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treated pine

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Cam starts with ...
when i built my veggie patch i used believed i had paid for non-treated sleepers, now i am wondering is there any way to tell if they really are non-treated? besides the obvious (paying for scientific testing).

cheers
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Geelong
8th October 2010 9:45pm
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Lorna says...
Hey Amanda, the green in the treated pine is from the copper in it. There are only three things in the treatment of pine, namely copper for fungicide, arsenic for insecticide, and chromium as a fixative. The chrome is a very good fixative, used in other industries, like the glass industry to fix coulours into glass. Once the timber has cured for two weeks after the pressure treatment, the chemicals will not come out of the timber unless burnt. If the timber is burnt, it gives off a very nasty gas that will kill you. In a previous career, I was a treatment plant operator, and used to put the treatment into timber, mostly radiata pine, and some pinaster pine and a bit of blue gum. I have no issues with treated pine at all. It is a lot better than the old creosote that leaches out of timber and is carcinogenic and now withdrawn from sale.
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Lorna
Albany WA
8th October 2010 11:44pm
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John Mc says...
If they're hardwood there's a good chance they might not be treated. Most hardwoods are very durable outside in the weather. Softwood sleepers would most likely be treated.
There's no real credible scientific evidence that any CCA leaches into the soil anyway. If you're concerned you can now buy a safe treated timber called something like ACQ.
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John Mc
 
9th October 2010 12:34am
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Lorna says...
The "H" factor that is given to the timber indicates how much chemical per cubic metre of timber is put in at time of treatment.
H2-inside above ground eg stud walls for houses
H3-outside above ground eg verandah roof timbers
H4-outside inground eg fence posts
H5-marine use. eg wharf and jetty timber. The only reason the jetty timber needs more chemical, is that the burrowing worms don't actually eat the timber when they chew the hole, they are just making somewhere to live, so it has to have heaps of chemical in to kill them. Most other applications, the chewing insect is actually using the wood as a food source, so a lesser amount of chemical is needed since they injest it. The copper is an efficient fungicide, and the fact that timber is wet is not an issue because of this. The chromium in the treatment is an excellent fixative and the actives will not leave the timber because of this. The Coppers logs will have a small label on the end of each post stating H4. This is a legal requirement. Rough sawn timber does not have the H factor stamped on it, since it is hard to read, hense the small tag on the end. Dressed timber will have the H factor stamped along its length, along with it's MGP rating (structural strenght) eg MGP10 or MGP12 generally for building.
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Lorna
Albany WA
9th October 2010 9:59am
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Lorna says...
CCA got removed fron handrails and playgrounds so that the "Powers That Be" were seen to be doing something about the Arsenic that was perceived as an issue. I would eat my dinner off a piece of treated CCA pine, as the arsenic, copper and chromium can not leach from the timber. It is the usual thing where Joe Public does not get the correct information, or does not want the correct information, and just hears the word ARSENIC and assumes it is going to kill them. Arsenic is a trace element in the same way that Selenium is a trace element. In the same way as Selenium in excess is toxic, so too is Arsenic (as are all trace elements). One would have to eat about half a cubic metre of teated timber a day to cause any issue. My teeth are not THAT good! How often have you seen horses eat almost the entire box corner in the paddock and still be fine?
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Lorna
Albany WA
9th October 2010 10:10pm
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Jantina says...
Thanks for going to all that trouble amanda. Personally I would err on the side of caution, there are lots of other options for raised beds, and, there is huge chemical overload in our environment already.
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10th October 2010 1:15pm
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Lorna says...
Sodium Arsenate may well be 4x more toxic than Mercury, but that is not taking into account the Chromium that is in the treatment. As I said, the Chromium fixes the Arsenic and the Copper into the timber so there is no breakdown. It in effect becomes part of the timber (within the cell wall actually). I have seen these "cleverly" worded reports that scare people, so many times it gets tiresome. You can word anything you want in a way that sort of states facts, but gives people the totally wrong impression of what is actually happening. There are clear guidelines of how to dispose of the timber, and any retailer is meant to hand out or have available those leaflets for customers at POS. Unfortunately that point is generally not done, or in my experience, customers won't even take the leaflet. Anyway, it is all getting to be a bit like a bent record for me, so keep feeding the termites with all your untreated timber, and best of luck!
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Lorna
Albany WA
10th October 2010 2:45pm
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Wayne says...
Very good posting guys, like Lorna, I to would eat my dinner from a plate of CCA treated pine, in fact I could well have done so in my rough old days.

I have been involved in the building industry almost all of my life and a registered builder for some 30 years of that and have had much experience with both treated and untreated timber.

What Lorna is saying is exactly right and the link that Amanda has provided [I'm sorry Amanda] can be almost taken with a grain of salt. I have read that particular link previously as well as many others from both the timber industry and our Governments [this is State controlled issue by the way] and reading between the lines indicates that the CSIRO are just covering their tracks for litigation purposes. If you were to be in a position to gain the confidence of the powers that be you could be shocked by what the EPA sanctions for the disposal of this products waste.

Amanda, you asked about what happens when the timber rots in the ground, it is guaranteed not to do so for 40 years and when it does the little it leaves behind would be so minuscule that it probably could not be measured.

Lorna, you can bash your head against the wall over this subject here forever and it simply will not sink in. If only some of the puritans actually practised what they preached.

Cheers mate
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Wayne
Mackay QLD
10th October 2010 5:43pm
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Original Post was last edited: 10th October 2010 5:45pm
Lorna says...
Amanda, on the 8th October you knew nothing about CCA, as you commented-it's dyed green isn't it? Then after reading a bit on the net, three days later an expert is born. I realised a long time ago, that just because something is published on the net, does not mean that it is gospel. Wayne and I have been in the associated industries for a fair bit longer than that, and gleaned the facts over those years. I posted the comments and facts to enlighten the obvious dark, not to get bombarded with contradictions and attempts to change my mind. One of the important facts that has been missed here completely, is the alternative to using treated timber. The same hollier than thou people that say to use hardwood sleepers in their vegie beds and timbers in their houses, obviously don't stop to think that the native forrests that this wood came from is not able to provide the volume of timber required for todays demands. Forrestry farmed pine is the only alternative available in sufficient quantity, and without a treatment of some sort, it will degrade with rot and insect damage. If CCA is considdered so bad, come up with an alternative. There is no point in bagging a product or an industry, without coming up with some constructive and viable alternatives at the same time. Thanks but I dont need any more links to read, since it is not me that is trying to push the barrow.
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Lorna
Albany WA
12th October 2010 12:45am
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Brendan says...
The 'new' arsenic-free treated pine sleepers are called ACQ treated, which stands for Alkaline Copper Quaternary :-)
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Brendan
Mackay, Q
12th October 2010 9:02am
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Lorna says...
Yes we know that, and there is also LOSP (liquid organic solvent preservative), but none will match the same preservative qualities that CCA does if put outside inground (H4), and the price here is around double. No doubt there is some guff on the net about those treatments being bad too.
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Lorna
Albany WA
12th October 2010 9:32am
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Brad says...
I think this is where we agree there are 2 broad opinions and agree to disagree.

One camp explains the science of cca and their belief it is safe enough to eat off as the arsenic is bound up. Incorrect disposal is the only risk they worry about. They note that some of the literature is deceptive fear mongering e.g. It contains arsenic which is extremely dangerous in such and such concentration (true but not when the same concentration is bound (inert) in chromium)

The other camp quotes literature saying there may be more risk and they don't want to take any.

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Brad2
nearly Perth Hills
12th October 2010 11:00am
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Jason says...
Treated pine is banned for use in kids playgrounds is it not?. If you go into Mount Gambier where they make lots of treated pine the first thing you notice is the toxic cloud of stink that covers the entire inner city, it's a very strong and bad smell. I know a few people that work in the mills there and none of them have dropped dead at an early age yet but they are still fairly young.

I had to make a fence for the Choko Jantina gave me to grow up so I buried a couple of eucalypt branches, it's nice and wobbly looking but at least I know I can lick it and not get sick :p
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Jason10
Portland, Vic
12th October 2010 11:10am
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Original Post was last edited: 12th October 2010 11:12am
VLR says...
I guess the treated pine would need to be replaced before they've been in the ground for 40 years? That should be longer than any untreated timber. I certainly wouldn't recommend using jarrah in the Perth area anyway because they tend to become infested with termites. A small gate my parents made from jarrah was infested in less than 5 years. I have some treated pine posts concreted into the ground in my backyard. I had an issue with the green colour so I painted them with Cabot's timbershades to make them look like jarrah.
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VLR
Perth
12th October 2010 11:22am
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Lorna says...
Jason, Talk to your friends IF they really work in the mills where they treat timber at Mt Gambier. The treatment is a NIL emissions proces of vacuum, pressure, then vacuum. There are no fumes, no runoff because of bunds and recovery pits, no dusts, vapours or smokes etc etc. If Mt Gambier has clouds of toxic stink as you call it in the inner city, then look elsewhere for the cause. While everyone is at it, read the thread on cashews and arsenic gas that apparently gets emitted when they are roasted. Lets ban the cashews because they are going to kill us too with their toxic fumes!!!!Ha Ha
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Lorna
Albany WA
12th October 2010 1:05pm
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Steven says...
Hey everyone how are you?

Personally i think both sides make interesting comments. I agree with Lorna and Wayne when they say its been tested etc and that the media, politics the public twist and manipulate their words to mean something but hint something completely different (its something thats infuriated be forever, because sooooo many people get sucked into it). But then so do businesses and industry, Asbestos was used for decades. Industry and many people who worked in the industry said its been tested etc and its safe to use (ive heard stories were workers used to have snowball fights with asbestos and dunk apprentices heads into barrels of it), now we know that was completely wrong. The same goes for DDT and many other products and chemicals.

Theoretically it wont leach and is safe to use but theory and practise can be completely different. You say you would eat off of treated pine because it wont leach yet every time i work with it i get green stuff on my hands, clothes. I get splinters and small bits of timber all over me. What happens when your spoon drags across the surface of the pine and physically scrapes a layer of pine from the surface (i know you didnt mean you would literally eat off of trated pine but i hope you understand my point).

Treated pine is guaranteed to last 40 years theoretically, but that cant take into account things like weathering in the many different climates in australia. where constant wetting and drying in a garden bed will twist warp and crack the pine, this may increase its surface area by 10x,20x,30x,50x what it originally was. If this happens it will degrade much much faster and hence leach much much faster also. It may not account for the fact that there is a MUCH larger concentration of bacteria, fungi insects etc in a garden bed than there would be naturally in the ground which could degrade the timber much faster than it normally would. and it also doesnt take into account the fact that over the years you will accidentally hit the sleepers repeatedly with shovels, maddocks, hoes etc chipping off pieces of timber into the soil, which will also degrade much faster. and when all these things degrade whats going to happen. the copper and arsenic will bind to the soil complexes that are surrounding it where the will stay there for a long time.

Even if it doesnt leach like its manufacturers claim (which doesnt necessarily make it fact) you have to weigh up everything and then state whether or not its worth using it in a garden bed. All the things ive stated may not mean anything and nonetheless its still perfectically safe to use, but the fact is is that we dont really know so why take the risk when you can easily buy red gum sleepers for $17 a length.

I think your both right your just looking at it from a different light. I think treated pine is a great invention, if used appropriately it can safely be used for a huge variety of things and its much more forest friendly than the alternative. However would i use it as a garden bed....no.
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Steven
Eastern Melbourne
12th October 2010 1:17pm
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Jason says...
There's nothing else in the middle of Mount Gambier. I just had a read up on why the city stinks like that and found that perhaps they still treat pine with Creosote there. A lot of the vineyards still use those posts so maybe that's the smell, either way it's still the same place, same people, different toxic crap :)
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Jason10
Portland, Vic
12th October 2010 1:19pm
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Steven says...
Thats an interesting brochure Amanda....information said from the horses mouth!!
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Steven
Eastern Melbourne
12th October 2010 5:41pm
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John Mc says...
Not taking anyone's sides here, and I'm staying out of it, but what is the difference between organic Arsenic and the other one? Is there a chemical difference and if so why does it have the same name?
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John Mc
 
12th October 2010 8:54pm
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Jason says...
You know when they pull thousands of green posts out of vineyards each once in a while to replace them. Between 20% and 100% of the post below the soil surface no longer exists. So everything is in the dirt about 2 feet from the grapes, is that good? I don't know :) I don't drink so I don't really care but it's something interesting
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Jason10
Portland, Vic
14th October 2010 12:24am
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Original Post was last edited: 14th October 2010 12:25am
foreverest says...
Everything is in the dirt about 2 feet from the grapes.
http://www.foreverest.cn
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foreverest
China
20th April 2011 6:15pm
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Deb says...
Thanks Amanda ...will read and pass onto the neighbour and see were we go from here jarrah is $7/8each larger $39/44 each ..have to get a price on pine!
maybe they want be eaten out by white ants or the one you mentioned ..have to see what they have around here ..if they have emu bush?and price
other wise we may have to use steel and hope it doesn't fall over in the wet weather down here!!
Pictures - Click to enlarge

Picture: 1
  
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Deb10
Donnybrook
22nd July 2011 7:39pm
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Original Post was last edited: 30th January 2012 1:04am
amanda says...
Funny pic Deb! Treated pine is fine for a boundary fence - any leaching is not going to travel more than a few centimetres.

Seems a little unreasonable to me - but in the interests of smooth negotiations - have a google of the CSIRO report on treated pine and give a copy to your neighbour maybe? That should resolve it pretty quick.

The main concerns with treated pine are in kids playgrounds (that direct hand to mouth contact that kids do) and some choose not to use it in Veg gardens where root veg are grown.

Some wineries also chose not to use it for their trellises - but they are right next to the vines...how close would your neighbours vines be? They would surely not be right next to the boundary fence?

Is your neighbour paying for half of the boundary fence? If all else fails have a talk to your Shire/Council about it...there are some rules/guidelines regarding boundary fences. Good luck! :)
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amanda19
Geraldton. Mide West WA.
23rd July 2011 11:03am
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ringelstrumpf says...
I would not use treated pine, first I don't agree that it is right to disperse more and more chemicals which accumulates in the environment. Second I would think that it is a waste of timber anyway. Why don't you simply make beds? There is no advantage surrounding the beds with timber.
It's funny, but in Germany most of the construction timber is not treated at all, but the building rules are maybe stricter. And there hardwood is virtually unknown in building.
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ringelstrumpf
Mountains
23rd July 2011 5:50pm
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amanda says...
Unfortunately we have termites - so Deb would have to be careful when it comes to the wood she uses for fencing.

Plus she intends of having cattle - so the strength of her fence will be important.

There is one native wood that is termite proof and it's an Eremophilia (sp?) or Emu bush...don't know which one or even if it's available - as it's not a big tree....(it actually has a substance in its wood that's toxic or such to termites..i think?)

Anyway - we have digressed - Deb this is the link you might want:

http://www.csiro.au/resources/CCATreatedTimber--ci_pageNo-2.html
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amanda19
Geraldton. Mide West WA.
23rd July 2011 8:44pm
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mollyp says...
The other native wood that is well documented as being naturally termite resistant is cypress pine. Used for desks, posts, flooring, frames, playgrounds etc. No treatment is required!
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mollyp
kew
17th June 2013 9:11pm
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japs says...
There is clear evidence that there are dangers inherent in the use of CCA treated pine, despite the desperate pleas of industry proponents that obviously have a reason for their arguments. While it may have its place, I certainly don't want it anywhere near kids or food.
"Last year a study by the Washington DC-based Environmental Working Group (EWG), with the University of North Carolina-Asheville's Environmental Quality Institute, found the "amount of arsenic that testers wiped off a small area of wood about the size of a four-year-old's handprint (100 square centimetres) typically far exceeds" what US environmental authorities consider safe in a glass of water."
Source: http://www.uow.edu.au/~sharonb/arsenic.html

This article is full of references to studies and practices by many countries in reducing the use of CCA
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japs
Rankin Park
29th March 2014 10:19am
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Original Post was last edited: 29th March 2014 10:19am
sternus1 says...
Sorry to hijack this thread, but the lamp in the image posted by Deb is singularly the most nightmarishly disturbing piece of decor I have ever seen.
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sternus1
Australia
29th March 2014 1:00pm
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Mike Tr says...
Must have been quite a party but it is not the first time I have seen a turkey wearing a lampshade.
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Mike Tr
Cairns
29th March 2014 8:21pm
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Carl76 says...
Tame by what I've seen.
Friend in U.S has a collection that wouldn't look out of place in an episode of the Addams Family.
Only in the U.S of A.
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Carl76
Wilston 4051
29th March 2014 9:06pm
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MNash1 says...
Quietly, I like the turkey lamp
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MNash1
Terranora
30th March 2014 7:59pm
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