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Danish wood preservatives approval system with special focus on assessment of the environmental risks associated with industrial wood preservatives
2001 - IRG/WP 01-50166-01
The following is a description of the procedure used by the Danish Environmental Protection Agency to assess the environmental risks associated with preservatives used in the pressure impregnation of wood. The risk assessment covers issues considered to be of significance for the environment and which are adequately documented so as to allow an assessment. Such issues are persistence and mobility in soils, bioaccumulation and the impact on aquatic and terrestrial organisms. Unless required in special circumstances, the assessment does not apply to birds and mammals as the normal use of preservative treated wood is not expected to involve any noteworthy exposure of these groups. Approval of wood preservatives will be based on a general assessment of the environmental risk associated with the normal use of wood treated with the preservative in a realistic worst case situation. The assessment may address other aspects such as disposal and total life cycle.
J Larsen


Regulations of pesticides (including wood preservatives) in the United States
1977 - IRG/WP 397
G B Fahlstrom


The registration of wood preservatives under the Pesticides Act of 1962 in the Netherlands
1976 - IRG/WP 364
J Van der Kolk


The role of communication in the field of environment protection: A case study "Wood Protection"
1990 - IRG/WP 3574
L Wöss


Framework document for an international code of good practices for wood preservation and wood protection (anti-sapstain) facilities
1992 - IRG/WP 92-3683
At the Kyoto meeting, the Health & Safety committee agreed to form a task force to prepare a global plan for writing a code of good practices (Code) for wood protection and preservation facilities (Doc. No. IRG/WP/3681). The Canadian document had been presented to the IRG group earlier (Doc. No. IRG/WP/3447) and similar documents were solicited from other countries for preparing a framework document to assist in the task. Documents were received from Germany, France, UK, and Sweden. These documents provided information on similar efforts toward establishing a Code in those countries. The guiding principles for preparing the Code will be to reduce or eliminate the releases of preservative/anti-sapstain chemicals in the environment and to minimize the workers' exposure to these chemicals for their health and safety. The recommended practices should be based on the current knowledge of existing technology and the physical, chemical, and biological properties of the chemicals. Cooperation of all stakeholders, that is, industry, chemical supliers, regulatory bodies, workers, and other interest groups, in the preparation and approval of the Code should be sought to increase its credibility, usefulness, and effeness. It is proposed to develop a model Code which can be adopted in whole or with modifications in any country, reflecting the site-specific conditions, legislation, and the state of technological sophistication in the industry. The work to date has been conducted ad hoc with the cooperation of Dr. Peek (Germany), Monsieur Ozanne (France), and Dr. Chris Coggins (UK), and the authors acknowledge their assistance in supplying the documents. Based on the available information, it is suggested that the enclosed table of contents be used in the preparation of the framework document for the Code. A task force will be formed to prepare and present the final Code at the next meeting.
V N P Mathur, G Das


Less environmental impact of wood preservatives by considering the risk of attack in addition to the hazard class system
1995 - IRG/WP 95-50040-10
Hazard classes, which are standardized in Europe in EN 335, are most useful to direct chemical wood preservation towards the organisms which may attack wood in the various fields of utilisation. However, hazard only signifies the fact that an attack may occur without considering the actual risk to attack. To minimize the application of chemicals with respect of less environmental impact it is necessary to consider both, the hazard of attack and the risk which implies the probability, how often attack may occur and how important this will be. In addition, also the consequences of the failure of a wooden commodity will influence the need of chemical wood preservation. It is therefore proposed to combine the hazard classes as specified in EN 335 or in similar non European regulations with a risk assessment including time assessment as a basis for the requirement on chemical wood preservation. For this, details are given in the paper.
H Willeitner


Practicability of bioassays in the evaluation of environmental risks in wood protection
1996 - IRG/WP 96-50071
As an example for the proofing of the practicability of bioassays in the evaluation of environmental risks in wood protection the ecotoxicological behaviour of CCF-impregnated timber was examined. After vacuum pressure impregnation specimen from shaped pine poles were tested on ecotoxicological effects of leachable compounds using sensitive aquatic organisms like fish, Daphnia and algae as bioindicators. According to proper impregnation the influence of leachable compounds from treated timber was significantly lower when compared with the acute aquatic toxicity of the preservative and its ingredients. This indicates the existance of safety factors and allows a differentiated estimation of environmental risks for impregnated wood. A general proposal for an ecotoxicological screening procedure in wood protection is presented.
H-W Wegen


Protection of rubberwood with modified creosote
1998 - IRG/WP 98-30165
Creosote is a renowned wood preservative but has certain disadvantages like obnoxius odour and colour, with its unpaintability and bleeding from wood surface may create environmental hazards. An effort has been made to isolate chemical fractions from creosote to obtain clean odourless preservative formulations by subjecting to steam distillation (SVC). Rubberwood treated with SVC and tested for its efficacy against wood rotters gave encouraging results. The potential use of SVC as effective clean preservative has been discussed.
H C Nagaveni, H S Ananthapadmanabha, G Vijayalakshmi, M N Sharma, K H Shankaranarayana


Protection of southern pine using N,N-Napthaloylhydroxylamine: Field tests, soft-rot cellars and aquatic bioassay leach testing
1999 - IRG/WP 99-30204
Recent environmental restrictions are limiting the use of broad-spectrum biocides for wood preservation. There is an urgent need for new, sharply targeted, environmentally benign wood preservatives. N'N-Napthaloylhydroxylamine (NHA), a water-soluble calcium-precipitating agent, has been shown to inhibit decay by brown-rot and white-rot fungi in soil-block tests and prevent damage by Eastem subterranean termites under lab conditions. In order to further evaluate the capacity of NHA to prevent decay and termite damage, SYP stakes were pressure treated with three concentrations of NHA (0.1, 0.5 and 1.0%) and CCA (1.0%) and placed in-ground at the Harrison Experimental Forest, Gulfport, Mississippi, in June, 1997. Similarly, treated sticks were placed in soft-rot fungal cellars at FPL. One percent NHA-treated stakes were also leached for 72 hours in water and the leachates tested by an acute, five dilution bioassay using Ceriodaphnia dubia in EPA Protocol 600/4-90/27F. Results to date: 1) NHA stakes (0.5 and 1.0%) are as durable as CCA; 2) NHA does not inhibit soft-rot fungi and, 3) NHA is a relatively benign molecule with LD50 130-fold less than copper for C. dubia.
D M Crawford, F Green III


A non-pressure method of protection based on hurdle theory to control the spectrum of internal environmental factors which affect the decay of poles in soil contact
1993 - IRG/WP 93-20005
A field trial was conducted to establish whether superficial barrier linings on poles in soil contact could function as environmental hurdles against the growth of biological agents and thus provide preventative methodology to preclude premature failure of vineyard poles under flood-irrigation. Assessment after 52 weeks exposure to the prevailing conditions and sub-tropical environment showed that open-ended cylindrical linings of biologically inert heat-shrink polyethylene applied to the vertical soil-contact surfaces of Eucalyptus grandis poles unequivocally prevented termite-induced failure of untreated poles, basidiomycete decay of creosote-treated poles and fungal colonisation of CCA-treated poles. The success of the liners in prevention of incipient decay of these poles was explainable on the basis of hurdle theory and was therefore attributed to the ability of the former to control essential growth factors and create internal conditions inimical to the proliferation of decay agents in the poles. Consequently, sub-optimal conditions of Aw, Eh, and nitrogen content were considered to have arisen to function as environmental hurdles which decay agents could not overcome at wood-soil interfaces.
A A W Baecker


Dutch work programme for environmental measures in wood preserving industry
1993 - IRG/WP 93-50001-30
Since the carly eighties, it has emerged that somewhat severe environmental problems exist in a significant number of wood-impregnating plants. Regular, structural emissions of such materials as hydrocarbons, and e.g. substances defined as requiring urgent attention, occur into the air, soil and water, including groundwater. This has been established by various investigations and an orientative industrial sector study conducted by order of V.R.O.M. (Dutch Ministry of Housing, Town, Physical Planning and the Environment) together with the Netherlands Ministry of Economic Affairs. In addition, the Regional Inspectorates for the Environment conducted a systematic enforcement action in 1986 under the name "Houtverduurzamingsslag" (operation woodpreservation). The results of this study also illustrated the seriousness of the environmental problems within this branch of industry. As a result, this was sufficient cause to initiate consultations with VHN, the Association of Wood-Impregnation of certain environmental aspects of the wood-impregnation branch. Representatives of water quality management bodies, VNG (the Association of Dutch Municipal Authorities) and the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs were also involved in the discussions. In consultation with the above discussion partners, an integrated package of environmental regulations has been developed for wood-impregnation plants that use the vacuum-pressure process. An agreement was also reached on a work programme. The wood-impregnating industry associated in VHN will comply with the priorities and time schedule for implementing the measures described in the Environmental Regulations. The authorities responsible may implement the Environmental Regulations when reviewing the industrial licences they grant under the Hinderwet (Dutch Public Nuisance Act) for companies in this sector. The Environmental Regulations aim at minimizing the environmental effects arrising from industrial processes and storage activities where the plant is situated. Implementation of the measures described in the Environmental Regulations will result in working methods that are acceptable with respect to the environmental aspects. The Environmental Regulations are included in Annex 1, entitled "Environmental Regulations for Timber Impregnating Companies".
P Pasveer, H Militz, W J Homan


A report of the Technical Recommendations documents for the Canadian Wood Protection and Preservation Facilities and an environmental study of storm water runoff from anti-sapstain treatment plants
1988 - IRG/WP 3478
With the completion of the Final draft of the Technical Recommendations (TR) documents for the Wood Preservation and Wood Protection Industry, there are naturally questions on what is expected from these documents and how Environment Canada and Provincial regulatory agencies may interact with the wood preservation industry. In general, it is expected that the Canadian Wood Preservation and Protection Industry will meet the objectives of the Technical Recommendations documents, which are to reduce or eliminate the release of preservative and antisapstain chemicals into the environment and to eliminate exposure of workers to these chemicals. The Technical Recommendations documents will help in accomplishing these objectives. The documents explain the rationale for the environmental and workplace concerns and provide information required to achieve controls on the use of wood preservative and antisapstain chemicals.
G Das, V N P Mathur


Wood preservation in Canada - Regulation and Registration
2001 - IRG/WP 01-50166-02
The Canadian wood preservation industry is at a critical juncture now as a number of initiatives converge on the industry over the next few years. Issues facing the industry include: Re-evaluation of the conventional wood preservative chemicals - inorganic arsenicals, creosote and pentachlorophenol targeted for July 2001. Delayed registration of new actives as a result of re-evaluation activity and priority. ?Implementation of the Environment Canada "Strategic Options" recommendations for preservative components considered "toxic" under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, including hexavalent chromium, arsenic, PAH contaminated wastes, benzene hexachloride, dioxins and furans. Updating of the Technical Recommendation Documents for the design and operation of wood treating plants (now complete). The backgrounds, implementation, interactions and impacts of these initiatives on the Canadian Wood Preservation Industry are discussed.
P A Cooper


Information on a project about the conditions of admissibility of wood-protecting agents in connection with environmental protection in Poland
1974 - IRG/WP 57
Wood-protecting agents are compounds acting toxically on fungi and insects. If handled improperly or carelessly, they may exert an action harmful to health and safety of men. This action is concerning: a) workers employed at the production of wood-protecting agents; b) workers employed at the impregnation, or at the transport and handling of impregnated wood; c) inhabitants of buildings with impregnated wooden elements, or which have been treated against fungi. At the suggestion of the Scientific and Technical Committee for Wood Protection, medical institutes started investigations concerning the influence of wood-protecting agents on human health. A draft has been worked out on the terms of admissibility for the use of these agents. The toxicological specification of a wood-preserving agent has to include the results of the following tests: 1) Determination of hypertoxicity LD50 per os for rats; 2) Determination of toxicity LD50 per coeliacus for rats; 3) Determination of irritant action on the eye mucosa and the skin of the rabbit; 4) Determination of allergenic action on the skin of the guinea pig; 5) Determination of injuring action by histopathological method; 6) Determination of toxicity LD50 by inhalation after 4 hours by rats, given the content of the active substance in mg in 1 litre of air; 7) Determination of the quantity of wood-protecting agents in the air, by means of the cabin method, and their disappearance. The above mentioned determinations are to be carried out according to methods generally accepted for toxicological tests. In certain cases, they have to be adapted to the requirements of the wood-protecting agents tests. As a fundamental criterior for the evaluation of wood-protecting agents in relation to toxical noxiousness we take the toxicity per os of the whole compound, expressed in mg per kg of weight of the living experimental animal (LD50). The other determinations are of complementary character, and in the case of unfavourable results, they cause the agent to be classified at a lower class than having been classified by the fundamental criterion LD50 alone. A classification of 5 degrees has been worked out for the wood-protecting agents, based on the classification of Hodge-Sterner: Degree I: hypertoxic agent (LD50: below 50 mg/kg); Degree II: toxic agent (LD50: 51-150 mg/kg); Degree III: noxious agent (LD50: 151-500 mg/kg); Degree IV: less noxious agent (LD50: 501-5000 mg/kg); Degree V: practical not noxious agent (LD50: above 5000 mg/kg). In accordance with the accepted criteria the toxicity of some wood-protecting agents is as follows: 1) Arsenic compounds - Degree I of toxicity; 2) Sodium fluoride - Degree II of toxicity; 3) Sodium fluoride + chromium salts - Degree II of toxicity; 4) Fluoride/borates + chromium salts - Degree II of toxicity; 5) Zinc fluosilicate - Degree III of toxicity; 6) Bifluorides - Degree III of toxicity; 7) Borax, boric acid - Degree V of toxicity. In Poland the use of wood-protecting agents of the Degree I of toxicity is prohibited. It is planned to withdraw from use progressively wood-protecting agents having higher degrees of toxicity. The present draft and the suggested classification are of preliminary character. They are being submitted for further investigation and discussion to the authorities concerned with health protection and environmental protection.
J Wazny


Drying Rates and Mold Growth on Various Building Materials under Different Environmental Conditions
2010 - IRG/WP 10-20454
Mold growth on building materials is a major problem for homeowners. The most suitable method to control mold growth on building materials is to utilize design features, construction tools and practices that prevent moisture accumulation, and keep the wood as dry as possible. In order to achieve this, engineers and homebuilders have to know the effects of various temperature and moisture conditions on water accumulation and drying speed of various building materials, and the rates at which mold grows in a particular environment. A study was recently conducted at FPInnovations-Forintek Division to determine drying rates and corresponding mold growth on building materials such as oriented strand board (OSB), plywood, fiberboard, gypsum board, fiberglass insulation material, ceiling tile and several Canadian wood species lumber, under different environmental conditions. The results showed that, without ventilation, the sample moisture loss was slow and mold growth was found on test materials that were dried at 72% RH or higher, after 4 days. With ventilation, the drying rates of the various materials were much faster than without ventilation, and were not significantly affected by increasing the temperature from 20°C to 25°C. No mold growth was found on most materials that were dried with ventilation at 64% RH or less.
Dian-Qing Yang


Wood Protection and Environmental Performance of Products - Impacts COST Action FP1407 Aims to Bring
2016 - IRG/WP 16-50323
Though many aspects of wood modification (chemical, thermal, impregnation) treatments are known, the fundamental influence of the process on product performance, the environment, and end of life scenarios remain unknown. To contribute to the low-carbon economy and sustainable development, it is essential to integrate interactive assessment of process parameters, developed product properties, and environmental impacts. Therefore, a group of researchers joint in a COST Action FP1407 “Understanding wood modification through an integrated scientific and environmental impact approach”. The main objective of the Action FP1407 is to characterize the relationship between wood modification processing, product properties, and the associated environmental impacts in order to maximize sustainability and minimize environmental impacts. The Action aims to provide the critical mass of Europe-wide knowledge needed to achieve the future developments in the field. The networking, multi-disciplinary, exchange of knowledge, and scientific excellence, as well as the expertise of industrial members, will enable comprehensive research and development of modification processing and products design with emphasis on their environmental impacts. This paper will briefly introduce the mechanism COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) and the key research areas, work plan and secondary objectives of this Action FP1407 with the focus on environmental impact assessments. The life cycle assessment (LCA) and environmental product declarations (EPDs) are introduced with examples of LCA studies of wood products. The paper concludes with discussion about the impacts of the Action FP1407 in the field of environmental performance of wood products.
A Kutnar


Environmental protection and long term in-service sustainability of preserved wooden poles is secured by non-toxic barrier protection system – History and case studies in South Africa
2018 - IRG/WP 18-50340
Non-toxic flexible sheeting systems have been developed to encapsulate the ground contact regions of preserved wooden poles and prevent their premature failure in South Africa since 1992 but the technology also has a long history of resistance by individuals with vested interests in the built-in redundancies of such poles. The concept has, however, been simultaneously validated by many independent research institutions worldwide and IRG itself formed a Working Group in 1997 to examine the role of the technology in wood protection. This paper reviews the work done over the past 25 years to validate butt-encapsulation of preserved wooden poles with inert impermeable materials as a proven technology that prevents the loss of preservative from, and subsequent decay of, the protected poles. The paper also presents the findings of four case studies to that effect in South Africa.
A A W Baecker


DuraSoft Project: a multidisciplinary approach for softwood protection
2021 - IRG/WP 21-50367
Over the course of millennia, fishing and agro-pastoral activities have produced unique housing types in the Italian lagoons and in the Slovenian highlands where the use of wood is predominant. They are associated with wooden service infrastructures such as piers, moorings, piling and fences. However, the existence of these structures and the associated cultural heritage are subject to constant maintenance no longer economically sustainable in humid and coastal environments where wood degradation is massive and fast. To overcome this problem, in the last century the use of particularly polluting wood protection products as well as of unsuitable materials have been perpetrated, causing environmental damage or unsustainable use of resources. The DuraSoft Project aims to test some new techniques and products, developed and produced by the partners, which intend to increase the durability of traditional wood species. The treated wood may be used for traditional constructions in socio-ecologically sensitive environments, making its use economically and environmentally sustainable within the Adriatic alpine-maritime area. The environmental compatibility of these techniques is evaluated through a broad spectrum of ecotoxicological tests. They will be applied at different levels of biological organisation, from the molecular and cellular responses measured in bioindicator organisms to the effects on epibionthic microbial communities. The wood species and the treatments applied are tested with different methods to evaluate both the wood materials and real objects degradation performances, applying also standard methods (EN 275, EN 252). Coniferous wood is historically used in the Alpine-maritime area of the Upper Adriatic, but is less durable than hardwood species. The objectives of the DuraSoft Project are particularly relevant due the high availability of softwood lumber following the recent disasters caused in the Alps by Climate Change.
I Guarneri, V Moschino, N Nesto, T Marceta, M Sigovini, E Borella di Torre, L Dametto, S Pasqual, M Humar, B Lesar, T Cibic, V Natali, E di Poi, F Cerino, D Formasaro, M Kralj, F Relitti, C Balestra, M Celussi, A Franzo, A Volpi Ghirardini, M Picone, G G Distefano, M Russo, D Marchetto, R Rakar, I Trobec, D Marinic, G Rep, N Thaler, T Galvan, R Lazzarini, F Gombac, D Tagliapietra


Proposed method for out-of-ground contact trials of exterior joinery protection systems
1981 - IRG/WP 2157
Methods for testing the efficacy of preservative treatments for exterior joinery are described using the format of a European Standard. Commercially used treatments applied to jointed test units (L-joints) which are then protected by conventional finishes are exposed to normal outdoor hazards out of ground contact. Assessment is made a) by determining eventual failure through decay and b) by destructive examination of replicate treated and untreated units, after increasing time intervals, rating comparative performance in terms of wood permeability increase and the progress of microbial colonisation.
J K Carey, D F Purslow, J G Savory


Granitgard used as a partial and perimeter barrier in the protection of buildings against subterranean termites
1995 - IRG/WP 95-10114
The graded granite subterranean termite physical barrier, commercially marketed as Granitgard, has a Certificate of National Accreditation issued by the Australian Building Codes Board, and is included in Australian Standards. After several years in developing the specifications and installation techniques for Granitgard, it may be used to protect almost all footing designs. Granitgard can be simply placed around slab penetrations and buildings perimeters to provide a durable, long-life subterranean termite barrier. This paper discusses the development of partial and perimeter applications of Granitgard around buildings, and the advantages of using a termite barrier that removes the need for costly and dangerous chemical retreatments.
D M Ewart, J R J French


The applicability of life cyle analysis and alternative methods in the wood preservation industry
1994 - IRG/WP 94-50023
In the Netherlands, several case studies have been performed using the life cycle analysis method (LCA). This type of research is aimed at an inventory and classification (sometimes including also evaluation) of the environmental impacts of a product, from the raw material to waste stage ("cradle to grave" approach). In a LCA each environmental impact is assessed in terms of, for example, mass of raw material use (kg), energy consumption (MJ), emissions (COx, NOX, SOx, etc.) and final waste (in kg). The critical point in an LCA is the definition of comparable "functional units" for similar products made of different materials with different service lifes. As the LCA method has often proved to be very complex, lime-consuming, expensive and difficult to interpret and translate into practically usefull results, alternative methods are developed. Three methods are described and compared on the basis of various examples. It is hoped that this may be of use as a starting point for further discussion on the suitability of applying the LCA on (preservative treated) timber products.
P Esser, J Cramer


Environmental status of wood preservation in the UK
1994 - IRG/WP 94-50018
The environmental status of wood preservatives and treated wood in the UK is summarised. The current legislatory position with respect to approvals, supply, use and waste disposal is considered. The bibliography at the end of this paper contains details of all publications referred to together with other relevant information although this cannot be exhaustive.
M Connell


Programme section 5, Environmental aspects
1997 - IRG/WP 97-50099
IRG Secretariat


Programme section 5, Environmental aspects
1996 - IRG/WP 96-50077
IRG Secretariat


Conservation of wooden cultural property
1994 - IRG/WP 94-30038
A survey of the conservation of wooden archtitectual monuments, art objects and archaeological finds is presented. Each of the three areas has typical conservation problems which reqire the use of selected wood preservatives and consolidation agents. Furthermore specific protection and consolidation methods are necessary. A precise damage diagnosis with non-destructive testing methods is the first step in a careful conservation work.
A Unger, W Unger


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