|WikiProject Insects||(Rated Start-class, Low-importance)|
The title sentence states that fumigants are not toxic if used properly, but the article later states that most fumigants are highly toxic to people. What's up? Isopropyl 00:42, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
- All mentioned fumigants (especially phosphine and hydrogen cyanide, but also others) are highly toxic for human upon inhalation; the statement, that they "are not toxic if used properly" reflects, that spaces and goods being fumigated and than well ventilated (the final ventilation and removal of the fumigant are a part of proper use of fumigants), pose no risk of poisoning to man entering these spaces or working/consuming goods.
An exception are foods, they can be fumigated only with nonpersistent phosphine gas (traces of PH3 are detoxified to nontoxic phosphate upon prolonged exposure to atmospheric oxygen), not e.g. by hydrogen cyanide, which could be captured in foodstuff or react with trace alcalis to highly toxic cyanides. For the same reason, dichloropropene and chloropicrin are not allowed to fumigation of foods.--Spiperon 00:46, 12 October 2006 (UTC)
- To say they are not toxic if used properly is misleading, it would be more accurate to say that they leave no toxic residue, or possibly no residue. Sulfuryl Flouride also has some limited use in fumigating foodstuffs, although fluoride residues are a a cause of concern to some Maccheek 14:40, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
Toxicant free (physical) fumigation
There is an alternative procedure to the toxicant fumigation, which consists of treatment of the goods (clothes, bulk material, foodstuffs, pharmaceutical products, and the like) in a gas- and pressure-proof chambers, using an inert gas (mainly nitrogen and carbon dioxide) applied after full evacuation of the chamber, under overpressure and possibly, under elevated temperature; this method effectivelly kills insects, and eventually rodents, without applying any toxic chemicals (it is based on physical asphyxiation of the vermin, by excluding oxygen from the air), so its particullary useful for treating foods and pharmaceutical goods, and is used increasingly nowadays. I think it should be mentioned in the article.--Spiperon 22:25, 12 October 2006 (UTC)
Fumigation is also a term referring to a method in soil science and terrestrial ecology, by means of which microbial nitrogen is investigated. This should be added to the article, I think. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 22.214.171.124 (talk) 20:16, 31 March 2011 (UTC)