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Fumigant emission reductions with TIF warrant regulatory changes

  • Author(s): Ajwa, Husein
  • Stanghellini, Michael
  • Gao, Suduan
  • Sullivan, David A
  • Khan, Afiqur
  • Ntow, William
  • Qin, Ruijun
  • et al.
Abstract

With methyl bromide's phase-out, most growers have turned to alternative fumigants, particularly 1,3-dichloropropene (1,3-D) and chloropicrin. These alternatives are tightly regulated because they are classified as toxic air contaminants and volatile organic compounds; the latter combine with other substances to produce ground-level ozone (smog). Two ambient air monitoring studies were conducted to evaluate the potential of totally impermeable film (TIF) to reduce emissions from shank applications of chloropicrin and 1,3-D. In 2009, a study demonstrated that TIF reduced chloropicrin and 1,3-D peak emissions by 45% and 38%, respectively, but TIF did not reduce total emissions when it was cut after 6 days. In 2011, increasing the tarp period from 5 to 10 days decreased chloropicrin and 1,3-D peak emissions by 88% and 78%, and their total emissions by 64% and 43%, respectively. Concurrent dynamic flux chamber results corroborated the ambient air monitoring data. These studies provide regulatory agencies with mitigation measures that should allow continued fumigant use at efficacious application rates.

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