Why is methyl bromide a problem?
• Human exposure to high concentrations of methyl bromide can cause nervous system and respiratory failure. • In 1992, EPA classified methyl bromide as a “Class I” ozone depleting substance. These are the compounds considered to cause the most significant damage to the ozone layer. • In 1993, regulations were set forth to prohibit production and importation of methyl bromide. • A 100% reduction of methyl bromide must be implemented by the year 2005. How will the loss of methyl bromide affect Florida agriculture? • More than 6,000 metric tons of methyl bromide are used for pre-plant soil fumigation in Florida • 62% of this is used in the production of tomatoes and 26% is used for the production of bell peppers Use of methyl bromide in Florida by crop. (Click on graph for full-sized version.) • Vegetable production in Florida is highly dependent upon the availability of effective pest management tools. • There are many plant pests affecting vegetables and fruits that are extremely diffic