InTrans / Aug 14, 2018

Variability in Evaluating Environmental Impacts of Treated Wood

Preservative-treated wood contains components that may be toxic to non-target organisms if released into the environment in sufficient quantities. Numerous studies have been conducted to determine the rate of preservative release from treated wood and/or the extent of their subsequent accumulation in the environment. These studies have produced a wide range of results, with a corresponding range of interpretations and recommendations. This paper reviews research on wood preservative leaching and environmental accumulation and discusses sources of the variability in research findings. Variables such as wood properties, pressure treatment techniques, construction practices, exposure conditions, and site conditions are discussed.