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Plant uptake of CCA components from contaminated soil
1995 - IRG/WP 95-50043
The above ground portions of lettuce and rye grass grown in CCA contaminated soil collected at the base of CCA-C treated poles in service did not absorb appreciable amounts of copper, chromium and arsenic, even at soil concentrations above the recommended levels for soil remediation for agricultural uses. At high soil arsenic levels whole radish plants absorbed more As, but not the other elements. The uptake of all elements by the root portion of rye grass increased with increased soil contaminant levels. The Cr, Cu and As content of lettuce roots was more than double that of the leaves and for copper appeared to increase with increasing soil concentration. Natural growing horsetails (Equisetum) accumulated all three elements in proportion to the soil concentration; cattails did not accumulate the elements appreciably and grass growing close to CCA treated poles had relatively higher concentrations of Cr and As compared to other plants.
P A Cooper, E Jasonek, J-P Aucoin


Durability Testing of a Cattail (Typha spp.) based Insulation Material against Termite Attack
2017 - IRG/WP 17-10879
The use of insulating materials is particularly important in the construction industries, especially with regard to the use of wood and naturally occurring substances. The use and durability of natural materials as insulating materials is of keen interest to many construction experts, and continues to be a topic of intense investigation. It is generally agreed that the use of natural substances as insulation is possible if certain harmful influences are prevented or controlled. We investigated plant material of the cattail plant (Typha spp.) which consists of long, tear-resistant fibers and a compressible sponge-like tissue. The test material has a low specific density of 0.65 kg/m³. Test specimens consisted of sections of insulating panels which would typically be used in walls and roofing areas, as well as inside living areas. It is especially desirable that cattail-based insulating material is suitable for use in tropical environments where the insect and decay hazard is more severe than in temperate climates. In our research, we examined the resistance of a cattail-based insulation material against destruction by termites. Objectives were to determine resistance against termites and to assign a durability class to the test material. The experiments are in accordance with the European standard EN 117 and EN 118. The termite species Reticulitermes santonensis de Feytaud is the test organism. The test specimens have dimensions of 50 x 25 x 15 mm, and the test duration is 56 days. The test arrangement includes three different variations: the Force Test is a test with only one specimen in a vessel; the Choice Test includes two specimens; and the Control Test demonstrates the behavior of termites under optimal conditions. The test results are discussed with emphasis on the possible use of cattail-based insulation material in tropical countries where termite resistance is of particular importance.
M Dass, W Unger, T L Woods