Methyl Bromide

Methyl bromide (bromomethane), a colourless gas at room temperature, is a potent biocide with insecticidal, fungicidal and herbicidal properties. It is used to control a number of pests including insects, nematodes, rodents, weeds and soil-borne diseases in a wide range of agricultural and horticultural crops and in wood products. It is primarily used for soil fumigation, post harvest protection of dry commodities (such as stored grain or dried fruit) and quarantine treatments.

Methyl bromide is also used as a methylating agent, an industrial feedstock, a refrigerant, a fire extinguishing agent, a solvent in dye manufacture, for degreasing wool, for extracting oils from nuts, seeds and flowers and in ionization chambers.

In 1991 methyl bromide was identified by the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (the Montreal Protocol) as a chemical that contributes to depletion of the ozone layer. In accordance with the Montreal Protocol, the Australian manufacture and importation of methyl bromide was to be phased out completely by 1 January 2005. However, the use of methyl bromide in quarantine pre-shipment (QPS) and as a chemical feedstock are currently exempt from the phase-out under the Montreal Protocol.

Methyl Bromide Review

Status: review completed

In September 2005 the APVMA began a review of methyl bromide because of environmental concerns and Australia’s international obligations under the Montreal Protocol.

In June 2007 the APVMA released the Methyl Bromide Final Review Report and Regulatory Decision (PDF, 429kb). The APVMA recommended that the labels on products containing methyl bromide be amended to only allow QPS uses which are exempt from controls under the Montreal Protocol and certain agricultural fumigant uses which have critical use exemptions (CUEs) approved annually by the parties to the protocol. Labels are to contain additional directions for use and warning statements. Stock bearing superseded labels were permitted a 24-month phase-out period. Read a full history of the review.

Review report Date
Final Review Report and Regulatory Decision (PDF, 429kb) Jun 2007


For more information contact:

Chemical Review

Phone: +61 2 6210 4749

Fax: +61 2 6210 4776


Product Search

Search the PUBCRIS database for registered products that contain methyl bromide.

APVMA methyl bromide archive

Title Date
Gazette Notice: Reconsideration of registrations related to methyl bromide (PDF, 150kb) Aug 2007
Backgrounder (PDF, 33kb) Jul 2007
Gazette Notice: Preliminary review findings of the review of approvals and registrations related to methyl bromide May 2006
Preliminary Review Findings Report (PDF, 300kb) Apr 2006
Media Release: Regulatory phase-out of ozone-depleting gas continues Apr 2006
Review Scope Document (PDF, 186kb) Sep 2005
Gazette Notice: Reconsideration of approvals and registrations related to methyl bromide (PDF, 91kb) Oct 2005
Standard for methyl bromide active constituent Aug 2004

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