International standards and the biocide debate - Potential contribution
Downstream the European 98/8/EEC directive on biocides, a working party of O.E.C.D. has been developing a tremendous work to put together the background information necessary to assess wood preservative efficacy, environmental and human exposure. Standardization may contribute to those efforts, using traditional experience and methodology. Among them, the hazard classification system may be extended to human beings and their environment, in all situations of uses. While primary exposure to biocides seems to be a matter related to classes of processes, the situation differs with secondary exposure to treated wood, related to use categories: in principle, the doses are already restricted to targets in a given class. Additionally, those uses have been , until now, practically limited to construction products. The first need is to extend the hazard class system to all kinds of biocidal wood preservation and their related uses. A methodology is proposed to get access to biocide concentrations and flows in priority compartments, assessment of intake by non-targets and their ratio to no-effect values in order to quantify safety factors. This route could allow to select further priorities for risk reduction at the pre-marketing stage.