Transport of goods by freight containers is used all over the world. They are
frequently treated with chemicals that kill pests before shipping. The
chemicals used are toxic not only to pests, but also to humans.
When these containers arrive at the destination there may be residues of the
fumigation chemicals that may represent a risk to the workers that open and
unload the containers. Fumigated containers are seldom labelled with warnings
that show that they are fumigated even if international regulations say so.
Several incidents have been reported where workers have been exposed to such
fumigant residues and experienced adverse health effects, some of them severe.
Health personnel working at hospitals and clinics have reported about patients
they have examined after what seem to be intoxications by fumigants.
A recently on OSHwiki published article dicusses these problems and shows a way
to good practice.
AplusA-online.de - Source: European Agency for Safety and Health at Work