Soil fumigants are a class of pesticides used to control soil-borne pests, such as nematodes and pathogens, and are commonly applied in the fall after harvest or in the spring as a pre-plant soil preparation in a number of major California specialty crops. However, many conventional and widely used soil fumigants, such as chloropicrin and 1,3-dichloropropene, have been identified as toxic and/or possibly carcinogenic.
Earlier this year, WCAHS accepted proposals for short-term projects that address research, outreach, or educational issues of agricultural health and safety in Arizona, California, Hawaii, and/or Nevada.
Agricultural workers face numerous airborne threats every day. Air pollutant emissions, soil fumigants, pesticides, mold, asbestos, and dust are a few of the potential lung health hazards that an agricultural worker can come into contact through work.
WCAHS welcomes new investigator Dr. Christopher Simmons to the research team. Simmons, an Assistant Professor in the UC Davis Department of Food Science and Technology, will be conducting a study on biosolarization as an alternative technology to soil fumigation. Soil fumigants are used to kill nematodes, weeds, bacteria, fungi, and insects that damage crops. Here, he talks about his research.