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Chemical defense of trees and wood natural durability: from protection to valorization
2019 - IRG/WP 19-10943
Natural durability of wood is defined as “the inherent resistance of wood against various wood-destroying organisms” (European standard EN 350-1). This property is due in particular to heartwood extractives. However, the wood natural durability is included in a wider defense system, and other organs such as bark and roots also host protective compounds. Studying the mechanisms on which global chemical defense relies can give insights into the tree functioning, but also inspire new solutions for scientific and technical innovation. Firstly, we will highlight the link between the role of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in tree chemical defense and the optimized production of economically valuable products such as essential oils. We will then present previous works performed by our team aiming at understanding the chemical resistance mechanisms of durable woods against fungi, to eventually isolate and identify antifungal compounds that could be used for the treatment of human fungal diseases, in the context of a bio-inspired approach. Lastly, we will show that the use of wood residues obtained from naturally durable trees transformed by the timber industry can be a sustainable strategy to develop innovative products for human well-being or health.
E Houel, D Stien, N Amusant


From wood protection to health protection: larvicidal potential of formulations containing Sextonia rubra wood residues extract against Aedes aegypti mosquitoes
2020 - IRG/WP 20-10968
French Guiana is a French overseas territory almost entirely covered by Amazonian rainforest and characterized by its incredible biodiversity. Several woody species harboured by this tropical forest are exploited sustainably for timber industry. They are commercialized notably for carpentry and outdoor applications because of their remarkable natural durability. Among them, stand Dicorynia guianensis Amshoff (Angélique), Qualea rosea Aubl. (Gonfolo rose), Ruizterania albiflora (Warm.) Marc.-Berti (Gonfolo gris) and Sextonia rubra Mez. Van der Werff (Grignon franc), representing around 80% of the global exploitation volume. This industry however generates large volumes of wastes, in particular because more than 50% of the ligneous material are lost between cutting down and sawing. Moreover, the strong demographic growth (around 2.5% per year) in French Guiana will lead to a notable increase of the need for timber, in construction as well as for energy, and the amount of induced wood wastes will increase concurrently. Sawdust residues are used currently only for biomass energy factories, but owing to the presence of molecules displaying interesting biological properties, wood residues and sawdust definitively deserve more attention. In recent years, a rising interest in value-added forest products, and in particular wood extractives, has indeed been observed, with the aim of reducing the lost generated by the forest industry due to undervalorized biomass components (Royer et al. 2013a, Khan et al. 2014, Borges et al. 2019). It is therefore relevant to integrate a new step in forest resources valorisation, putting the bio-refinery concept into practice (Royer et al. 2013b).
E Cervil, N Amusant, E Wozniak, I Dusfour, J-B Duchemin, D Azam, M Coke, E Houël


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


Health and safety aspects of the use of wood preservatives. Preliminary evaluation of the answers to the IRG-Questionnaire on the state of pollution control in the field of wood preservation
1974 - IRG/WP 56
This preliminary evaluation of the answers to the IRG/WP-Questionnaire only gives a general survey on those questionnaires, which the author received until June 13, 1974. Details, such as correlations between importance of wood preservation and pollution control, could not be considered due to lack of time. For the same reason it was not possible so far, to evaluate the additional remarks given in seperate letters. In the case, where several questionnaires have been returned for one country, the respective answers were compared. If answers differed within one country, those were considered, which seemed to be most applicable. Obvious errors were omitted.
H Willeitner


Assessment of wood preservation facilities in Canada
1989 - IRG/WP 3557
This document sets out an assessment procedure for the current status of the wood preservation industry in Canada in relation to the Technical Recommendations (TR) documents for the Design and Operation of Wood Preservation Facilities published by the Government of Canada in April 1988. A questionnaire has been prepared in consultation with industry and the Canadian Institute of Treated Wood. An assessment report (state-of-the-art) will be prepared on the basis of the information provided in these questionnaires and discussions.
G Das, V N P Mathur


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


Current models used by the European Health Authorities to evaluate the volatilization of active ingredients from treated wood used inside dwellings. A case study: Volatilization of azaconazole and propiconazole from treated wood
1990 - IRG/WP 3565
The use of wood preservatives inside houses may result in measurable aerial concentrations of active ingredients. These airborne contaminants may be inhaled by the inhabitants over periods lasting from a couple of days to several months. To assess the potential health hazard of preservative residues in the air, various risk-assessment models have been worked out. Three schemes, currently used by the European health authorities, are discussed in this paper. They are based on the saturated air vapour concentration, the volatilization rate measured in laboratory experiments and the aerial concentrations determined in practice. For each model various safety margins can be calculated. These are based on e.g. the subchronic inhalation toxicity, the acceptable daily intake and the acceptable aerial concentration of the insecticides and fungicides used in wood preservatives. In order to demonstrate the feasibility of these health- assessments, a case study has been carried out with the fungicides azaconazole and propiconazole, developed by Janssen Pharmaceutica - Belgium.
A R Valcke, L Van Leemput


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