Soil Fumigants

Buffer Zone Requirements for Soil Fumigant Applications

Updated soil fumigant product labels require fumigant users to establish a buffer zone around treated fields to reduce risks to bystanders. This page includes information that may be useful in planning and conducting soil fumigant applications using buffer zones.

Fact Sheets

These fact sheets summarize EPA’s buffer zone requirements.


Using tarps may result in a reduction in the size of a required buffer zone. To find out what effect tarp use has on your application, see Tarp Credits.

Tarps are required for applications of products that contain dimethyl disulfide (DMDS). For more information, see Tarps Approved for Use with DMDS.

See Tarp Testing Guidance to learn about testing soil fumigant tarps and information on how to submit test results to EPA.

Calculating Buffer Zones

This EPA-developed tool is specific to each fumigant product and is based on the look-up tables on the product labels. In addition to calculating buffer zone distances, the calculator can also be used to quickly calculate buffer zone reductions through the use of credits and modifications to application parameters. Applicators must verify that the buffer zone results from the calculator are consistent with the buffer zone requirements on product labels. If there are any discrepancies, the label must be followed.

Buffer Zone Sign Template

Buffer zone signs are available where applicators purchase their products. This EPA template can also be used to meet buffer zone posting requirements.