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What Kind of Chemicals Are in Pressure Treated Lumber?

Posted 21 May 2010 7:01 PM by dgauthier@ufpi.com

There are several different types of pressure treated wood available in retail lumber yards today. A discussion involving all of them would result in an alphabet soup of acronyms for the various types of treatment formulations.

At Universal Forest Products, we treat our ProWood Micro CA pressure treated lumber with a formulation known as Micronized Copper Azole, or MCA. And its makeup is simpler than you may have guessed.

The finished product contains two active ingredients to stop decay and termite attack: copper and a non-metallic “organic” called tebuconazole. “Azoles” are used in several everyday personal care products such as foot creams and fungal ointments. 

Copper is, of course, a common metal used for drinking water pipes, wiring, and other applications that humans come in contact with every day. These two ingredients are applied in a mixture of water at a solution strength of less than 1% active ingredients (99% or more water). The  

EPA has registered this preservative and deemed it appropriate for the protection of wood from rot and termites where used as directed. The result is pressure treated wood that is an eco friendly product and serviceable for decades.

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