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Health hazards and environmental aspects when using Cu-HDO-containing wood preservatives in vacuum pressure plants
1993 - IRG/WP 93-50001-11
Apart from the biological efficacy of wood preservatives, the health and environmental aspects concerning the utilisation of wood preservatives, the use of treated timber and the disposal of impregnated wood are of high significance today. Therefore, information on a possible aerial concentration of wood preservatives, on the mobility of active substances in soil leached from treated timber in service and on the composition and toxicity of thermal decomposition gases releasing on combustion of impregnated wood, are of absolutely fundamental interest. Measuring procedures relevant for the practical application will be presented, and the results concerning the utilisation of Cu-HDO-containing wood preservatives will be described. With the proper use of Cu-HDO-containing wood preservatives, the aerial concentration at workplace falls distinctly below the maximum permissible limit. If vacuum pressure treated timber is used properly, no active substances will seep into the ground water as a result of the leaching process of impregnated wood in service. The composition measured and the acute toxicity of the thermal decomposition gases released on combustion of impregnated wood may axtually be compared to those of untreated timber.
W Hettler, S Breyne, M Maier


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


Programme Section 5 Environmental aspects
1999 - IRG/WP 99-50138
IRG Secretariat


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


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


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


Rates of emission from CCA-treated wood in the marine environment: measurement, modelling and requirements for further research
2001 - IRG/WP 01-50166-12
Accurate estimates of rates of emission of leachate from preservative treated wood are crucial for realistic predictions of the environmental impact of its use in maritime construction. Estimates are available for some commonly used preservatives, but these vary widely. Though variable, these measurements suggest that emission generally decreases exponentially with time. Part of the variation is due to differences in methodology employed. Physical and chemical characteristics of the seawater used (e.g. temperature, salinity, pH and oxygen content) affect emission rate. So too do the specifics of the treatment process especially the preservative formulation used, and pre- and post-treatment handling of the wood. The nature of the treated wood samples is also important, with misleadingly high estimates being obtained from samples with unrepresentatively high proportions of cross-cut surfaces. A suggested strategy for developing an informative and standardised methodology is discussed. To form useful models of impacts of leaching, emission rates need to be considered in conjunction with site-specific information regarding a) water exchange rates between the area where leaching occurs and the sea, and b) the extent of partitioning of leachate between the water column, biota and sediment. The risk of environmental impact may be reduced by modification to treatment procedures and by careful planning of installation.
S M Cragg, C J Brown, R A Albuquerque, R A Eaton


Quantitative determination of Chromium: A comparison of three instruments
1995 - IRG/WP 95-50053
A comparison is made between three instruments for measuring levels of chromium in the leachate of copper-chrome-arsenic (CCA) treated timber. These include an atomic absorption spectrophotometer, an inductively coupled plasma spectrometer and the RQflexâ. The RQflexâ is a new hand-held instrument which measures chromium by dipping a ReflectoquantÒ strip into the leachate and inserting the strip into the RQflexâ. Readings are determined reflectometrically following a reaction between chrome and the Reflectoquantâ strip. It provides an inexpensive and quick technique which is used in this paper to determine the degree of preservative fixation prior to the removal of CCA treated timber from drip pads of wood treatment sites. The results indicate that RQflexâ is a suitable instrument for the rapid assessment of chromium levels in rain wash off from treated timber. A comparison is given of the economics and accuracy of the instruments for measuring chromium.
S Walley, P R S Cobham, P Vinden


Environmental impact of CCA poles in service
1997 - IRG/WP 97-50087
Soil samples from different depths and distances from CCA treated utility poles in Canada were analyzed for copper, chromium and arsenic content for a number of soil types, two wood species red pine (Pinus resinosa) and jack pine (P. banksiana) and different pole ages in service. A limited number of poles were equipped with water traps to collect rain water that dripped down the poles and where sufficient ground water was present, ground water samples from next to the pole were analyzed. The level of soil contamination dropped rapidly with distance from the pole, with soil levels approaching background levels within 0.25 from the pole. Generally, copper levels (above background) were highest, followed by arsenic and chromium, consistent with the known relative leaching tendencies of the three elements. Contaminant levels increased with age of the pole in service and were generally highest in wet organic soils, followed by sand loam soils and clay soils. Soil concentrations were highest at the ground line, adjacent to the poles. This suggested that a large source of the soil contamination was contaminated rain water that ran down the pole. Rain water trapped from the pole surfaces during rain events had significant concentrations of all three elements. There was no obvious drop in contaminant content in water that dripped down the poles with age of the poles. Ground water samples from next to the poles occasionally had detectable CCA components above aquatic and drinking water guidelines.
P A Cooper, Y T Ung, J-P Aucoin


Trends in environmental management in industry. Implications for wood preservation activities
1993 - IRG/WP 93-50001-34
J A De Larderel


A review of environmental emissions from building and construction materials in comparison with preserved wood
2005 - IRG/WP 05-50224-11
A review of the public domain literature concerning emissions to the environment from materials which are used in the construction of buildings (e.g. Concrete, Asphalt, Galvanised Steel), in comparison with preserved wood, and a review of the approaches taken by the construction sector in assessing the risk from environmental emissions, in comparison with the approaches taken by the wood preservation sector.
E F Baines


Restrictions or environmental taxes as regulatory means - How will they influence the use of pressure treated wood?
1998 - IRG/WP 98-50101-28
In all the Nordic countries except Norway, we have environmental restrictions on the use of pressure treated wood. In Norway we expect environmental taxes on a large number of various products in 1998/99 - probably also pressure treated wood with one or more of the heavy metals copper, chromium and arsenic. The paper will discuss how this can influence the use of pressure treated wood and cause a changes to other materials in the Nordic countries.
F G Evans


Fully impregnated poles for a minimum environmental impact: Eucalyptus poles
2005 - IRG/WP 05-50224-24
The classical processes for preservation of wooden poles (vacuum-pressure and Boucherie processes) allow the impregnation of the sapwood only. The new radial-axial injection process has been applied to Eucalyptus poles, and has led to impregnation of both sapwood and heartwood. Further more; preserving product is injected both through the groundline area and through the bott end. This allows the two entrances to benefit from a very high retention of antiseptic.
L Nitunga


An introduction to environmental aspects of groundwater arsenic and CCA treated wood poles in Bangladesh
1997 - IRG/WP 97-50081
The environment comprises biosphere, lithosphere, atmosphere and hydrosphere. Therefore, environmental science is a multi-disciplinary study, includes life sciences, physical sciences, chemical sciences, geology, geography, meteorology, forestry, agriculture, soil science, hydrology, ecology, public health, engineering etc. Tremendous industrial and mining activities, deforestation and population explosion are threatening the very existence of life on earth.Groundwater is used for irrigation, drinking and other domestic purposes where other sources of water are not plenty. Groundwater contain different metals resulting from soluble minerals, deposited in ground during its origin. Thus concentration of metals in surface soils and water are increased day by day by lifting of groundwater. Surface soils and water also receive metals from industries and mines and as a result of multipurpose use of products from those. Deforestation is controlled by plantation and preservation of forest products by different wood preservatives. Recently groundwater in some underground rocks of Tertiary and Quarternary age in Bangladesh is very often known to contain arsenic (As) above permissible limits . On the other hand chromated copper arsenate (CCA) impregnated wooden poles has been used for rural electrification in Bangladesh since 1979. It is an attempt to find out through research and review of literatures that whether the groundwater As is contaminatable from As used in wood poles and whether the components of CCA cause environmental problems. Possible way of purification of arsenic containing groundwater for drinking have been suggested.
A K Lahiry


Wood preservatives ecotoxicology on Gammarus pulex (L.) - toward an environmental monitoring method and a getting rid of pollution process
2005 - IRG/WP 05-50224-9
Wood preservatives can have a strong impact on freshwater invertebrates when used close to aquatic ecosystems. It has been reported in Jura that different arthropod taxa, specially crustaceans, have disappeared along several kilometers downstream from factories using insecticides and fungicides as wood preservatives. The crustacean Gammarus pulex (L.) is a relevant bioindicator to characterize the impact of wood preservatives on freshwater community. It presents a high sensitivity to wood preservatives but a relative tolerance to organic and nutrimental pollution. This abundant and ubiquitous crustacean has a key role in numerous aquatic ecosystems particularly in the decomposition of cellulose and as a prey for several fish species susceptible to be eaten by humans. In this study, we aim on the one hand to determine the adsorption capacity of different substrates of propiconazole, a fungicide widely used in the wood treatment, and on the other, to evaluate the toxicity of wood preservatives for G. pulex in controlled conditions. We hypothesize that the fungicide toxicity may be influenced by different types of substrate used in the test containers, i.e., coarse organic matter and gravel. These results should allow us to go, firstly toward the elaboration of sensors in order to detect product emissions in the aquatic environment, and secondly toward a depuration process in order to decrease the impact on the aquatic communities. These experiments should also allow us to develop a new biological monitoring method for the assessment of the impact of wood preservation on the aquatic ecosystems.
O Adam, F Degiorgi, G Crini, P-M Badot


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


Comprehensive Environmental Glossary
2014 - IRG/WP 14-50306
Glossary of terms relating to the environment
A K Lahiry, T Lahiry


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