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


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


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


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


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


Kiln drying of CCA-treated wood - Some safety and environmental considerations
1987 - IRG/WP 3443
Vapours and condensate from a condenser kiln in which CCA-treated wood was being dried have been collected and analysed. The concentrations of arsenic, copper and chromium found in the vapours from the drying process were well below Swedish threshold limit values. The contents of arsenic and chromium were also low in the condensate, although the copper content was fairly high. The latter result was probably because the low pH of the condensate caused some copper to be leached out from the copper pipes of the dehumidifier device. If precautionary measures are taken when condenser type kilns are constructed in order to prevent the leaching of heavy metals by low pH condensate liquors, there would seem to be no safety or environmental problems with this type of kiln.
J Jermer, B Lundberg


Chromium in wood preservation: Health and environmental aspects
1978 - IRG/WP 3120
The majority of water-borne salts in current use contain hexavalent chromium, usually as dichromate or chromium trioxide. In about 1913 it was suggested that chromates, phosphates or borates could be added to the sodium fluoride and dinitrophenol mixtures then in use in order to inhibit corrosion. Dichromates were found to be most suitable and the resulting mixture known as Thriolith and later Triolith, was the first of the group of wood preservative products that are now usually described as Wolman salts. Although the dichromate was originally introduced in order to reduce the corrosive properties of the dinitrophenol it was soon appreciated that it considerably improved fixation and the resistance of the treatment to leaching, and dichromate contents have been progressively increased since then in attempts to further improve fixation. Chromate and dichromate were similarly found to assist fixation of copper salts, and copper-chromium-arsenic salts now account for most of the chromium used in wood preservation. The permanence, distribution and influence on materials of chromium containing water-borne preservatives has previously been reviewed in a paper prepared for this Working Group III (Belford, 1970).
T R G Cox, B A Richardson


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


Life Cycle Assessment of treated timber: methodological aspects and first results
2009 - IRG/WP 09-50264
Environmental information on products is more and more required as a key to the market, and the building sector in Europe is certainly advanced in that direction. In France, Environmental Product Declarations are becoming very common for construction products. Therefore, the CTB P+ and CTB B+ certification comity as commissioned FCBA to perform the Life Cycle Analysis of treated timber in order to publish EPDs of different types of treated timber products. The methodological choices and some selected first results about energy and climate change are presented.
E Vial, M Bertrand, C Cornillier, G Deroubaix


Comparison of laboratory and semi-field tests for the estimation of leaching rates from treated wood
2010 - IRG/WP 10-50274
The authorization of wood preservative formulations in the European Union according to the Biocidal Products Directive (BPD) includes the assessment of environmental risks by the emission of active ingredients. This risk assessment includes scenarios for preserved wood (e.g. house scenario, noise barrier), in which the predicted environmental concentration (PEC) for soil and water is calculated, using an emission or leaching rate for the active substances from the treated wood. The leaching rate is the most important starting parameter to determine the PEC value for different scenarios in the soil and water compartment. In this paper we compare leaching rates derived from well accepted laboratory and field studies for copper and boron from pressure treated wood. This comparison demonstrates that the recommended laboratory studies do not require additional correction factors for simulation of realistic worst case emissions from treated wood. In contrast, for the active substances reviewed, the laboratory tests overestimated leaching rates both for short and long-term exposure times as compared to the leaching rates obtained in field studies.
N Morsing, M Klamer, B Seidel, J Wittenzellner, M Maier, J Habicht


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


Aspects of diffusion of boron through wood
1984 - IRG/WP 3298
Boron compounds have been shown to be toxic to a wide range of wood destroying insects and fungi. They are cheap, have low mammalian toxicity and their application in the treatment of wood does not demand specialized equipment. These attributes make them specially attractive to developing countries. Currently, however, little is known about the mechanism of diffusion of boron through wood. Effective treatment with boron preservatives requires good understanding of how the preservatives diffuse through wood. This paper presents a research proposal with the overall objective of determining the relative importance of structural wood components in determining diffusion rates.
S Iddi


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


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


Report an some aspects of forest and the timber preservation in Fiji 1999
2000 - IRG/WP 00-40189
This report is divided in two sections. One is the general description of some aspects of the Forest indicating timber availability in Fiji. The other Section is an "Status of Timber Preservation in Fiji in 1999".
S D Kumar


Aspects of the biology of the wood-boring weevil Pselactus spadix herbst
1997 - IRG/WP 97-10221
The external morphology of the adult and larval digestive tract of the wood boring weevil Pselactus spadix has been reported for the first time. An examination of adult gut ultrastructure showed that the foregut was adapted for the wood boring habit with the presence of chitinous setae, grinding plates and sieve plates. The adult midgut bore eight caecae and numerous palpii. Spherical yeast-like micro-organisms were observed throughout the foregut and midgut. Adults demonstrated sexual dimorphism in body capsule and rostrum dimensions. The study also demonstrated this weevil to be incapable of flight.
G Cooper, A J Pitman, G S Sawyer


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


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


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


Some aspects of laboratory and field testing methods of antitermite wood preservatives
1973 - IRG/WP 235
Various methods for laboratory testing of antitermite activity of wood preservatives are described. The results of simultaneous tests of three water-borne preservatives, according to the various methods are discussed, and comparison is made with results of field tests on the same three preservatives, showing a fairly good accordance between laboratory results and field results.
M Fougerousse


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


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