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A method for determining boron diffusion coefficients in wood
1999 - IRG/WP 99-30200
The radial unsteady-state diffusion coefficient for boron in southern yellow pine (Pinus spp.) was determined from measured concentration profiles using Egner's solution, a modified form of Fick's second law. The method uses a slicing technique to accurately determine concentration gradients with time in a single direction. The methodology should be applicable to any diffusible system.
J-B Ra, H M Barnes


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


Mercury porosimetric evaluation of the impregnability of wood
1985 - IRG/WP 2234
Mercury porosimetric measurements for specimens of a given length can not be used to evaluate the treatability of wood. The reason is that the permeability for low permeable woods deviates from Darcy's law with the specimen length. This paper presents a method of evaluation which respects this phenomenon in indicating not only pore size but also a factor describing the pore size as a function of the specimen length. The method has been tested against sapwood and heartwood for white spruce, eastern hemlock and white pine, as well as for reaction wood of white spruce heartwood. A good evaluation of the treatability has been achieved for spruce and hemlock, but not for pine because the intrusion of mercury produces an alteration of its structure.
J P Hösli