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Environmental risk assessment of treated timber in service: The Environment Focus Group approach
2000 - IRG/WP 00-50162
In the context of the Biocidal Products Directive (98/8/EC), and of the OECD work on wood preservatives, the Environment Focus Group (EFG), comprising 8 institutes and the European Wood Preservative Manufacturers Group, has been working on the environmental risk assessment of treated timber in service. A literature review of emissions from treated timber has revealed that very little existing data is usable for environmental risk assessment; the most relevant data are kinetic curves of emissions over time, which show clearly the non-linear emissions behaviour of treated wood over time. The EFG has suggested real exposure conditions for treated timber in the environment, and listed typical exposure scenarios. Five representative scenarios are characterised in detail, for use in the calculation of Predicted Environmental Concentrations (PECs). The existing methods to determine emissions from treated wood have been reviewed. Most existing experimental models cannot be used to predict environmental emissions. Monitoring of commodities in service has its specific constraints. Chemical analysis and ecotoxicity testing have also been reviewed and their relationship has been discussed. Principles for the design of experimental models, for the determination of emission fluxes from treated wood to the environment, have been established.
G Deroubaix, G Labat, I Le Bayon, S Legay, P Marchal, C Yrieix, E Melcher, R-D Peek, S De Geyter, J Van Acker, W J Homan, D J Dickinson, R J Murphy, E D Suttie, A J Nurmi, A-C Ritschkoff, D Rudolph, I Stephan, D Aston, E F Baines, J B Simonin


Future Directions Regarding Research on the Environmental Impacts of Preservative-Treated Wood: Environmental Impacts of Preservative-Treated Wood. February 8-11, 2004, FL, USA Workshop – Research Needs
2004 - IRG/WP 04-50222
This paper presents a series of documents that focus on research needs for potential future work focusing on the environmental impacts of preservative-treated wood. These documents were developed through a conference sponsored by the Florida Center for Environmental Solutions (FCES), located in Gainesville, Florida. The conference was held in Orlando, Florida, February 8 – 11, 2004 and the title of the conference was, “Environmental Impacts of Preservative-Treated Wood.” Approximately 150 people from 15 countries attended the conference. The “research needs” documents developed to date were summarized from: 1) feedback received from conference participants prior to the conference and 2) a two hour workshop held at the conclusion of the conference. A draft voting ballot has been prepared from these documents. This ballot is currently being reviewed by the FCES conference Technical Advisory Committee and a final ballot will be released in mid-April for a vote among the conference participants. A copy of the draft voting ballot is included at the end of this document. Results of the vote will be released at the 35th Annual IRG Meeting in Slovenia.
H M Solo-Gabriele, J D Schert, T G Townsend


Experiences with environmental risk assessment within the Biocidal Products Directive
2005 - IRG/WP 05-50224-21
The Biocidal Products Directive (98/8/EC, the BPD) aims to authorize biocidal products based on risk assessment for both man and the environment. Active substances for wood preservation products and rodenticides were selected for the first list under the review program (Regulations EC 1896/2000 and EC 2032/2003) because several member states had experience with the evaluation and authorization of such products under existing national law. The main difference with the BPD approach is the introduction of risk based decision making. This required the development of models to estimate exposure, guidelines for measuring exposure and several guidance documents for risk assessment for man and environment. The preparation of dossiers to support the listing of active substances for use in wood preservatives in annex I of directive 98/8/EC revealed strengths and weaknesses in the current approach and allows suggestions for improvement. Products had to be selected covering the current uses and the uses for the future. This at a time that most of the guidance documents were in draft form or not yet available. Emission scenarios had to be selected and the data for input. Leaching data are critical and harmonized laboratory test methods were not available. Field leaching data and monitoring data, if already available, are difficult to bring into the models. A close cooperation within industry on one side, from manufacturers of active substances over formulators to the end users, and consultation with competent authorities on the other side is a prerequisite to successfully market wood preservatives within the scope of the biocides directive. Resource and investments are becoming so significant that a global approach is the only way forward.
P Blancquaert


Environmental Fate of Micronized Copper
2015 - IRG/WP 15-50310
The environmental fate of wood preservatives is an important aspect to estimate the health and environmental impact. Although biocides from treated wood may be released into the soil, water or air, the latter pathway is frequently neglected in favour of leaching studies. Nonetheless, wood dust is well known to cause a variety of adverse health effects, in particular diseases to the respiratory tract, including forms of cancer, and the hazard is higher if dust originates from treated wood. Previous studies have assessed the exposure to chromated copper (Cu) arsenate, but there is a lack of information on the use of micronized copper (MC), which contain basic Cu carbonate particles with a size range between 1 nm and 250 μm. Former studies assessed leaching of Cu from MC- treated wood. We assessed the possible remobilisation in the air of Cu from MC- treated wood via two pathways: mechanical abrasion and fungal spore compartmentalisation. We propose an environmental fate model for MC by quantifying the amount and form of Cu released. In addition, we propose some preliminary investigations on the acute cytotoxicity of MC and treated wood abraded particles on biological models representing the lungs.
C Civardi, L Schlagenhauf, J Benz, C Hirsch, J Van den Bulcke, M Schubert, J Van Acker, P Wick,


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


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


An appraisal of methods for environmental testing of leachates from salt-treated wood (2)
1998 - IRG/WP 98-50110
For wood preservatives for use in hazard class 4 information on the ecotoxicity of preservatives and ingredients as well as on the effect of losses from impregnated timber is needed for a proper environmental risk assessment. In the evaluation of a suitable test procedure the leaching behaviour of copper-based formulations was studied using analytical and ecotoxicological test methodology. These studies included an analytical comparison of end grain sealed and not sealed wood blocks. Using sensitive bioindicators in ecotoxicological studies, real effects of the leachates gained from EN 84 were measured. The possibility to use a laboratory test procedure based on the leaching according to EN 84 is shown and discussed for the risk assessment of treated timber.
H W Wegen, A Platen, G M F Van Eetvelde, M Stevens


Biocides - Efficacy assessment and doses for wood preservatives (product type 8). Local/geographical aspects. Termite control as case study
1999 - IRG/WP 99-20181
Currently, the efficacy of a wood preservative, as biocidal product type 8, is assessed as a ‚critical value' (CV), an efficient dose (retention in wood at a given depth of penetration). CVs are planned to be adapted for exposure to basic target organisms (5 hazard classes) and additional requirements concerning the occurrence of local target organisms in relation with climate, building design and relevant economical impact. Among them, the termite case study is illustrative. The vote of a french law, on 26 may 1999, aiming to protect consumers and to organize termite control puts termites, a "local target at the euro scale and a universal one in some euro territories", in the spotlights of actuality and helps to point out some of the remaining questions raised by the implementation of Dir 98/8 on Biocides. Based on CEN/TC/38 simulated use tests, which doses have to be used for conditions of exposure and climate, ranging from polar to tropical? Practical proposals are made to take into accound local prescription based on actual target organisms, and move on to standard biocide profiles.
G Ozanne


Environmental exposure to wood preservatives
2000 - IRG/WP 00-50165
The OECD Working Group on Pesticides will hold a workshop on Assessing Environmental Exposure to Wood Preservatives within the context of its Biocides Programme (cf. IRG/WP 99-20182). In the area of risk assessment, OECD countries have given highest priority to developing guidance on how exposure assessments for biocides should be performed. Wood preservatives have been selected since most countries have experience in regulating them. The workshop will cover environmental exposure resulting from professional and non-professional use during: ·the application of wood preservatives to treat wood, including the storage of treated timber prior to use; ·the use of the treated wood and products made from it; ·disposal (including burning, dumping, etc) and re-use/recycling. The workshop will also cover emissions to air, water/sediments and soil, as well as fate and behaviour in those compartments including exposure through the food chain. Regarding exposure via the food chain, the principal focus will be on secondary poisoning in the environment (e.g. worm-eating birds), although the potential for human exposure via the environment (e.g. via groundwater) may be also addressed to a limited extent. Since the outcome of the OECD workshop has a large potential of influencing wood preservation environmental research in the IRG member countries, a report will be given about the consequences of the OECD activities with special focus on the future objectives of IRG Section 5.
R-D Peek


Environmental risk assessment of preservative treated wood
1998 - IRG/WP 98-50101-19
This paper reviews the status of the environmental risk assessment of preservative treated wood and confirms the distinction between the risks presented by wood preservatives and preservative treated wood. The paper proposes a tiered approach to risk assessment and discusses the rationale. Flowcharts are presented which summarise the tiered approach to risk assessment, show the tests required, and show how the results can be used to make an environmental risk assessment of preservative treated wood. The need to generate data specifically for risk assessments, particularly PEC and PNEC values, is recognised. Test methods in existing Standards (EN 84, EN1250-2) are shown to be unsuitable to produce data which can be used in risk assessments. Realistic test methods are proposed using commodity-sized treated wood exposed to simulated in-service situations. A test method to generate risk assessment data for wood in ground contact and wood above ground is described. The results show that boron is adsorbed by soil, and that leaching of boron from treated wood in ground contact, even after 5 days exposed to severe rainfall conditions, is less than 10% of the boron in the wood before exposure.
E F Baines, S J Davis


Risk assessment and the approval of wood preservatives in the United Kingdom
1995 - IRG/WP 95-50040-23
An approval system operates in the United Kingdom (UK) for the regulation of wood preservatives. The regulatory authority uses a risk assessment approach to evaluate how far the potential for harm to people and the environment from wood preservatives is likely to be realised in practise, and hence the controls required for products to be, used safely. The evaluation for approval purposes also takes into account the effectiveness of wood preservatives. A tiered approach is adopted to data requirements, and likely exposures are considered under the proposed conditions of use so that testing is minimised and controls are commensurate with risk.
R M Turner


Less environmental impact of wood preservatives by considering the risk of attack in addition to the hazard class system
1995 - IRG/WP 95-50040-10
Hazard classes, which are standardized in Europe in EN 335, are most useful to direct chemical wood preservation towards the organisms which may attack wood in the various fields of utilisation. However, hazard only signifies the fact that an attack may occur without considering the actual risk to attack. To minimize the application of chemicals with respect of less environmental impact it is necessary to consider both, the hazard of attack and the risk which implies the probability, how often attack may occur and how important this will be. In addition, also the consequences of the failure of a wooden commodity will influence the need of chemical wood preservation. It is therefore proposed to combine the hazard classes as specified in EN 335 or in similar non European regulations with a risk assessment including time assessment as a basis for the requirement on chemical wood preservation. For this, details are given in the paper.
H Willeitner


Correlation between different international standard assessment procedures with termites. Part 1: Field exposure
1983 - IRG/WP 1198
Ramin treated with copper-chrome-arsenic (CCA), pentachlorophenate and lindane, each at three retentions, and three other untreated timbers were assessed in the field against Coptotermes lacteus and Nasutitermes exitiosus. Replicate specimens were exposed around five mounds of each termite species over a period of five years in south-eastern Australia. The field results provided the basis for judgement of corresponding laboratory trials conducted accordingly to the standard procedures of Europe, U.S.A. and Australia. In the field none of the wood preservative treatments with-stood termite attack for the full period of five years, not even CCA at the highest retention of 2.3 kg/m³. Merbau and Jarrah were the most resistant timbers but there was noticeable variation between trees.
M Lenz, C D Howick, N Tamblyn, J W Creffield, M Westcott


An environmental assessment of timber treatment plants in Australia
1999 - IRG/WP 99-50124
Australian Standard AS 2843 Timber Preservation Plant Safety Code, sets the specifications for the design and operation of timber treatment plants in Australia. The Timber Preservers' Association of Australia has carried out an environmental survey of timber treatment plants throughout Australia using the operational checklist provided in Appendix C of Part 2 of the Standard. Third party auditors carried out assessments on 121 plants throughout the country. Data was collected and then collated on a State and National basis. As a number of the questions in the survey deal with other than environmental issues, and because some specifications are 'more environmentally important' than others, collected data was also weighted according to potential impact on the environment and the level of 'compliance' was calculated accordingly. The gathered information is being used to develop strategies concerned with improving the environmental credentials of timber treating operations in Australia. The aim is to minimise the risk of chemical contamination of the environment by preservative treatment solution, as opposed to the risk from treated wood is not considered to be a hazard. The paper presents a summary of the responses and indicates that there is a range of compliance with the Standard. The relevance of various specifications is also discussed.
J Norton, K Riley


Assessment of dehydrogenase activity, fluoride content and total chromium content of soil profiles exposed to preservative treated wood within a model system
1993 - IRG/WP 93-10015
The development and prospective use of a closed model system to facilitate study of a number of indicators of environmental impact of wood preservatives laboratory conditions has been described (IRG/WP/2395-92). Chemical analysis of leachate samples collected from drained soil profiles containing creosoted pole sections remedially treated with a chromated fluoride preservative indicated small increases in fluoride and chromium concentrations. This paper details measurement of dehydrogenase activity and chemical analysis of soil samples recovered from the surface layers of the model soil profiles adjacent to treated pole sections. Reduced levels of dehydrogenase activity were associated with increased soil concentrations of leached preservative components and lower organic matter content. Findings are discussed as part of an assessment of environmental impact of the remedial treatment in the field
G M Smith, D C R Sinclair, A Bruce, H J Staines


Natural exposure weathering tests: Their role in the assessment of wood preservative efficacy
1993 - IRG/WP 93-20006
Previous work has demonstrated the potential and usefulness of natural ageing procedures in e evaluation of wood preservative efficacy. This results from the combination of physico-chemical influences and microbiological interactions with both substrate and wood preservative. In this paper, results are presented for a range of biocide types. Discussions are centred on the value of natural exposure weathering tests for preservative efficacy assessment and the importance of biological persistence in the design of effective wood preservatives.
G R Williams, J Brown


Marine exposure assessment of the natural resistance of a number of lesser known species of tropical hardwoods to teredinid and limnoriid borers
2004 - IRG/WP 04-10520
Naturally durable species of timber are used as an alternative to preservative treated timber for marine structures, but many species have not been evaluated for their potential for use in this environment. EN 275 specifies a 5-year test period - too long a period for screening tests to be economically viable. In this study, candidate timber species were selected for testing in the sea on the basis of their resistance to limnoriid attack determined in previous laboratory trials. Comparative resistance to teredinids was assessed by comparing the rate of deterioration observed in candidate species of lesser known hardwoods against that for greenheart and ekki, species of timber that have a proven track record for marine construction. Scots pine sapwood was used for comparison, as a non-durable timber. At the site selected, rapid deterioration of Scots pine specimens due to teredinids and to Limnoria tripunctata occurred. Acaria quara, cumaru and uchi torrado (respectively Minquartia guianensis, Dipteryx excelsa and Sacoglottis guianensis) were not attacked over the six month exposure period, whereas slight teredinid attack was detected in ekki and greenheart.
J R Williams, S M Cragg, L M S Borges, J D Icely


Environmental risk assessment of treated wood - A mesocosm study
2005 - IRG/WP 05-50224-8
In order to evaluate the environmental impact of treated poles, we have developed physical models (mesocosms) containing around 250 kg of natural soil and a treated pole. On the top of each mesocosm, a spraying mechanism, which can distribute ultrapure water through several nozzles, was built. On the lower part of each mesocosm, a small tank, which can contain some litres of leachate, was placed. During 2 years, the mesocosms were run in order to obtain leachates and soil samples. The migration of active ingredient from wood to the closed environment was followed with chemical analysis (Cu,Cr, As and B analysis were carried out on soil and leachate samples). In parallel, ecotoxicological analysis were made on the leachates and on the soil samples; environmental impact on soil was also studied through soil microbial activities with biomarkers analysis.
P Marchal, F Poly


The EWPMG proposal for the environmental risk assessment of wood preservatives
2001 - IRG/WP 01-50166-09
This paper reviews the protocol prepared by the European Wood Preservative Manufacturer's Group, which could be used by an applicant for product approval under the Biocidal Products Directive 98/8/EC, to produce a risk assessment for an active substance or product in the Product Type 8 Wood Preservatives, in support of the application. The background and scope of the protocol are reviewed. The principles of environmental risk assessment are reviewed with particular reference to wood preservatives. The protocol is described and an example flowchart is included.
E F Baines


Ecotoxicological behaviour of leachates from superficially treated timber as an approach for a test strategy of environmental risk assessment in wood preservation
1998 - IRG/WP 98-50101-09
At present for wood preservatives, which in Germany are subject to the quality mark of the RAL-Gütegemeinschaft Holzschutzmittel, health and safety as well as environmental aspects are evaluated by official authorities, as BgVV (Federal Institute for Consumer Health Protection and Veterinary Medicine) and the UBA (Federal Environmental Agency). From the environmental point of view to day there are additional requirements concerning the environmental behaviour of RAL-preservatives for timber used in hazard class 3. Information on the ecotoxicity of preservatives and ingredients as well as on the effect of losses from treated timber is requested in general. There is a lack of generally approved and harmonized test procedures in this field of wood preservation assessment. Therefore, a first test model was developed in accordance with the German federal environmental agency. This test procedure follows existing standards on efficacy of wood preservatives such as EN 84 and ecotoxicological testing of chemicals. Otherwise, it takes into account practical aspects of the application of wood preservatives. Ecotoxicological studies using fish, daphnids, green algae and luminescent bacteria as bioindicators were conducted with a range of formulations based on modern biocides. The ecotoxicity of leachates from treated timber is compared with the acute ecotoxicity of the formulations themselves. It becomes obvious, that a clear differentiation must be made between the effects of the formulations and the timber treated with them. In all trophic stages tested, it was shown, that enormous safety factors are existing for properly treated timber. It is possible to use the described test model for an environmental assessment with regard to the European Biocidal Products Directive. If ecotoxicological studies of a wood preservative are in accordance with the designed test model, additional ecotoxicological tests on the product or environmentally relevant components of it can be avoided or justifiably confined to a minimum.
H W Wegen, U J Lucks


Treatment application method and CCA efficacy in Corsican pine - Assessment by serial exposure and soil burial tests
1993 - IRG/WP 93-40006
A previous report on this research (Newman and Murphy, 1992) identified possible variation in the efficacy of a CCA preservative applied to Corsican pine (Pinus nigra var. maritima) dependant upon the treatment application method (Bethel, Lowry or Steam/Bethel). This paper presents further data from biological testing of CCA treated Corsican pine using serial exposure and unsterile soil techniques. After 3 serial exposures to Coniophora puteana FPRL 11E and Coriolus versicolor FPRL 28A the treated wood performed in the order Bethel > Steam/Bethel > Lowry and Lowry > Bethel > Steam/Bethel respectively. Weight losses in the order of 40% and 30% were generated by Coniophora puteana and Coriolus versicolor at retentions of 3.9 kg/m³ and 1.0 kg/m³ CCA respectively. After 12 and 26 weeks unsterile soil burial the order was Lowry > Bethel > Steam/Bethel with weight losses of up to 30% at 1.0 kg/m³ CCA. The data are considered in relation to the decay mechanisms of the various biological agents used.
P R Newman, R J Murphy


Development of a model system to assess the efficacy and environmental impact of a chromated fluoride remedial treatment for creosoted distribution poles
1992 - IRG/WP 92-2395
A closed model system was designed to facilitate a controlled study of the leachability and environmental fate of a remedial preservative under laboratory conditions. The elements of the model include a precipitation apparatus above a treated pole section which is positioned in a representative soil profile supporting a sward of perennial ryegrass. The model will allow detailed examination of the movement of any toxic preservative constituents, in soil and water, released by an accelerated regime of simulated rainfall. Chemical analysis of soil and leachate will be complimented by plant analysis to identify bioaccumulation of any soil contaminants leached from the treated pole section. This paper details the design and development of the system from earlier environmental models, the difficulties encountered in construction and the sampling regimes to be employed. The benefits of such a system for inclusion in preservative testing protocols is discussed.
D C R Sinclair, G M Smith, A Bruce, B King


A methodology for the life-cycle assessment of treated timber products
1993 - IRG/WP 93-50001-01
Using case studies of CCA-treated motorway fenceposts and creosote-treated electricity transmission poles, the paper suggests an approach to evaluation of the overall environmental impact of treated timber products, utilising the emerging systems analysis method of life-cycle assessment (LCA). The development and application of LCA methodologies to date is reviewed and the key features identified. The significant aspects of the use of CCA and creosote are considered with special reference to the construction of an LCA methodology based on environmental impact criteria. The three major elements of an LCA - the life-cycle inventory, the life-cycle impact analysis and the life-cycle improvement analysis - are described in detail and the constraints applying to the completion of each element for preservative treated wood are discussed. A provisional LCA methodology for treated timber is proposed and progress to date in conducting the LCA with this method is presented.
S R Smith, R J Murphy, D J Dickinson


Environmental risk assessment of wood preservatives in the Netherlands
2001 - IRG/WP 01-50166-10
Before biocides can be introduced to the Dutch market, they have to be authorised under the Pesticides Act (1962). The criteria for authorisation of biocides have been laid down in the Dutch Decree on Environmental Requirements for the Authorisation of Pesticides Used in Fields Other than Agriculture. In 1998, the EU Biocides Directive (98/9/EC) entered into force, and it was implemented in May 2000. The authorisation currently is a national procedure. The inclusion of an active substance of a product in Annex 1 or 1a of the Biocides Directive, will follow the required EU steps. According to the first Review Regulation, existing active substances of wood preservatives are among the first to be evaluated at EU level. In the Netherlands, the Agency responsible for the authorisation is the Board for the Authorisation of Pesticides (CTB). The CTB is an independent regulatory body. With the request for authorisation, a complete dossier has to be submitted by the applicant. After a check of the admissibility of the dossier, the CTB commissions independent institutes for the evaluation of the dossier and to perform the risk assessment. In general, risk assessments are based on the information that is submitted by the applicant, but CTB can decide to include additional (literature) sources when necessary. One of the evaluating institutes is the National Institute of Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), that covers the aspects of both human and environmental health. This paper is concerned with the environmental risk assessment as it is done in the Netherlands. The environmental risk assessment consists of an exposure assessment, resulting in predicted environmental concentrations (PECs) and an effects assessment, resulting in predicted no-effects concentrations (PNECs). In the Netherlands, the active ingredient of the biocidal product is the main subject of the assessment, other components or metabolites are dealt with if they may present a concern. One of the basic tools for risk assessment in the Netherlands is the USES computer program, in which models and methods for the assessment of exposure and effects are implemented. The USES program has been developed under the supervision of a steering committee with members from government, institutes, academia and industry and is approved by CTB. USES includes EUSES and is fully in line with published EU-Technical Guidance Documents (TGDs).
E Smit, P van der Zandt, J Appelman


Occupational exposure risk assessment at a commercial treatment plant using copper azole preservative
1998 - IRG/WP 98-50101-15
Experience with traditional water-based preservatives such as chromated copper arsenate (CCA) applied in closed system vacuum pressure impregnation plants has shown that operator atmospheric exposure is low during normal operation. TANALITH E is a commercially available copper azole wood preservative introduced as a chrome and arsenic-free alternative to CCA based on the actives copper, tebuconazole and boric acid. To assess operator exposure, extensive atmospheric monitoring was conducted around a TANALITH E treatment plant facility, including static monitoring points during routine plant operations and long-term operator exposure. The atmospheric concentrations of the three actives and two of the amine carriers were subsequently determined by analysis. The results from the evaluation are discussed with particular emphasis on the assessment of risk to treatment plant operators working with copper azole wood preservatives.
A S Hughes, M Connell


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