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Aerosol - A suspension of liquid or solid particles of a chemical in the air. Unlike gases,
these particles penetrate commodities. Aerosols are often referred to as smokes, mists, or
Aluminum Hydroxide - Residue remaining after the decomposition of the fumigant
aluminum phosphide. Small amounts of unreacted aluminum phosphide may also remain
in the gray-white aluminum hydroxide dust. Aluminum hydroxide is a clay-like
compound that is nonpoisonous.
Aluminum Phosphide - A chemical that reacts with moisture to release the fumigant,
phosphine, or hydrogen phosphide. The aluminum phosphide fumigant formulation
contains approximately 55 percent aluminum phosphide and 45 percent inert ingredients
to regulate the release of the fumigant and suppress flammability. Inert ingredients may
include ammonium carbamate, ammonium bicarbonate, urea, and paraffin.
Application Method - The process used to administer a fumigant formulation.
Concentration - The actual amount of fumigant present in the airspace in any given part
of the structure being fumigated at any given time.
Dosage - The amount of fumigant formulation applied, often expressed as the weight of
the fumigant per volume of space treated or the weight of chemical per weight of
Efficacy - The power to produce a desired effect; i.e., a satisfactory kill of infestation in
the egg, pupae, larval, or adult stage.
Fumigant - A chemical which, at the required temperature and pressure, exists in the
gaseous state in sufficient concentrations to be lethal to a targeted pest.
Fumigant Formulation - The chemical or mixture of chemicals comprised of all active
and inert (if any) ingredients which releases a fumigant. Fumigant formulations may
exist in any of the three physical states: liquid, gas, or solid.
Fumigation - The action of releasing a toxic chemical in the gaseous state to control a
targeted pest.
Gas - The state of matter distinguished from the solid and liquid states by very low
density and viscosity, relatively great expansion and contraction with changes in pressure
or temperature, the ability to diffuse readily, and the spontaneous tendency to become
distributed uniformly throughout any container.
Gas Permeable Separation – One that is porous enough to allow air and water vapor
into the fumigate pack and the release fumigate out of the pack but which will keep the
residue created in the pack.
Granule - Finely divided chemical formulation as small particles. A granular formulation
of aluminum phosphide is packaged in moisture permeable envelopes or sachets.
Hydrogen Phosphide – Another name (state) for phosphine.
In-transit Fumigation (FGIS)A procedure used to fumigate qualifying shipments
whereby the carrier may sail before the results are verified. Based on prior USDA
research, efficacy of the treatment is assumed to be accomplished; provided, all the
carrier criteria and treatment requirements are met and verified by FGIS personnel.
Magnesium Phosphide - A chemical compound that reacts with moisture to release the
fumigant, phosphine, or hydrogen phosphide. These formulations contain magnesium
phosphide as the active ingredient.
Metal Phosphides – A generic term when referring to aluminum or magnesium
phosphide formulations. Metal phosphides are solids that react with moisture and
temperature to liberate hydrogen phosphide. These fumigants can contain either
aluminum or magnesium formulations. There are other metal phosphide compounds,
however, they are not used for fumigation.
Parts by Volume - The relative number of gas molecules present in a given volume of
air, such as parts per million (ppm) or parts per billion (ppb). These values are frequently
used in human and mammalian toxicology and in applied industrial hygiene to indicate
Pellets - Aluminum phosphide formulated as a spherical-shaped mass 3/8 of an inch in
diameter, weighing about 0.6 grams that release 0.2 grams of phosphine.
Phosphine (PH3) - A colorless, odorless gas having a low molecular weight, low boiling
point, and specific gravity of 1.21 in relation to air. The gas diffuses rapidly and is
capable of penetrating deeply into materials, such as bulk grains. Phosphine is
flammable at concentrations above 1.79 percent by volume in air.
Recirculation - The act of moving a fumigant throughout a space being fumigated to
prevent stratification and provide an even distribution of the fumigant. Usually
accomplished with fans located inside the fumigated space.
Restricted-Use Pesticide - A pesticide that is classified for restricted use under the
provisions of Section 3(d)(1)(c) of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide
Act, as amended (Pub. L. 92-516, 86 Stat. 973). Statements indicating that a pesticide is
classified, as "restricted use" must appear on the EPA approved label. Aluminum
phosphide is classified as "restrictive use." Restricted use pesticides can only be used by
or under the supervision of a certified applicator.
Residue - The active ingredient(s), metabolite(s), or degradation product(s) that can be
detected after the use of a pesticide.
Residual Pesticide - A pesticide that is active only at or near the point of application and
persists for extended periods in sufficient concentrations to be lethal to targeted pests.
An example of a residual pesticide is Malathion. Residual pesticides are often referred to
as contact insecticides.
Sachet - A moisture permeable envelope containing aluminum phosphide in a granular
formulation. Each sachet weighs approximately 34 grams and will release about 11
grams of phosphine. The envelopes may also be placed in cloth strips referred to as bag
blankets or belts.
Separation – a permeable or impermeable partition(s) between two or more distinct lots
of grain within a specific stowage space.
Specific Gravity (gas) - The weight of a gas compared to the weight of an equal volume
of air under prescribed conditions of temperature and pressure. The specific gravity of
phosphine gas is 1.21 with the value of air being 1.0. Therefore, phosphine is slightly
heavier than air.
Static Fumigation - A method of fumigation in which the carrier/cargo must remain
stationary for the EPA-specified exposure time period and the treatment efficacy verified
before being allowed to move into commercial channels.
Tablet - Aluminum phosphide formulation in a spherical or flat and round shape
weighing approximately 3 grams that release approximately 1 gram of phosphine.
Witness of Fumigation (FGIS)A service whereby the verification of a fumigant’s
application to a specified cargo is provided.

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