What are my responsibilities for indoor fumigant applications?

For Agricultural Employers

Monitor the Applicator(s)/Handler(s)

In enclosed space production, the handler employer must ensure all of the following:

  • Handlers in an enclosed space during a fumigation have continuous visual or voice contact with another handler immediately outside the enclosed space.
  • The handler outside the enclosed space has immediate access to a set of personal protective equipment that is required by the label for applicators. This PPE must be used in a rescue situation.

Enclosed space production areas are locations where agricultural plants are produced indoors, or in a structure covered (partially or completely) with a non-porous material. It must also be large enough for a person to enter. The term "handler employer" above includes any commercial pesticide handler employer and any agricultural employer who employs one or more handlers. A fumigant is any pesticide product that acts in a gaseous or vapor form.

Keep Unprotected Workers Away

Agricultural employers are responsible for ensuring the safety of workers and other people on the establishment. For fumigant applications in enclosed spaces, do not allow anyone into the enclosed space or any adjacent structure or area that cannot be sealed off. This restriction applies during the application and until the ventilation criteria are met (listed below). This does not apply to handlers who are trained, equipped, and involved with the application.

Ventilate the Structure

Ventilation must continue until any inhalation exposure level on the pesticide label is met. If no exposure level is listed on the label, ventilation must continue until after one of the following conditions is met:

  • Ten air exchanges are completed
  • Two hours of ventilation using fans or other mechanical ventilating systems
  • Four hours of ventilation using vents, windows, or other passive ventilation
  • Eleven hours with no ventilation followed by one hour of mechanical ventilation
  • Eleven hours with no ventilation followed by two hours of passive ventilation
  • Twenty-four hours with no ventilation

After ventilation and label requirements are met, there are no post-application entry restrictions required for enclosed space fumigations.

Regulatory Guidance

Browse brief guides about protections for workers and handlers, the AEZ, posting, PPE, exemptions, training, respirators, and more, in English and Spanish.

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