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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


Evaluation of tropical wood by-products as a potential source for termite control products
2001 - IRG/WP 01-10408
Termites damaging in houses represent an ever growing threat in Europe, where the phenomenon has accelerated during the last ten years, as well as in the tropics, where infestations are permanent. To fight against this plague, the current methods used, through injection of organochloric or organophosphorized products into the timber structures and walls, are belonging to the past due to the toxicity and harmful consequences of their use on the environment. New techniques were developed and research organisations are still working on minimizing the environmental impacts through the elaboration of new products. Some tropical wood species from French overseas territories (mainly French Guyana), like Ocotea rubra, Licaria canella and Aniba parviflora (Lauraceae), contain repellent, antifeeding or toxic substances which might be extracted to obtain molecules to be used for new wood preservatives. CNRS and CIRAD-Forêt are currently elaborating techniques that will allow to discriminate the possible effects of various molecules contained in sawdusts as regards to termites. Both termite species, Heterotermes indicola and Reticulitermes santonensis, have shown different behaviours depending on the wood species. These wood species were consequently classified according to their repulsive, antifeeding or toxic effects against both termite species studied. Considering the results obtained, it would then be worthwhile to use wood wastes from sawmills. Being so, the up-grading of by-products can be the basis for formulations of new wood preservatives with low environmental impacts and still providing durability against termites to wood species with a low natural durability.
A Zaremski, S Robert, J-L Clement, D Fouquet


Assessment of the environmental impacts in life cycle analysis
1995 - IRG/WP 95-50040-31
Evaluation of environmental impacts is of crucial importance nowadays but it is a complex problem. Different methodologies have been proposed for the last 20 years such as the "Life Cycle Assessment" (LCA) approach. Life Cycle Assessment is an evalution tool of the impacts on the environment of a system including the whole activities associated with, from the extraction of the raw materials to the elimination of the waste. LCA are usually considered in a generic way on the basis of potential global effects, as the involved processes occur anywhere in the world. This approach is handling emerging problems such as global warming, ozone depletion. However handling this global approach for human toxicity, aquatic ecotoxicity or terrestrial ecotoxicity is totally conventional and is not relevant of any factual effect. Considering human toxicity and ecotoxicity in a Life Cycle Assessment might require to perform it at a different scale (local or regional) as well as to record the inventory data separately for each site to enable impact assessment at a local scale.
I Blanc-Sommereux


Remediation of environmental impacts related to inorganic wood preservative chemicals using in-situ geochemical fixation
2001 - IRG/WP 01-50166-17
Use of the inorganic wood preservative chemical chromated copper arsenate (CCA) has resulted in several documented cases of soil and ground water contamination at wood treatment plants due to spills or releases of the treatment chemical. The most significant impact from releases of CCA to the environment is related to hexavalent chromium contamination of ground water. This is due to the relative solubility of the hexavalent form of chromium in ground water and its toxicity. The other metals associated with CCA, copper and arsenic, are generally less soluble and therefore not as mobile as hexavalent chromium under typical environmental conditions. Although hexavalent chromium is readily reduced to less soluble and less toxic trivalent chromium, and natural attenuation of hexavalent chromium in the environment has been documented (Palmer and Puls, 1994), often the volume of CCA released exceeds the natural reducing capacity of the soil. Under this scenario, a plume of ground water contamination by hexavalent chromium develops. This paper discusses various approaches to remediation (clean up) of hexavalent chromium associated with CCA releases to the environment, and focuses on an innovative in-situ (in-place) approach that saves significant time and money.
R M Thomasser, J V Rouse


Minimisation of the Environmental Impacts of Coatings on Exterior Wood by Optimisation of their Life Spans
2003 - IRG/WP 03-50197
The study has shown that the environmental impacts from coatings on exterior wood are dependent criteria on their life spans. A minimisation of the environmental impacts can be performed with the help of the integrated design model, which is tested in this study. The optimal life spans, found as reference service lives from the exposure tests, statistical evaluation and the assessment of experts were used for forecasting in Life Cycle Assessment of the coatings on exterior wood. The integrated life cycle design, performed in this study, showed that the water-borne acrylic coating and the water-borne acrylic stain are the best choice as regards the integrated assessment of the environmental impacts and service lives of the coatings. The discussed coating systems are a solvent-borne alkyd coating, a water-borne acrylic coating, a water-borne acrylic stain, a solvent-borne alkyd stain and an alkyd oil.
L Strömberg


Environmental Impacts of CCA-Treated Wood: A Summary from Seven Years of Study Focusing on the U.S. Florida Environment
2003 - IRG/WP 03-50205
Wood treated with chromated copper arsenate (CCA) was identified in 1995 as the cause of elevated arsenic concentrations within wood fuel used for cogeneration within Florida. Since this time a research team from the University of Miami and University of Florida has evaluated the environmental impacts of CCA-treated wood within the State. Research has focused on two distinct areas: in-service leaching of the CCA chemical and disposal pathways for the discarded product. In-service leaching was evaluated by sampling soils located below 9 pre-existing decks (8 CCA treated and 1 not CCA treated) and 2 decks (one CCA treated and one untreated) constructed over a leachate collection system. Results showed that CCA-treated decks leach chemicals in quantities that will impact soil quality. For the pre-existing decks, the average background soil arsenic concentrations were 1.5 mg/kg. Immediately below the pre-existing decks the average soil arsenic concentration was 28.5 mg/kg. Runoff for the decks constructed over a leachate collection system contained over 1 mg/L arsenic and chromium. Arsenic in the runoff was predominately in the +5 valence; however, some As(III) has been measured. A considerable effort by this research team has been placed on evaluating the fate of CCA-treated wood upon disposal. The research has shown that the quantities of discarded CCA-treated wood will increase significantly in the future. Current disposal pathways for CCA-treated wood include construction and demolition (C&D) debris landfills (which are generally unlined in Florida) or inadvertent mixing within mulch and wood fuel that is produced from recycled C&D wood. Samples collected from C&D debris facilities located in Florida indicate that CCA-treated wood can represent up to 30% of the recycled wood by weight. Research has shown that the CCA chemical is capable of leaching from CCA-treated wood (both in the unburned form and as ash) in quantities that exceed regulatory thresholds established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, thereby suggesting that discarded CCA-treated wood should in many cases be managed as a hazardous waste. When CCA-treated wood represents 5% or more of a recycled wood mixture, the ash from its combustion will typically be characterized as a toxicity characteristic (TC) hazardous waste. Both new and weathered CCA-treated wood has been found in a majority of cases to leach arsenic at concentrations greater than the TC regulatory limit. Results from chemical speciation analysis indicate that unburned wood leaches arsenic primarily in the +5 valence and chromium in the +3 valence. Chemical speciation of the ash however was much more variable with some samples showing significant amounts of As(III) and Cr(VI). Commercial mulch purchased at retail establishments in Florida also was shown to leach arsenic at levels that exceeded the State’s risk-based Groundwater Cleanup Target Levels. The presence of leachable arsenic within the mulch was attributed to the presence of CCA-treated wood. Potential solutions to the CCA-disposal problem have been explored including options for waste minimization and disposal-end management of the treated wood. Waste minimization focuses on the use of alternative wood treatment preservatives that do not contain arsenic. Non-arsenical chemicals evaluated include ACQ, CBA, CC, and CDDC. These alternatives were shown to leach less arsenic but more copper than CCA-treated wood. Options for disposal-end management explored through this study include sorting technologies to separate CCA-treated wood from other wood types. Sorting technologies explored included the use of a chemical stain and two systems based upon the use of lasers or x-rays. Chemical stains were found to be effective for sorting small quantities of CCA-treated wood. Both the laser and x-ray systems were shown to be a very promising technologies for sorting large quantities of wood in a more automated fashion.
H M Solo-Gabriele, T G Townsend, J D Schert


Criteria for environmentally and socially sound and sustainable wood preservation industry
2006 - IRG/WP 06-50237
This paper is dealing with critical criteria for environmentally and socially sound and sustainable wood preservation industry. A research study supported by past experience, knowledge and training on relevant topics and consultation of relevant appraisal manual, training module and technical guideline revealed concise widespread checklists for sustainable establishment of wood preservation industry. Through this paper safe and sound site selection, safe land acquisition and involuntary resettlement, sound regulatory aspects, safe planning and information, safe design and construction, safe operation, appropriate environmental management plan (EMP) and environmental impact assessment (EIA) of wood preservation industry have been ensured. The relevant industrialists can easily follow the checklists during establishment or renovation of wood preservation industry.
A K Lahiry, M Hasan, M A J H Chowdhury


Wood Protection and Environmental Performance of Products - Impacts COST Action FP1407 Aims to Bring
2016 - IRG/WP 16-50323
Though many aspects of wood modification (chemical, thermal, impregnation) treatments are known, the fundamental influence of the process on product performance, the environment, and end of life scenarios remain unknown. To contribute to the low-carbon economy and sustainable development, it is essential to integrate interactive assessment of process parameters, developed product properties, and environmental impacts. Therefore, a group of researchers joint in a COST Action FP1407 “Understanding wood modification through an integrated scientific and environmental impact approach”. The main objective of the Action FP1407 is to characterize the relationship between wood modification processing, product properties, and the associated environmental impacts in order to maximize sustainability and minimize environmental impacts. The Action aims to provide the critical mass of Europe-wide knowledge needed to achieve the future developments in the field. The networking, multi-disciplinary, exchange of knowledge, and scientific excellence, as well as the expertise of industrial members, will enable comprehensive research and development of modification processing and products design with emphasis on their environmental impacts. This paper will briefly introduce the mechanism COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) and the key research areas, work plan and secondary objectives of this Action FP1407 with the focus on environmental impact assessments. The life cycle assessment (LCA) and environmental product declarations (EPDs) are introduced with examples of LCA studies of wood products. The paper concludes with discussion about the impacts of the Action FP1407 in the field of environmental performance of wood products.
A Kutnar


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


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


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


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


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


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