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A Closer Walk With Green

Posted 10 August 2009 5:33 PM by dgauthier@ufpi.com

Your mid-summer outdoor pursuits may find you wandering pressure-treated docks, boardwalks and nature path bridges. The posts supporting these structures are often sunk in water. Speculation regarding exposing aquatic wildlife to the chemicals used to treat the wood has led in some cases to concerns about the use of pressure treated wood in these applications.

ProWood BoardwalkIn a recently published article, Dr. Kenneth Brooks, of Aquatic Environmental Sciences, presented his conclusions regarding this concern after studying the environmental response to pressure treated lumber over the last 17 years. 

As Dr. Brooks states in the article, “In 14 of 15 risk assessments, no significant adverse affects to the environment were documented. In fact, invertebrate communities were more diverse and abundant near these (pressure treated lumber) structures than at nearby reference locations.”

The newest, most technologically advanced pressure treatment formula—such as that used in ProWood Micro CA—is micronized copper azole. According to testing performed by Scientific Certification Systems, this new formulation has achieved a 90-99% reduction in copper release in aquatic and terrestrial environments. In addition, the copper in ProWood Micro CA bonds readily to organic matter in the soil. The copper becomes biologically inactive, thus causing no ecological impacts.

Continuous improvement through better technology is helping pressure treated lumber become an even more sustainable product, with no decline in performance.

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