Container Fumigation, Gas Checking and Venting

Many food commodities such as rice, dried fruit and nuts are routinely fumigated prior to, or during, transit to ensure that insect pests and eggs are not present within the commodity prior to distribution and packing. In addition other imported products such as packaged foodstuffs, furniture, and basketware frequently require fumigation on arrival in the UK when insect presence is detected.

The phosphine gas normally used is highly penetrative and allows insect pests to be killed in a variety of packaging without breaking or damaging the packaging.

Other commodities require fumigation prior to, or during, export as part of the trading requirements. We are able to organise both the fumigation of containers and the venting of import containers both in the UK and in many overseas countries. Gas checking of import containers is also a service which we provide.

A recent survey in 2010 in the Netherlands and Belgium found that 11% of the 50,000 containers tested were rejected because gas and vapour levels were too high. In addition to containers which have been gassed some products such as shoes, electronics and paints generate toxic gases during transit. Examples of these gases include Toluene, Formaldehyde, 1, 2 Dichloroethane, Carbon Monoxide and Ammonia. By checking toxic gas levels, and if necessary venting, prior to delivery to the customer or distribution centre we can ensure that the labour force are not unwittingly exposed to toxic gases well in excess of the “Maximum Allowable Concentration” or MAC value. By building up a database of this information the purchaser/importers can take these issues up with the manufacturers who may well be still using solvents and adhesives banned in the EC and other parts of the world.