Winery operators must comply with the pesticide label requirements for SO2, including protective clothing and respiratory protection, posting of fumigation sites, re-entry after fumigation, and storage and disposal. Employers who hire employees to handle SO2 must comply with labeling requirements and worker safety regulations, e.g., training, commencing with Title 3, California Code of Regulations (3CCR) section 6700. Sulfur dioxide is a non-flammable gas, shipped as a liquefied compressed gas, and as such, can pose a frostbite hazard to unprotected skin.
Respiratory requirements for handlers – Handlers must wear either a supplied-air respirator with National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) approval number prefix TC-19C, OR, a self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) with NIOSH approval number TC-13F. Currently, the only registered product, The Fruit Doctor, has respiratory requirements under the “Precautionary Statements” portion of the labeling, and under “Protective Clothing” under the heading of “Personal Protective Equipment” (on page 3, The Fruit Doctor Application Manual).
Respiratory requirements for all workers other than handlers – No other persons are allowed in the area where the fumigations are taking place unless they wear the same respiratory protection identified above, UNLESS the area is continuously monitored to ensure levels do not exceed 2 parts per million (ppm). Currently, the only registered product, The Fruit Doctor, has respiratory requirements found under the subheading of “Respiratory Protection” under the heading of “Personal Protective Equipment” (page 3, The Fruit Doctor Application Manual) and respiratory requirements (found on page 8, The Fruit Doctor Application Manual). The Cal/OSHA Permissible Exposure Limit is 2 ppm (time weighted).
Worker protection for non-pesticide uses fall under the jurisdiction of the Department of Industrial Relations, Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA).
Update on Respiratory Requirements When Using Sulfur Dioxide (May 2011) (PDF:42kB )