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Environmental issues: Messages for the wood preservation industry
1985 - IRG/WP 3353
A review of the origins and structure of environmental legislation throughout those territories of the world where wood preservation is a major industry is given. The implications of media, industry and legislation interaction is discussed and suggestions made as to the key issues the wood preservation industry should concentrate its attentions on in the immediate future.
D G Anderson, P Waldie


Wood preservation in Kenya
2000 - IRG/WP 00-40191
Current research on wood preservation in Kenya is mainly on the development of biological control of wood-destroying termite species, using mycoinsecticides. The major research institutions include the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI), Kenya Forestry Research Institute (KEFRI), Moi University and the International Centre for Insect Physiology (ICIPE). Training institutions include Forestry Training College, Forest Products Training Institute and Moi University. A number of publications, mostly an biological control of termites, are available and they range from workshop and conference proceedings to theses and journal publications. Wood-destroying termite species include several genera in Macrotermitidae and one drywood termite genus. Wood preservation facilities are available in Kenya, mainly for assorted timber products, sleepers and utility poles. The major preservatives used are CCAs, PCP and Creosote oil. There are still no set standards, specifications and requirements for wood preservatives and little, if any information exists on the marketing aspects of wood preservatives. The yet to be established Industrial Chemicals Act and the recently introduced Environmental Management and Coordination Bill (1999) may be able to handle regulatory, environmental, health and safety aspects of wood preservation in Kenya.
G Ochiel


The environmental chemistry of chromium: Science vs. U.S. law
1993 - IRG/WP 93-50014
The cooperation which existed among chromium chemical producers, industrial health laboratories, and governmet agencies was destroyed after 1970 by the advent of environmental activism and regulatory legislation. As prewar plants had been found to pose a serious cancer risk, this fact was the basis of EPA regulations, especially during the term of Joe Califano in HEW under Jimmy Carter. However, as health problems were identified by industry, the legal implications soon became apparent, and corporate scientists could release information only after clearance. This destroyed the free exchange of information necessary to the solution of scientific problems. Within the past few years, the closure of allied plants, the resolution of some superfund litigation, plus the release of records to the historical files at the Chemical Heritage Foundation, has clarified the scientific record. The following will be discussed: (1) The tendency of the present legal system to exaggerate risk. (2) Actual risks involved from inhalation, skin contact, and effluents. (3) the application of these principles to production, use and disposal of CCA and CCA-treated wood.
W H Hartford


Preliminary studies to assess the effects of aeration and lowered humidity on the decay capacity, growth and survival of the dry rot fungus Serpula lacrymans (Wulf ex. Fr.)
1997 - IRG/WP 97-10208
Novel microcosms were used to test separately the effects of aeration and humidity on the decay capacity, linear spread and survival of Serpula lacrymans. The application of a pumped air supply resulted in an effective cessation of fungal activity when all but the lowest of the air flow rates was used. Furthermore, the lowest air flow rate caused marked growth tropisms away from the stress. In separate chambers used to create a range of relative humidities, growth and decay were permitted only in the higher humidity regimes. In both the air flow and the humidity experiments, the loss of growth and decay abilities was not always accompanied by a loss of fungal survival. A test to compare the decay capacities of domestic building isolates and "wild" Himalayan isolates of S. lacrymans was also performed, as were comparisons of radial growth rates on malt agar. Significant differences between the two groups occurred in both tests.
G A Low, J W Palfreyman, N A White, H J Staines, A Bruce


Oxine copper (NYTEK® GD) for the control of mould and sapstain on lumber in North America
1989 - IRG/WP 3517
NYTEK® GD is a new, water-based, micro-dispersible formulation of oxine copper registered in the United States and Canada for control of mold and sapstain-causing fungi. NYTEK GD is noncorrosive and of low hazard to applicators and people handling treated lumber, when used according to the label. The product is an effective wood protectant applied as a dip or spray treatment at concentrations of 0.32-0.63% ai (by wt.) on major species of lumber including hem-fir and southern pine. The duration of activity is 4-6 months on artificially inoculated wood incubated in environments that encourage fungal development. Shorter duration control may be observed on Douglas fir. Efficacy is improved by a tank mixture with 2% borate. The unique combination of safety, noncorrosiveness, and efficacy make NYTEK GD a sound alternative to penta-and tetrachlorophenates for wood protection.
D F Myers, J M Fyler, C H Palmer, G D Rosebery


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 national environmental policy strategy (NMP): Implications throughout the life cycle of treated timber and for the Dutch preservation industry
1993 - IRG/WP 93-50001-31
All overview of relevant environmental legislation and instruments for control is given for each stage of the life cycle of treated timber. Recent policy in the Netherlands has been focused around the "National Environmental Policy Strategy", in which a general policy with regard to reduction of pollution to the air, soil and water is described. The principle is one of an "Integrated Chain of Control" and reduction of emissions at the source of pollution. This means all aspects of pollution should be inventorised throughout the life cycle of a product, from source and manufacture to the waste stage. For treated timber this life cycle is: the wood preservative, the treatment (impregnation plants, storage), treated timber in service, treated timber as waste. As a country rich in water, in the Netherlands much emphasis is given to the reduction of emissions from treated timber to water, either during storage, or during service life. The reality thet treatment plants in the Netherlands face with regard to regulatory bodies (Waterboards, Municipalities) are highlighted. The response of the Dutch wood preservation industry in complying with existing and possible future regulations is described.
P Esser, D A Lewis, A J Pendlebury


Evaluation of tropical wood by-products as a potential source for termite control products
2001 - IRG/WP 01-10408
Termites damaging in houses represent an ever growing threat in Europe, where the phenomenon has accelerated during the last ten years, as well as in the tropics, where infestations are permanent. To fight against this plague, the current methods used, through injection of organochloric or organophosphorized products into the timber structures and walls, are belonging to the past due to the toxicity and harmful consequences of their use on the environment. New techniques were developed and research organisations are still working on minimizing the environmental impacts through the elaboration of new products. Some tropical wood species from French overseas territories (mainly French Guyana), like Ocotea rubra, Licaria canella and Aniba parviflora (Lauraceae), contain repellent, antifeeding or toxic substances which might be extracted to obtain molecules to be used for new wood preservatives. CNRS and CIRAD-Forêt are currently elaborating techniques that will allow to discriminate the possible effects of various molecules contained in sawdusts as regards to termites. Both termite species, Heterotermes indicola and Reticulitermes santonensis, have shown different behaviours depending on the wood species. These wood species were consequently classified according to their repulsive, antifeeding or toxic effects against both termite species studied. Considering the results obtained, it would then be worthwhile to use wood wastes from sawmills. Being so, the up-grading of by-products can be the basis for formulations of new wood preservatives with low environmental impacts and still providing durability against termites to wood species with a low natural durability.
A Zaremski, S Robert, J-L Clement, D Fouquet


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


Environmental aspects of wood preservation
1987 - IRG/WP 3406
The preservation industry employs a wide range of chemicals and processes to provide timber commodities capable of resisting biodeterioration and degradation. The public often perceives the chemicals as health hazards and treatment plants as potential threats to the environment. This paper attempts to place in proper perspective the value of wood preservation. It discusses aspects of health and safety of the treatment chemicals and the treatment operations. CCAs, creosote and PCP, TBTO, copper naphthenate, boron and fluoroborates, and organochlorine insecticides are all reviewed. Where appropriate, precautions are presented for handling both treated wood and the chemicals. Guidelines for treatment plant operations are also provided. These aim at minimising the potential for pollution and at promoting worker safety. It is suggested that preservative-treated wood as opposed to the unreacted treatment chemicals - does not represent a hazard to health or the environment.
H Greaves


The use of fumigants for controlling decay of wood: a review of their efficacy and safety
1989 - IRG/WP 3525
Volatile agricultural chemicals (fumigants) such as chloropicrin (trichloronitromethane) and sodium n-methyldithiocarbamate have been used in the United States for controlling internal decay of large dimension wood products for over 20 years. This usage has been concentrated in the electric utility industry, but fumigants are increasingly applied to protect bridge timbers, marine piling, and even living trees. This document will review the characteristics of fumigants in relation to other available chemicals, particularly the water-soluble pastes that are commonly employed in Europe. Studies to improve the handling safety of fumigants and future research needs will also be addressed.
J J Morrell


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


Comparative response of Reticulitermes flavipes and Coptotermes formosanus to borate soil treatments
1991 - IRG/WP 1486
Eastern (Reticulitermes flavipes [Kollarl]) and Formosan (Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki) subterranean termite workers (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) were exposed to borate-treated sand in an indirect exposure tunneling assay in the laboratory. In the ten day assay period, both termite species readily penetrated sand containing 5000, 10000, or 15000 ppm (wt. of compound / wt. of sand) disodium octaborate tetrahydrate (Tim-BorÒ) or zinc borate (Firebrake ZB-FineÒ). With Reticulitermes flavipes, significant mortality (85-93%) resulted from workers tunneling through sand treated with 5000 ppm disodium octaborate tetrahydrate (higher concentrations were also effective), or 15000 ppm zinc borate. Responses of Coptotermes formosanus workers were lesser and more variable, with only concentrations of 10000 and 15000 ppm zinc borate resulting in mortality 70-89%) significantly different from that in the control groups. These results suggest that differences between these two species in tunneling behavior may reduce exposure of Coptotermes formosanus to the borate-treated sand.
J K Grace


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


Problems caused by termites in buildings in the State of Sao Paulo
1976 - IRG/WP 150
Termites are the main insects attacking buildings in the State of Sao Paulo - Brazil. Their attack occurs in wood and wooden materials as well as paper, textile, leather and so on.
M S Cavalcante


Improved techniques designed for evaluation of fungicides in soil for control of dry rot fungus Serpula lacrymans
1985 - IRG/WP 2238
Improved techniques provide a laboratory method for the evaluation of chemicals in soil for control of dry rot fungus Serpula lacrymans. Results with their application to three chemicals were reported. These techniques are useful to eliminate chemicals lacking the necessary toxicity and weatherbility for dry rot control when the chemicals have been applied to the soil.
M Takahashi, K Nishimoto


Report and recommendations of the National Termite Workshop held in Melbourne on the 17 April 2002.
2003 - IRG/WP 03-10478
There are two parts to this Report. Part One summaries the outcomes of an industry workshop organised to better scope the subterranean termite problem, identify knowledge gaps including R&D gaps and identifying strategies including cost-effective co-ordination mechanisms for addressing the issue. Part Two is a brief review of the current state of knowledge on subterranean termites of economic importance to the wood products industry in Australia.
B M Ahmed, J R J French


A case study on quality control on telephone poles as a cost saving tool in Tanzania
1987 - IRG/WP 3418
A sample of 28 CCA treated Eucalyptus poles from a lot of 2,000 poles awaiting delivery to the field, was studied to reveal the quality of treatment. Results showed a product of very poor quality. Average figures for penetration and retention were 8.4 mm and 2.2 kg/m³; these results are 66% and 91% below the required standards, respectively. Consequences of such results are estimated to amount to losses of billion of shillings.
K K Murira


Loss of preservatives from treated wood during service
1992 - IRG/WP 92-3734
During the 23rd IRG conference in Harrogate the matter of preservative losses from treated wood during service was raised. We were asked to collect information in this field and ask now for help from you. Many tests have been carried out at a laboratory scale to study fixation and leaching from wood treated with different preservatives. Very little, however, is reported on losses of preservatives during service. Since these values are of great relevance regarding environmental impact and the final disposal, reuse or recycling of treated wood, it is of great importance to get as much information as possible on the amount of active ingredients lost during service life. We are convinced there are quite a lot of analytical data and additional information available in many places all over the world. It appears to be rewarding to collect those data and put them together adequately to get an astimate of the losses of the different components based on a broad scale of in service situations. This work will be done as soon as information is available and it is intended to present the results on next IRG meeting.
M-L Edlund, D Rudolph


Physical properties of ß-1,4-Xylanase produced by Postia (=Poria) placenta: Implications for the control of brown rot
1987 - IRG/WP 1318
The degradation of hemicelluloses is an early event in wood decay by brown-rot fungi. An understanding of the physical properties of hemicellulases may suggest target mechanisms for the development of new control agents. Endo-b-1,4-xylanase was partially purified by column chromatography from wood decayed by Postia (= Poria) placenta. The enzyme was extremely resistant to denaturing conditions; no loss of activity was detected after 2 h in 9 M urea or 6 M guanidine-HCl. Boiling the enzyme for 5 min in 2.5% SDS + 0.5% b-mercaptoethanol reduced its activity by 65%, as measured by the production of reducing sugars. The activity of a-D-galactosidase, another enzyme detected in large quantities in the decayed wood, was reduced by 98% under these conditions. Optimum pH and temperature ranges were pH 2-6 and 50-60°C, respectively. The enzyme appears to be a glycoprotein containing 50-60% carbohydrate (w/w); the carbohydrate moiety may protect the enzyme from adverse environmental conditions. The control of brown rot by in situ inactivation of xylanase may not be feasible because of the enzyme's extreme stability.
J A Micales, F Green III, C A Clausen, T L Highley


Physical barriers and bait toxicants: The Romeo and Juliet of future termite control
1991 - IRG/WP 1503
Soil chemical barriers are considered by some to be the most important technique for protecting buildings against subterranean termites in Australia (and elsewhere), providing a barrier against termite penetration. However, there is no such thing as a barrier that is 100 per cent +protective. And given the worldwide problems of using organochlorine termiticides, public awareness of chemical pollution and contamination to the environment, emphasis on physical barriers has been refocussed. In the event of such barriers being penetrated, the use of suitable bait systems and toxicants is considered a fruitful "back-up" strategy in future termite control measures. Such a system is environmentally friendly, has wide public acceptance, and readily marketable.
J R J French


Biological control with Trichoderma harzianum in relation to the formation for spores the production of soluble metabolites
1994 - IRG/WP 94-10073
The amount of spores produced by three strains of Trichoderma harzianum on the aerial mycelium of agar cultures and in shake cultures, respectively, correlated with the inhibition zones exerted against Phanerochaete chrysosporium in an agar diffusion test. The amount of soluble antifungal metabolites as well as the protein content also correlated with the inhibition zones and the amount of spores produced. The antifungal metabolites were identified to be trichorzianines. They were the only compounds with antifungal activity. It is concluded that the trichorzianines are responsible for the biocontrol effect by soluble metabolites and that they are produced during conidiogenesis.
J Bürgel, E Horvath, J Haschka, K Messner


Termite standards questionnaire survey. Second Report
1989 - IRG/WP 1395
Information contained in replies received from IRG members responding to the survey continue to be summarised. Again, highlighted in this second report are the major termite species in the various zoogeographical regions, their damage ranking to timber-in-service, the chemicals used in control methods, and the status of the termite standards in the respondent countries.
J R J French, J P La Fage


Trials on the field control of the Formosan subterranean termite with Amdro® bait
1982 - IRG/WP 1163
Amdro® - treated paper towels were introduced into two field colonies of the Formosan subterranean termite in Hawaii. At the concentration of 180 ppm, the toxicant bait was ineffective one month after the introduction. At higher concentrations (> 6,400 ppm), the baits were eaten initially; however, one week after introduction, termites avoided or covered the baits. The 15,000 ppm baits supressed the activity of one colony but did not affect the other.
N-Y Su, M Tamashiro, J R Yates III


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