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Fumigation is an application process by which a vapourized pesticide (i.e., fumigant) is released under controlled conditions into soil, buildings (e.g., storage silo) or greenhouses in sufficient quantity to act on a target pest organism.

Pesticides formulated as fumigants have physical characteristics such that they can exist in the gaseous state at a specific temperature and pressure, and occupy all air spaces between soil particles, disperse through an empty structure (space fumigation) or penetrate commodities stored within a structure. Space or commodity fumigations require that the gas be contained within the treatment area for a specified time period. This is followed by an aeration step, which takes place under controlled conditions until the fumigant concentration has dropped to a specified acceptable level.

Fumigants are regulated under the Pest Control Products Act (PCPA) which is administered by the Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) of Health Canada. The primary objective of the PMRA is to protect human health and the environment by minimising the risk associated with the use of pesticides. In determining whether a pesticide can be registered for a particular use, the PMRA considers all aspects of the proposed use including where it is used (use site) and how it is applied.

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