also prevents wood, foods and textiles from spoiling or becoming unusable.  

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Bromomethane poses high health risks for dock workers and customs officials

CH3Br is not only harmful to the human nervous system, but is also mutagenic. Although the use of methyl bromide is prohibited in the EU, containers from overseas are still often fumigated with bromomethane. Since there is often no warning, the risk for dock workers and customs officials being poisoned during inspection of the containers is relatively high. Several measurements have shown that even in containers that were aired out for several hours and then closed again, CH3Br concentrations can reach harmful levels again after 24 hours.  

CH3Br sensors from smartGAS provide protection against methyl bromide poisoning

The high-precision CH3Br sensors of the FLOWEVO series from smartGAS have measuring ranges from 0 to 5.8 vol% and 0 to 35 vol%. The use of CH3Br sensors from smartGAS makes it possible to fumigate containers with high precision and to control the concentration of the gas that is introduced. This significantly reduces excessive use of the gas and resulting hazards for people and the environment. 

Which products are treated with methyl bromide?

About every fifth container worldwide is fumigated with bromomethane. In addition to wooden packaging, also shoes, bags, rugs, cushions and textiles are protected against infestation by pests or rotting. 

Who is at risk from bromomethane?

Since methyl bromide even penetrates the product packages during fumigation, they can still emit CH3Br after days or weeks. The health risk from bromomethane therefore not only affects customs officials and dock workers, but also employees of trading and logistics companies. In general, the concentration of the gas in products has been reduced to a safe level by the time it leaves the harbour. Containers that have not been inspected by customs can still have a very high methyl bromide concentration. The CH3Br sensors from smartGAS can help to prevent poisoning of people, as well as environmental damage caused by methyl bromide.


Soil fumigation with methyl bromide for controlling nematodes

Although the use of bromomethane is long prohibited in Germany, the gas is still used for soil fumigation in some countries. CH3Br kills so-called nematodes (eelworms) – microorganisms in the soil that can harm plants. That is why the highly toxic gas is still used for example as a fumigant for pest control on rice fields. For importers, trading companies and the food industry, regular inspection of imported products is important in order to guarantee and document compliance with the statutory threshold values. High-precision CH3Br sensors from smartGAS are ideal for this purpose. 

Do not hesitate to contact our experts! We will be glad to provide you with more information, at no cost or obligation. 


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