What are Soil Fumigants?
Soil fumigants are pesticides that, when applied to soil, form a gas to control pests that live in the soil and can disrupt plant growth and crop production. Soil fumigants are used on many high value crops and provide benefits to growers in controlling a wide range of pests, including nematodes, fungi, bacteria, insects and weeds.
As gases, however, fumigants move from the soil to the air at the application site and may move off site at concentrations that produce adverse health effects in people from hours to days after application. These health effects range from mild and reversible eye irritation to more severe and irreversible effects, depending on the fumigant and the level of exposure.
EPA has implemented important safety measures for the soil fumigant pesticides to increase protection for agricultural workers and bystanders - people who live, work, or otherwise spend time near fields that are fumigated.