Pressure-impregnated wood contains copper and boron compounds that are harmful to health and will be classified as hazardous materials.
Imported pressure-impregnated wood may also contain chromium or phosphorus compounds.
Boron compounds may affect the ability of men to have children, and such compounds may also affect unborn babies during pregnancy. Chromium compounds may cause allergies and are also suspected of causing cancer.
Vacuum-impregnated wood contains tributyltin compounds (imported wood), which are toxic when inhaled and highly irritating to the skin and eyes. Propiconazole/triazole and IPBC may cause irritation to the eyes and skin. Until vacuum-impregnated wood has evaporated, there is a risk of vapours of organic solvents, in particular turpentine, which may cause dizziness, nausea and headache.
When using and cutting pressure-impregnated wood:
- Use only pressure-impregnated wood when necessary to prevent fungal and insect attacks. In many instances, it is possible to use wood varieties with high levels of natural impregnation.
- Use wood which is impregnated by the least hazardous means.
- Use only wood, where the impregnating agent has evaporated sufficiently. The moisture of the wood must amount to no more than 25-30%.
- Avoid pressure-impregnated wood coming into contact with the skin.
Use suitable gloves and aprons, e.g. if the wood gets wet in the rain. There must be effective extraction if you are going to saw the impregnated wood, or if you are going to work the wood in any other way. Where possible, use suitable respiratory protection (at least a half mask with a P2 filter). Make sure that pressure-impregnated wood is stored and worked in areas with good ventilation.