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Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2011 Dec;8(12):4649-61. doi: 10.3390/ijerph8124649. Epub 2011 Dec 14.

Environmental impacts from pesticide use: a case study of soil fumigation in Florida tomato production.

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Department of Agriculture and Applied Economics, Conner Hall, The University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA.


The search for alternative fumigants has been ongoing since the 1992 Parties of the Montreal Protocol classified methyl bromide as a Class I controlled substance with an ozone depletion potential (ODP) of 0.7 and destined it for phase-out. This paper focuses on the hazards from fumigants proposed as alternatives for pre-plant soil fumigation in tomato production. We use the Environmental Impact Quotient (EIQ) developed by Kovach et al. to estimate the hazards from methyl bromide and the proposed alternative fumigants to workers, consumers, beneficial arthropods, birds, fish, and bees. Our findings indicate that iodomethane 98/2 has the lowest EIQ index value and field use rating, and is the alternative with the lowest relative risk. Among environmental categories, workers and beneficial arthropods experience the highest relative risks from the proposed tomato fumigants, and fish and consumers the least risks.


Environmental Impact Quotient (EIQ); alternatives; environmental impacts; field use rating; fumigants; methyl bromide; ozone depletion potential; pesticide use

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