On a sunny day in August, it is time to spend a day with the guys from our Fumigation division! Roy, Paul and Michiel are the fumigation staff in the field in The Netherlands. Roy is Fumigation Supervisor, which means that he has final responsibility for every fumigation. Paul and Michiel both are Fumigation Technicians, they have the expertise to prepare and assist every fumigation. It’s 8:30 am and the day has started.
We kick off the day with a cup of coffee at the office in Werkendam and then we are getting the car ready for takeoff. Today, we are visiting two locations. First we are going to Nijmegen. Here we will measure a container for gas and seal it if it is free of gas. Next, we are going to fumigate another container with Vikane® against wood harming insects. After that is done we will go to Alblasserdam where we will check up on a low oxygen CO2 fumigation and fumigate 20 containers with wood logs. We do this with Profume®. Paul and Roy load the car with the gas bottles, put the ADR sign on the car and off we go!
Image 1: loading the car with Vikane® and Profume®
The drive to Nijmegen takes about an hour. We can see the container terminal from the road and we arrive a few minutes later. When we arrive at our fumigation area, Roy and Paul check if a container is free of gas and when they establish that it is, they seal the container.
Image 2: sealed container
After sealing this container, we go on to the next one. The cargo in this container has to be fumigated against wood harming insects, we do this with Vikane®. First, Paul tapes all the ventilation grids, so that the gas can’t get out, and he attaches a warning sign to the container. Next, the guys put on their fumigation gear (respiratory air, gas mask) and start fumigating the container. First they put the pipes from the gas bottle through the rubbers of the container doors. They lift the bottle on a scale. Now they let the gas escape into the container and on the scale they can see when they have to close the bottle and the fumigation is done.
Image 3: Paul tapes the ventilation grids Image 4: the container is fumigated
The container is now under gas and the fumigation is carried out. The guys pack their stuff and we are off to Alblasserdam. This time it’s a drive of an hour and a half. In Alblasserdam we have a big fumigation area. Over here, we mainly fumigate wood logs that are designated for China. This is done with Profume®. Today, 20 containers have to be treated. But first Roy will perform a check up on a low oxygen CO2 treatment that is already being carried out. A low oxygen treatment is an organic fumigation. This means that no toxic substances are used for this. In this case, an airtight liner is placed in the container, which is filled with the CO2. The container doors can’t fully close but this is not necessary.
Image 5: our ‘office’ in Alblasserdam Image 6: low oxygen CO2 treatment
After the check (everything was OK), the guys are going to fumigate the 20 containers. Here we meet Michiel, who was already preparing work in Alblasserdam when we were in Nijmegen. Paul and Michiel finish preparing the containers by taping the ventilation grids of the last three containers. After this, the fumigation can begin. The guys are experienced and successfully fumigate the containers in no time. After this, Paul performed a measurement of the perimeter to make sure there are no dangerous gases beyond the gates of the fumigation area (the gates are 10 metres from the fumigated objects). The measurement is done just above the ground, because gas is heavier than air.
Image 7: administering the gas into the container Image 8: checking if the perimeter is free of gas
The measurement instrument confirms that there is no harmful gas in the air beyond the fences. Roy, Paul and Michiel store all the gear they used for the fumigation in our storage space near our fumigation area and in the car. When this is done, the working day is over and we head back to Werkendam!
Would you like to know more about our Fumigation division? Go to: Fumigation!