Environmental risk assessment of treated timber in service: The Environment Focus Group approach
G Deroubaix, G Labat, I Le Bayon, S Legay, P Marchal, C Yrieix, E Melcher, R-D Peek, S De Geyter, J Van Acker, W J Homan, D J Dickinson, R J Murphy, E D Suttie, A J Nurmi, A-C Ritschkoff, D Rudolph, I Stephan, D Aston, E F Baines, J B Simonin
In the context of the Biocidal Products Directive (98/8/EC), and of the OECD work on wood preservatives, the Environment Focus Group (EFG), comprising 8 institutes and the European Wood Preservative Manufacturers Group, has been working on the environmental risk assessment of treated timber in service. A literature review of emissions from treated timber has revealed that very little existing data is usable for environmental risk assessment; the most relevant data are kinetic curves of emissions over time, which show clearly the non-linear emissions behaviour of treated wood over time. The EFG has suggested real exposure conditions for treated timber in the environment, and listed typical exposure scenarios. Five representative scenarios are characterised in detail, for use in the calculation of Predicted Environmental Concentrations (PECs). The existing methods to determine emissions from treated wood have been reviewed. Most existing experimental models cannot be used to predict environmental emissions. Monitoring of commodities in service has its specific constraints. Chemical analysis and ecotoxicity testing have also been reviewed and their relationship has been discussed. Principles for the design of experimental models, for the determination of emission fluxes from treated wood to the environment, have been established.