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Justification for use of mirex in termite control
1988 - IRG/WP 1346
In August 1987, organochlorines were withdrawn in North America from use in termite control. This has left the industry and the community with reduced options in long term protection of wood and wood products. A case is presented to justify the use of the slow-acting stomach termiticide, mirex, under special permit, for use only in the bait-block method of termite control. This method, while not acting like the organochlorines as a chemical barrier around newly constructed and existing buildings will, however, offer an alternative control measure in eradicating subterranean termites when buildings become infested by these insects. Health and safety aspects are discussed.
J R J French

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

The dip diffusion treatment of tropical building timbers in Papua New Guinea
1972 - IRG/WP 310
In Papua New Guinea a dip diffusion process using a multi salt preservative developed by C.S.I.R.0. has been in commercial use for 8 years. Over 200 million super feet (236,000 m³ ) of timber has been treated during this period and current rate of treatment is 34 million super feet (80,400 m³ ) of timber per year in 70 licenced treatment plants. The process has been found to be simple to apply, convenient to control and has proved very successful in the protection of timber used out of ground contact and protected from the rain. No serious health hazards to process operators or product users have come to light. In common with other countries in the wet tropics P.N.G. is faced with very serious biological deterioration hazards to timber in houses but dip diffusion has overcome the major problems. During the 16 years in which dip diffused timber has been in service in P.N.G. there have been no notable falldowns, the only falldowns reported being in mouldings in which heavy dressing has removed the preservative envelope, but this is a very rare occurrence and cannot be considered of economic importance.
C R Levy, S J Colwell, K A Garbutt

Leaching from CCA-impregnated wood to food, drinking-water and silage
1987 - IRG/WP 3433
During the last years The Norwegian Institute of Wood Technology (NIWT) has analysed different foodstuff for contamination by copper, chrome and arsenic from CCA-impregnated wood. There has been some interest for using CCA-impregnated wood in contact with food and drinking-water. Before giving their permission the Norwegian Health Authorities want results from experiments. NIWT therefore started three experiments with 1) analysing stock-fish dried on CCA-treated rack, 2) analysing rainwater collected from wooden roofing of CCA- impregnated boards and 3) leaching from CCA-impregnated grass silos: 1) The results shows very little contamination of the stock-fish. Eating the stock-fish will cause no health hazard. 2) After two years of exposure we still find arsenic and copper in the collected rainwater. The water should not be used as drinking-water. 3) In the grass silo we find an extreme leaching of copper, chrome and arsenic. After exposure for two seasons we find that 20-50% of the copper compound, 50-60% of the chrome compound and 80% of the arsenic compound has leached from the boards. Calculation shows, however, that there is no poisoning hazard for the cattle eating the silage, but the silo's durability may be reduced.
F G Evans

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

CCA wood preservative: Trust with destiny
2019 - IRG/WP 19-30731
This paper traces the history of Copper-Chrome-Arsenic (CCA) and its current status in India and worldwide. CCA was invented as ASCU at the Forest Research Institute, Dehra Dun in 1933 by Dr. Sonti Kamesam. Although its efficacy was doubted by the British colonial rulers resulting in several hiccups at home, the patent rights were purchased by US Bell Telephone Co. and it was adopted by the US wood industry. Indian wood industry never took up preservation of wood seriously. Original CCA composition was changed to yield various oxide based formulations more due to commercial aspects rather than any technical advantages. Many countries around the world adopted it and CCA became the most used wood preservative among the water-borne preservatives. Commercial aspects started playing roles to push out CCA, as pesticide industry was striving hard to recover money spent on new molecules and formulations and wood preservation industry held a huge potential. This culminated in hate ‘arsenic campaign’ and media played a major role in the same. Despite the fact that several studies could not reveal any positive report for ill effect of CCA treated wood on humans (even children) and animals, Environmental Protection Agency of USA succumbed to media pressures advising wood-treatment industry to move away from CCA. Some wood scientists in USA do feel that there is no virtual replacement for CCA in performance as well as cost-effectiveness. Technology has become available to process CCA treated wood to reuse residual wood/chemicals effectively. This can make more wood available negating processing costs. The substitutes currently available are not only less effective and more costly; these may subsequently be found to pose different types of problems as has been observed in TCMTB and Chloripyrifos. If the current attitude towards effective formulations continues to make room for less effective new molecules/formulations, the requirement of wood as well as preservatives will increase over time resulting in diversion of farm land to tree plantations, which may have serious implications/repercussions.
S Kumar

Proposed methodology for the assessment of safety indexes
1990 - IRG/WP 3562
Safety Indexes (SI)s are developped on the same concept as Efficacy Indexes (EI)s: EIs are retentions of wood preservatives (percentages of the critical values "efficacy") which are presumed efficient for a given biological class of risk. In the same way, SIs are retentions of wood preservatives (percentages of the critical values "safety") which are taken as acceptable for human health and the general environment. EIs and SIs as well are derived from different types of bioassays and related to objectives of quality which may be either regulatory or harmonized within the programmes of the Standard Committees (CEN TC/38 for example). Critical Values are characteristics of wood preservatives; EIs and SIs are characteristics of treated wood; they vary with the different classes of risks.
G Ozanne

Health aspects concerning the use of bifluorides in wood
1981 - IRG/WP 3173
An attempt has been made to find a correlation between the quantities F¯ and HF present among other ions in an 'Improsol' solution consisting of NH4F.HF and KF.HF, the quantity absorbed by the wood from this after immersion and the toxicological effects of this treated wood when it is used in rooms destined for the residence of people or animals or for the storage of foodstuffs.
H F M Nijman

Protocol for evaluation and approving new wood preservative
1985 - IRG/WP 2159
M E Hedley, J A Butcher

Radical changes in the requirements for more safe pressure impregnation in the Nordic countries in 1988
1990 - IRG/WP 3581
After introduction of quality control schemes and standards in the Nordic countries during the seventies, the first radical change of the standards and practice of work took place after pressure from the labor unions and authorities in 1988 and 1989 in Denmark and in Sweden. A new class of preservation with less retention for out of ground contact use was introduced, fixation times were prolonged to 6 and 14 days, and branding became a requirement. At the same time, treating companies replaced CCA with arsenic-free preservatives, and started using processes for accelerated fixation. Drying of treated wood was started to be used widely.
B Moldrup

Supplement to Document No: IRG/WP/56. Health and safety aspects of the use of wood preservatives
1975 - IRG/WP 356
H Willeitner

La rôle de l'expert dans l'évaluation toxicologique
1990 - IRG/WP 3589
C Boudene

PCP dioxins found to pose health risks
1980 - IRG/WP 3152
Following wide debate on the hazards of TCDD, US scientists are now expressing concern about the possible health hazards of low-level exposure to other dioxins, particularly those in the widely-used wood preservative pentachlorophenol (PCP).
D Dickson

Exposure monitoring of creosote vapors
1989 - IRG/WP 3511
Creosote oils contain hundreds of compounds. During impregnation and handling of treated wood the main component in the vapors released in air is naphthalene. Other main components are alkyl naphthalenes, indene, phenol and its methyl derivatives, benzothiophene, diphenyl, acenaphthalene and fluorene. In the measurement of creosote vapors, naphthalene can be used as an indicator agent. One of the major urinary metabolites of naphthalene is 1-naphthol. To explore the relation between naphthalene concentration in the air and 1-naphthol in the urine of exposed workers we monitored air concentrations and collected urine samples from six men over a working week. 1-Naphthol concentrations in urine samples were analyzed by GC as a pentafluorobenzylbromide derivative. The average concentration of 1-naphthol in the Monday morning samples was 0.1 mg/l, in the Monday afternoon 3.1 mg/l, in the Friday morning 0.4 mg/l and in the Friday afternoon 2.9 mg/l.
P Heikkilä, M Loutamo, V Riihimäki, M Romo

Surveillance médicale des personnels exposés aux produits de préservation du bois
1990 - IRG/WP 3588
J-C Aubrun

Developments in wood preservation
1977 - IRG/WP 393
The purpose of this paper is to comment very briefly upon recent developments and trends in wood preservation so that members of this Working Group have a basic knowledge of activities in other countries. The last paper was prepared in April 1976 and the present paper refers to developments, since that time.
B A Richardson

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

Chlorodioxins in pentachlorophenol
1975 - IRG/WP 346 E
At the 6th meeting of the IRG/WP plenary group held on 20 June, 1974, in Vienna, Mr Richardson expressed some concern about dioxins which might be contained as impurities in pentachlorophenol and in sodium pentachlorophenoxide or which might be formed during the combustion of treated wood. He mentioned the malformations that have been noted in Vietnam due to the teratogenic action of the 2, 3, 7, 8 tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin contained in certain preparations of the 2, 4, 5 trichlorophenol used in defoliants. He also raised the question about analogous risks that might come from the presence of octachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin in pentachlorophenol. I specified that work has been carried out on this subject and that the octachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin could in no way be compared to tetra and presented practically no danger considering the doses at which it could be found in pentachlorophenol; consequently no action needed to be taken against it. As stated in point 31 of the minutes of the plenary group meeting, it seemed necessary to me to take stock of the question and to evaluate the possible influence of the presence of chlorodioxins in pentachlorophenol or its sodium salt or even in the combustion products of treated wood. This is the subject of this communication. It is seen that the conclusions are reassuring and they can be summarised in 3 points: (1) Pentachlorophenol does not contain 2, 3, 7, 8 tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin which is by far the most toxic and dangerous chlorodioxin. (2) The chlorodioxins that might be found in pentachlorophenol are the octachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin which has no teratogenic action and is practically non-toxic at the doses at which it is found in pentachlorophenol, and, in much smaller quantities the hexachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin which is 1,000 to 100 times less toxic and less teratogenic than the 2, 3, 7, 8 tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin. (3) The combustion of wood treated with pentachlorophenol or with sodium pentachlorophenoxide does not lead to the- formation of chlorodioxin, but on the contrary, tends to decrease the quantity in relation to that contained in the wood before burning.
H Alliot

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

Proposal for further work on environmental questions
1988 - IRG/WP 3494
Although very much is known about the environmental and health and safety aspects on various wood preservatives and treated wood knowledge is still lacking on some important issues. Some examples are: - The fate of wood preservatives in the environment, eg by leaching from treated wood and contaminated soil; - How big is the "problem" of pollution, etc from the wood preserving industry in comparison with that from other sources? - What are the consequences of using alternative materials when particular attention is paid to the environment, health and safety, service life, etc? We propose that the "Health and safety aspects" Sub-group identifies the most important problems regarding the environment, health and safety and that an action plan for further work is presented at the next meeting.
J Jermer, M-L Edlund

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

Safety technique in wood preservation
1974 - IRG/WP 54
S N Gorshin, I G Krapivina, B I Telryatnikova

Dioxin, an emotive word
1980 - IRG/WP 3156
J David

Chlorodioxines dans le pentachlorophénol
1975 - IRG/WP 346
H Alliot

Safety clearance of wood preservatives in United Kingdom
1977 - IRG/WP 398
In the United Kingdom the principal route of control of pesticides is through the Pesticides Safety Precautions Scheme (PSPS) which is a non-statutory scheme agreed between government ministries and departments (referred to as "Departments") and associations representing the pesticide industries. The scheme formally began in 1957 covering those pesticides and related substances used in agriculture, horticulture and food storage practice. Certain specialised applications such as forestry were also included but in general industrial and other non-agricultural fields of usage such as wood preservatives were not. Following a paper published in 1972 by the Department of the Environment (Pollution Paper No 3 ) on the non-agricultural uses of pesticides the government extended the range of the scheme to include wood preservation among certain other industrial applications.
J M Baker

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