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Environmental situation on wood preservation industries in Bangladesh
2000 - IRG/WP 00-50148
The hazard that wood preservative chemicals pose to people and the environment is serious. The lack of information, legislation and awareness create an unfavorable situation on wood preservation industries. In this regard, three wood preservation industries have been visited to collect the information about pollution. It was observed that different steps have been taken to minimize the contamination created by wood preserving chemicals. But in some stages, peoples are not aware in handling the treated materials and chemicals. The techniques of conditioning to allow fixation of CCA at the treating plants are rather haphazard. Soil is contaminated due to leaching from the freshly treated materials. Government and wood preserving industries should both share the responsibility to protect human life and the environment through proper management.
K Akhter


Borates as wood preservatives - an environmental, health and safety perspective
1993 - IRG/WP 93-50001-03
Boron compounds are highly effective wood preservatives and have an established safe use in the timber treatment industry. Their widespread background occurrence in nature, low acute mammalian toxicity and useful properties make them versatile active ingredients within today's environmentally aware society. A critical review of health, safety and environmental data on the borates, their use and eventual disposal is used to illustrate many of the issues that have to be addressed by the chemical industry today in assessing the performance of their products in the marketplace. This current state of knowledge is contrasted to the detailed requirements of life cycle analysis with an assessment made of its future role in environmental management.
J B Rainer


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


The limitations of legislative information distribution to the UK remedial preservation industry
1995 - IRG/WP 95-50060
The remedial preservation industry in the UK consists of companies that are rarely large enough to fit any of the definitions of small to medium enterprises (SMEs). They are faced with information on a wide range of legislation related to their industry from a bewildering variety of sources. Costs range from free to hundreds of pounds. Recent surveys have shown that a significant proportion of SMEs in the UK are unaware of the implications, and in some cases the existence, of safety and environmental legislation. These surveys have also shown that SMEs in many sectors are very critical of the current costs and the lack of a centralised source of information. Since remedial preservation companies are applying pesticides by various processes (including spraying) in domestic premises, their activities (and the materials that they use), are the focus of current environmental concern. It is therefore desirable that information sources are affordable, simple and user friendly. Larger enterprises often have the resources to recognise their environmental responsibilities and act accordingly, whilst the priority for the majority of small enterprises is profitability and day to day survival in an intensely competitive market. Since the management of SMEs perceive greater priorities and information is difficult to obtain, they may not implement legislation until forced to do so. If this state of ignorance is to be altered, SMEs must have comprehensive, low cost, practical information. A centralised information structure is required that will enable SMEs to comply with current and future legislation.
J M Ibbitson, G S Sawyer


Toxic wood preserving chemicals in the environment: Kenya - a cause for concern
1998 - IRG/WP 98-50101-17
The uncontrolled release of wood preserving chemicals into the environment, in most African countries, is discussed. Kenya has some 25 wood preservation plants, 23 of which use formulations of Copper- Chrome-Arsenate (CCA). The bulk of treated timbers consists of poles and posts used in ground contact. Poor fixation of CCA elements are associated with the species used, Eucalyptus saligna and Acacia meeansii, both of which also have heartwoods resistant to penetration. Service lives are consequently short (5 to 15 years). Constant replacements result in increased amounts of toxic chemicals leached into soils and ground water. Treated timbers removed from service are not safely disposed of. Practices at most plants pose further problems of health and safety and environmental contamination. The lack of information, legislation and awareness has created a situation which calls for immediate scrutiny and rectification.
R Venkatasamy


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


Eco-tax - A new threat for wood preservation? The Belgian experience
1993 - IRG/WP 93-50001-32
At the end of January 1993, a bill was put for Belgian Parliament related to the introduction called "Eco-taxes" on a series of products, such as packaging for drinks (especially on PVC-bottles), non-returnable articles (shavers, small cameras), batteries, pesticides for non-agricultural use and paper.
G Van Steertegem, F De Jaeger


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


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


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


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


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


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