&EPA
                    United States
                    Environmental Protection
                    Agency
Region 5
Office of Public Affairs
230 South Dearborn Street
Chicago, Illinois 60604
                                                  For Applicators

-------
TABLE OF CONTENTS
FEDERAL REGULATIONS	 2
WHY TREAT WOOD	 2
DESCRIPTION OF PRESERVATIVES 	 2
APPLYING PRESERVATIVES	 2
HARMFUL EFFECTS AND SYMPTOMS 	 3
PROTECTIVE CLOTHING AND
EQUIPMENT REQUIRED	 5
SAFETY PRECAUTIONS WHEN
SPRAYING PRESERVATIVES	 6
SPECIAL PRECAUTIONS FOR PENTA	 6-8
FIRST-AID IN CASE OF ACCIDENTS	 8
SAFE STORAGE	 8
DISPOSAL REQUIREMENTS	 10
LIMITATIONS ON USING TREATED WOOD 	10
OTHER SAFETY PRECAUTIONS	 12
APPLICATOR TRAINING	back cover

-------
FEDERAL REGULATIONS

If you are an applicator or handler of wood preservatives or treated-wood products, you
should be aware of the safety precautions that help prevent adverse health effects
associated with exposure to the chemicals and the products treated with them.
Under the authority of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), the
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates the use and application of the most
widely used wood preservatives: creosote, pentachlorophenol(penta), and inorganic
arsenicals.
All three substances are toxic, but they must be toxic in order to be effective. The following
guidelines will alert you to the dangers associated with their use and application and to
the proper steps for your protection.
WHY TREAT WOOD

Wood is destroyed or weakened by weather, fungi, insects, marine borers, and fire.
Treating wood with preservatives significantly increases its useful life by protecting it from
attack by these wood-destroying elements.
DESCRIPTION OF PRESERVATIVES

    Creosote: a distillate of coal tar; a heavy oily liquid. Creosote improves the
weathering characteristics of wood, provides protection from insects and fungi, and
promotes insolubility in water. It is used in railroad ties, large timbers, fence posts, poles,
and pilings.

    Penta (oilborne preservatives): crystalline compound dissolved in light petroleum oil.
Products treated with penta include construction lumber and timber, utility poles and
crossarms, and fence posts.

    Inorganic arsenicals (waterborne preservatives): compounds of arsenic, chromium,
copper, zinc, and fluoride. They differ from creosote and penta in that they are water-
soluble inorganic substances, as opposed to oily, organic substances. Wood treated with
inorganic arsenicals may be used for patios, decks, playground equipment, and interiors.

-------
APPLYING PRESERVATIVES

Because most of the risks associated with the use of wood preservatives come from the
application rather than from the handling of the treated wood, EPA has restricted the use
of creosote, penta, and inorganic arsenicals. Only certified applicators, or persons under
their direct supervision, may purchase or use these preservatives. You must be trained in
the proper use and application of these preservatives to be certified. IT IS ILLEGAL TO BUY
OR  USE THESE PRESERVATIVES UNLESS YOU ARE CERTIFIED TO DO SO.
Before applying the preservatives, refer to instruction labels on the use of treated wood,
the protective clothing and equipment you must use, and the  disposal requirements for
each preservative. This information must be provided on the labels of these products.
HARMFUL EFFECTS AND SYMPTOMS

EPA's decision to restrict the use of these preservatives was based on their toxicity. Some
of the adverse health effects associated with their use are listed below:
    Creosote: This chemical may cause skin cancer in  persons regularly exposed to it.
Prolonged and repeated exposure may lead to dermatitis (inflammation of the skin). The
liquid and vapors can irritate eyes and the respiratory tract.
Symptoms of exposure include vomiting, dizziness, headache, convulsions, and respiratory
difficulties.

    Penta: It has produced defects in the offspring of laboratory animals. Exposure to  it
during pregnancy should be avoided.
Symptoms of exposure include irritation of eyes, nose and throat, sneezing and coughing,
weakness, anorexia, weight loss, sweating, headaches,  dizziness,  nausea, vomiting, chest
pains, fever, and dermatitis.

    Inorganic arsenicals: These compounds have been associated with cancer in humans
who either drank water contaminated with arsenic or who breathed air containing arsenic.
Symptoms of exposure are weakness, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting,  and diarrhea.
Results may be liver damage,  loss of hair and fingernails, anemia,  and skin disorders.

-------
                       CHEMICAL
                       CARTRIDGE RESPIRATOR
                                                           CHEMICAL
                                                           CANNISTER RESPIRATOR
RUBBER SOLE. NONSKID,
METAL TOED SHOES

-------
PROTECTIVE CLOTHING AND EQUIPMENT REQUIRED

For maximum protection during the application and mixing process and in all situations
where skin contact is expected, you must wear long-sleeve shirts, long pants, gloves, and
an impermeable apron. Gloves should be long enough to protect the wrist and should be
worn over the sleeves to prevent the preservatives from running up the arm. ALWAYS
WEAR GLOVES WHEN YOU HANDLE FRESHLY TREATED WOOD.

If you enter pressure-treatment cylinders or other related equipment that is contaminated
with the wood treatment solution, YOU MUST WEAR PROTECTIVE CLOTHING. This
includes overalls, jacket, gloves, and nonskid boots that are impervious to the wood
treatment solution.

Protective clothing should be made of vinyl, polyvinyl chloride, neoprene, rubber or
polyethylene.
Wear clean clothes daily. If you get a spill on your clothing, change immediately. Do not
bring contaminated clothing home with you. Leave any worn-out protective clothing,
workshoes, or boots at the treatment plant. Dispose of them in any general landfill, or with
the trash. IF YOU MUST WASH PROTECTIVE CLOTHING AT HOME, WASH IT
SEPARATELY FROM OTHER LAUNDRY.

-------
SAFETY PRECAUTIONS WHEN SPRAYING PRESERVATIVES

Avoid inhaling vapors. If it cannot be avoided, you must wear a high efficiency half-mask
canister or cartridge respirator. You must always wear a respirator when applying the
preservatives by a spray method, or entering, cleaning, or repairing vats, tanks, and other
related equipment contaminated with the wood treatment solution.

Respirators must fit properly, be well-maintained, and approved for polynuclear aromatics,
organic vapors, and acid gases. For a proper  fit, it is important to be clean-shaven. A beard
or heavy sideburns may prevent a good seal. Also wear goggles,  or a facepiece, and head
coverings that are impervious to the treatment solution.

Do not overspray. Always check for leaks in the system.

After every use, the goggles and facepiece should be washed with detergent and water,
rinsed, dried, and stored in a clean, dry place. Change cartridges and canisters if you have
trouble breathing, or if you smell the preservatives.  Disposal regulations for used
cartridges and canisters are the same as for  the preservatives. REFER TO THE
MANUFACTURER'S INSTRUCTIONS ON THE USE AND CARE  OF THE RESPIRATOR
BEFORE YOU USE IT.
SPECIAL PRECAUTIONS FOR PENTA

Through August 31, 1 987, EPA regulations require that a closed emptying and mixing
system be used, or protective clothing worn, when emptying and mixing prilled or flaked
formulations of penta. After that date, a closed system must be used without exception.

-------

-------
A closed system is any containment that prevents the release of chemicals into the
surrounding environment, except for the release of tiny amounts during equipment loading
and periodic cleanout or maintenance.
When mixing and applying the treatment solution, do not eat or drink, and don't use
tobacco products because you may carry toxic amounts of the preservatives to your mouth
by hand. Wash thoroughly after skin contact or before using the restroom.
FIRST-AID IN CASE OF ACCIDENTS

The label on each preservative must include directions for first aid in case of an accident.
YOU SHOULD BE FAMILIAR WITH THEM BEFORE APPLYING THE PRESERVATIVES. Have
the phone number of your local hospital, your doctor, or a poison control center on hand.
Chemicals can be absorbed through the skin, inhaled, or swallowed. Here are some basic
first-aid instructions to follow in case of an accident:
For chemicals in your eyes  flush eyes with clean running water immediately for at least
15 minutes. Keep the water pressure low. SEE A DOCTOR AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

Be careful not to spill the chemicals on your skin or clothing. If you do, remove
contaminated clothing immediately and wash the affected areas with mild soap and water.
Soap, clean water, or a waterless hand cleaner should be readily available. IF SKIN
BECOMES INFLAMED, SEE A DOCTOR.
If you swallow a chemical, get medical attention at once. Drink large quantities of water
and induce vomiting. DO NOT MAKE AN UNCONSCIOUS PERSON VOMIT.
Anyone overcome by fumes must be moved to fresh air. If the victim is not breathing, apply
artificial respiration. CALL FOR EMERGENCY MEDICAL ASSISTANCE IMMEDIATELY.
SAFE STORAGE

The chemicals should be stored in a dry, cool, well-ventilated area. This area should be
made of fire-resistant material and have a cement floor, an exhaust fan for good
ventilation, and a lock on the door. Containers should be checked often for leaks or breaks.
If a leak develops, clean up the spill  immediately.

-------
RINSE EYE THOROUGHLY
                                         WASH AFFECTED AREA
                                         WITH SOAP AND WATER
                                IF INGESTED,
                                DRINK PLENTY OF WATER
         ANYONE OVERCOME BY
         FUMES. MOVE TO FRESH AIR

-------
DISPOSAL REQUIREMENTS

Improper disposal of pesticides (including certain preservatives) is a violation of Federal
law. Always refer to the label for disposal instructions. If you cannot dispose of these
wastes according to the label, contact your State pesticides office (listed on last page) or
your Regional EPA Waste Management Office for guidance.
Rinse and drain all chemical containers before disposal. Do not reuse empty containers.
Bury containers in an approved landfill or dispose of them according to approved methods.
REFER TO THE LABEL FOR INSTRUCTIONS ON THE SAFE DISPOSAL OF CONTAINERS.
Treated wood from residential use can be disposed of by burial or in ordinary trash cans.
Do not burn it in open fires or in stoves, fireplaces, or residential boilers because toxic
chemicals may be produced as part of the smoke and ashes.
Treated wood from commercial or industrial use, such as in construction sites, may be
disposed of only in commercial-industrial incinerators or boilers rated at a minimum of 20
million BTU (British thermal unit) per hour, or its equivalent, in accordance with State and
Federal regulations.
LIMITATIONS ON USING TREATED WOOD

EPA regulations restrict uses of treated wood. You should be aware of these restrictions
and the proper precautionary measures. Treated wood should be used only where it is
necessary to protect wood from insect attack and decay. Below are restrictions that apply
to wood treated with creosote,  penta, and inorganic arsenicals.
     Wood treated with inorganic arsenicals may be used inside homes as long as all
      sawdust and other construction debris are cleaned up and disposed of.

     Wood treated with creosote and penta should not be used inside homes because of
      toxic fumes.

     Wood treated with creosote and penta should not be used inside farm buildings
      where domestic animals or livestock may bite or lick the wood.

     Wood treated with inorganic arsenicals does not require sealers. Even frequent
      contact is safe because absorption through the skin is negligible.
                             10

-------
Two coats of appropriate sealer must be applied on:

      wood treated with creosote or penta if it will frequently come into contact with bare
       skin, such as in outdoor furniture;

      treated wood used for support structures inside industrial buildings;

      treated wood that has been used in support structures where it is unlikely that the
       domestic animals or livestock will bite or lick the wood; and

      wood treated with penta and used on outdoor  surfaces of doorframes, windows,
       and patio frames.

Urethane, epoxy, and shellac are acceptable sealers for all creosote-and penta-treated
wood.

For wood-block flooring treated with creosote, coal-tar pitch and coal-tar pitch emulsion
are effective sealers.

Do not use treated wood:

      for farrowing or brooding facilities;

      where the preservative may become a component of food or animal feed, such as in
       silos;

      for cutting-boards or countertops;

      for parts of beehives that may come into contact with the honey;

      where it may come into direct or indirect contact with public drinking water, or
       drinking water for domestic animals or livestock, except for incidental contact such
       as with docks and bridges; and

      on logs intended for building log homes.

Only treated wood that is visibly clean and free of surface residue should be used for
patios, decks, and walkways.
                               11

-------
OTHER SAFETY PRECAUTIONS
Cut wood to size before treating it with creosote and penta.
Wear a dust mask to avoid inhaling sawdust when sawing and machining treated wood.
Wear goggles to protect your eyes from flying particles.
Whenever possible, work outdoors to avoid indoor accumulation of sawdust.
Wash exposed body areas thoroughly after working with the wood and before eating or
drinking, or before using tobacco products.
                             12
                                                      d U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE: 1987744-712

-------