Fosfine (ph3) in vacuum packaging cashews

Raised fines for not complying with Dutch Law on Working Conditions
9 May 2019
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27 May 2019

Fosfine (ph3) in vacuum packaging cashews

More than 70 percent of all cashews are fumigated with fosfine right before they are packed. The goal of this is to kill stock harming insects. Cashews are almost always packed in vacuum plastic bags in boxes. Because of the vacuum, the gas can’t get out of the packaging. This brings along a huge risk for the people opening these boxes and plastic packaging afterwards.

Dangers of fosfine

Fosfine is ingested in the body by breathing it in. Fosfine is colourless, scentless and inflammable. It is also deadly in really small concentrations. The limit value of fosfine is almost everywhere in the world  0,1 ppm. Fosfine comes along with enormous health hazards, like shortness of breath, dizziness, drowsiness and even arrhythmias. People who are exposed to fosfine regularly can develop brochitis and anemia, among others.

The solution of EWS Group and NCP Group

EWS Group does not only carry out gas measurement of containers and open areas, but also measures between and inside the goods when there is a reason to do so. With our many years of experience, we measure a minimum of ten boxes in vacuum in a container of cashew nuts. The results of this are shocking. We regularly stumble upon concentrations of fosfine of more than 1000 times the statutory limit!

NCP Group, a sister company of EWS Group, has developed a service regarding the degassing of these batches of cashew nuts in a responsible and safe way. NCP Group rebags the cashews from the boxes in a big bag. We do all this with respiratory protection. The big bags are ventilated by means of an innovative extraction installation. With this installation, the detrimental gases are intercepted by carbon filters. We do this until the concentration of fosfine is below the limit value. After that, the cashews can be packed in any desired packaging.

Would you like to know more about the Gas measurement division of EWS Group? Go to: https://www.ewsgroup.de/en/gas-measurement/. Are you curious about how NCP Group can help you? Visit https://www.ncp-group.nl/en/

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