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[Health Effects Caused by Soil Fumigant Chloropicrin, Reduction of Exposure to Chloropicrin, and Alternative Technology of Soil Fumigants].


Pesticides are essentially toxic to living things and are used openly, so it is necessary to monitor them to prevent their adverse effects. We have studied farmers'exposure to pesticides during soil fumigation operations with chloropicrin, and have noted a danger to the farmers in the form of dyspnea. We examined accidents/symptoms of residents from chloropicrin reported by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishery from 2010 to 2019. Eighty percent of the cause of these manifestations was the failure to cover fumigated soil with plastic film. Symptoms shown by residents included eye pain (91%), sore throat (35%), and headache (14%). The most common film used for covering fumigated soil in Japan is polyethylene. The agricultural technology centers in Japan have studied the use of gas barrier films, and found it possible to decrease the amount of chloropicrin used to 1/3, and leakage into the atmosphere to less than 1/10. This technology has become popular in the production of sweet potatoes in Tokushima Prefecture. Soil disinfection by solar heat has also been studied in Japan. These studies have shown positive advancements in the fertilization of soil and in the control of microbes. Chloropicrin has caused occupational exposure to farmers and environmental exposure to local residents. It is advisable that the technologies mentioned above become common practice.