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Substitution of Toxic Substances in Wood Preservation

The chemical substances used in wood preservation to prevent rot, mould, fire and marine fouling are often toxic and harmful to both people and the environment. RISE’s experts can help you find better alternatives to today’s toxic wood preservatives.

Many of the chemical substances currently used to protect wood from, for example, rot, mould, fire and marine fouling, are effective – but they are also toxic. Substances that are shown to be harmful to humans and/or the environment will sooner or later be regulated. The substances will either be banned outright or their permitted levels will be regulated to such an extent that their wood preserving function is lost.

RISE’s wood preservation experts can help companies stay one step ahead by finding alternatives to toxic wood preservation. Among other things, we can help to develop and evaluate the function, toxicology, and price, as well as conduct life-cycle analysis (LCA).

RISE’s expertise in non-toxic wood preservation

Here at RISE we are knowledgeable about the mechanisms of various forms of wood degradation. Using our knowledge of the living conditions of the organisms that cause problems, we can develop alternative solutions based on impairing their living conditions and thereby increase the durability of wood. The following are a few specific examples:

  • Rot resistance

Today, CCA, creosote and copper-based wood preservatives are used in various applications. Through our understanding of fungal degradation mechanisms, we can create proposals for alternative, fungicide-free impregnation fluids and evaluate their function.

  • Mould resistance

Common substances include organic fungicides, such as IPBC and OIT. By altering the environment around the fungi, such as access to water and nutrients, mould growth is prevented.

  • Marine fouling

Copper-based substances are used, for example, to protect against shipworm and gribble. We develop alternative biocide-free wood preservatives able to prevent settlement of the organisms.

  • Insects

Insect infestation is a growing problem in Sweden and the use of insecticides is highly restricted. We can help you find non-toxic alternatives to protect wood materials.

  • Fire protection

Boric acid is frequently used for fire protection, but it is now being phased out. We can help you develop alternatives by investigating alternative methods of fire protection. There are different strategies for altering fire propagation conditions, such as reducing the availability of oxygen, fuel and heat.

Contact RISE for more information on how we can help you phase out toxic substances in wood preservatives in your products.

More information

Substitution means that you:

  • Replace a hazardous substance with one that is less hazardous
  • Switch to a different material
  • Or find a completely new solution so that a hazardous substance is no longer needed, for example, by changing the design or process

Contact the Swedish Centre for Chemical Substitution for more information and guidance on phasing out hazardous chemicals in products and processes.

Weronika Duvmo

Contact person

Weronika Duvmo

Tf avdelningschef/Enhetschef

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