CANNABIS CULTURE – Previously stockpiled by the US military, chloropicrin was used as a chemical weapon with effects similar to tear gas. Minimal exposure has been associated with acute eye irritation, coughing, and severe gastrointestinal effects, such as extreme nausea, colic, and diarrhea.
Health Canada’s Pesticide Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) has added chloropicrin to the list of pesticides permitted to be used in outdoor cannabis farms. As a soil fumigant, it is cheaper and more effective than currently approved overground pesticides, but is it also more dangerous than Health Canada is leading us to believe?
Many countries have banned chloropicrin’s use in agricultural settings due to its severe health risks, yet North America has continued to use it for soil fumigation and in stored grains to prevent infestation, despite its ability to be systemically absorbed through ingestion, inhalation, and contact with skin. In fact, the Canadian Environmental Protection Agency recommends against exposure greater than 0.1ppm.
Chloropicrin would be injected into the fields well before cannabis crops are planted.
Although it would seem that this would make its use safer, the off-gassing from chemical breakdown and exposure to heat can have devastating effects. A study published in 2009 out