Leaving wooden pallets aside, this chemical can have both short and long-term effects in humans. Exposure to the chemical can:
- Damage lungs
- Burn skin
- Irritate eyes
- Damage kidneys
- Cause negative neurological effects
These serve as known effects, alongside several other identified health problems. The chemical also contributes to ozone damage in the Earth’s atmosphere. This allows harmful UV radiation to reach Earth’s surface. This stands in stark contrast to heat treatment.
The European Union banned the use of methyl bromide for most applications in 2005. Despite this, it was still allowed for use in quarantine and as a shipping steriliser until 2010. The USA has mostly followed suit, as well. They began to phase out methyl bromide in 2005, though have not yet banned its use in shipping situations.