Treating wood packaging material (WPM) with fumigants has been a way of life since the IPPC approved the ISPM-15 guidelines in 2002. To date, Methyl Bromide has been the fumigant of choice, but with some undesirable consequences. Not only has the chemical been found to deplete the ozone, it also is contaminating goods shipped within the wood containers. Some of the WPM contains too high levels of the fumigant, resulting in contaminated food and non-food products. These sometimes exceed the residue limits.
Finding an alternative to Methyl Bromide has been an ongoing process. Sulfuryl Fluoride has now been approved by the IPPC as a fumigant to meet ISPM-15 standards. It treats nematodes and insects, and it doesn’t contribute to stratospheric ozone depletion. It’s colorless, odorless, nonflammable, and is 2-3 times less toxic to mammals than Methyl Bromide. Additionally, cost per container treatment is comparable to Methyl Bromide.
Not so Fast
Before you take advantage of the switch, bear in mind that this is new and not yet approved everywhere. The EPA has currently only approved eight states to use Sulfuryl Fluoride. Furthermore, the NPPO of each country has to have approved the use of this fumigant in its regulations. That means that you need to check with the states and the NPPO of the countries receiving any WPM that’s been treated with Sulfuryl Fluoride to ensure its accepted.
The Easy Solution
If you want to avoid having to research these individual regulations, or use a safer alternative entirely, Packnet has a solution. We meet compliance by using heat-treated wood. This eliminates the spread of unwanted organisms, and it’s safer for products like medicine and food.
We remain current on all laws and regulations that pertain to WPM. Our primary goal is to help you find guaranteed protection for your goods with a long lifespan and optimal ROI. Let us know what questions you have about packaging: 952.944.9124.