Methyl Bromide

Methyl bromide (MeBr) is an odorless, colorless gas used in agriculture throughout the world. The United States uses it on more than 100 crops as a soil fumigant and as a postharvest treatment. Methyl bromide has been used extensively in regulatory activities as a plant quarantine treatment to control a variety of pests. Methyl bromide is also used to fumigate structures such as grain storage facilities and warehouses, flour mills and ships carrying agricultural commodities. Methyl bromide has been used extensively in treating cargos at the Port of Charleston, and in structural fumigation in the Charleston area. California and Florida are the primary users of methyl bromide.

Changes to the Methyl Bromide Phase Out in the United States


Methyl bromide production and importation will be reduced from 1991 levels as follows:

        25% reduction in 1999
        50% reduction in 2001
        70% reduction in 2003
        100% reduction in 2005
        Preshipment and quarantine uses exempt
        Critical agricultural uses allocated after 2005

  1. Methyl Bromide Questions & Answers - EPA web site.
  2. Protection of Stratospheric Ozone: The 2009 Critical Use Exemption From the Phaseout of Methyl Bromide
  3. EPA Methyl Bromide Phaseout
  4. Alternatives to Methyl Bromide - EPA.
  5. Montreal Protocol - The 1987 Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone. Information about the Montreal Protocal and access to full text of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone.
  6. USDA Methyl Bromide Alternatives Newsletter
  7. ATSDR Medical Management Guidelines for Methyl Bromide - Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)
  8. Weed Control Without Methyl Bromide - Slide presentation from UGA Weed Science