Sulfuryl fluoride is a structural and commodity fumigant used to control a wide variety of pests, including termites, powder post beetles, old house borers, bedbugs, carpet beetles, moths, cockroaches, rats and mice.
It is a restricted use pesticide (RUP) registered for dwellings, buildings, warehouses, construction materials, furnishings, vehicles, and food commodities (e.g., grains, dried fruit, dried beans).
Sulfuryl fluoride is a replacement for methyl bromide and the only fumigant with residential uses.
How sulfuryl fluoride is used as a structural fumigant
Registration Review Schedule
Sulfuryl fluoride is currently undergoing registration review, a program that re-evaluates all pesticides on a 15-year cycle. In December 2009, EPA completed the final work plan and in September 2010, EPA issued the data call-in.
In May 2021, EPA released three draft risk assessments the next step in the registration review process for public comment. EPA is continuing to comment in late 2021. After considering public comments, EPA will issue the proposed interim decision, which will propose measures to reduce human health and ecological risks.
Office of Inspector General Response
In December 2016, EPA's Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued a report, Additional Measures Can Be Taken to Prevent Deaths and Serious Injuries From Residential Fumigations, that was conducted to assess which additional safety measures could be taken to prevent serious injuries from use of this pesticide during residential fumigation. This report recommended EPA make changes to how this pesticide can be used and do an assessment of the clearance devices used to determine safe reentry levels in homes after fumigation.
To address the OIG report, EPA completed an assessment of the devices as we all as a residential post application exposure and risk assessment. In May 2021, EPA released the Draft Interim Re-Entry Mitigation Measures. In this document, EPA is proposing the following label revisions to ensure safe use of produces containing sulfuryl fluoride:
- Require more postings warning signs to be clearer that there is no admittance to fumigation tents during fumigation;
- Require fumigant management plans for residential fumigations;
- Require additional registrant sponsored application stewardship training; and
- Only allow use of the clerance divices shown to be effective.
In addition, EPA is proposing to require remote fumigations and aeration from outside of the fumigated space, increase aeration time to 12 to 24 hours, require active aeration (e.g. use of fans), and require portable stacks, which aligns with California’s Aeration Plan that has yielded positive results.