Environmental & Health Information
Wood preservatives contain toxic chemicals that can cause adverse impacts to human health or to the environment. For example, chemicals applied via “pressure treatment” can be rubbed off or leached from the wood. Preservative chemicals can be released into the environment during processing and storage of treated wood.
Info on this product category: Wood
Criteria for Wood
PLASTIC LUMBER-LANDSCAPING TIMBERS AND POSTS
HDPE: 25-100% postconsumer content, 75-100% total recycled content
Mixed plastics/Sawdust: 50% postconsumer content, 100% total recycled content
HDPE/Fiberglass: 75% postconsumer content, 95% total recycled content
Other mixed resins: 50-100% postconsumer content, 95-100% total recycled content
(from EPA's Recommended Recovered Materials Content Levels)
FOREST STEWARDSHIP COUNCIL (FSC) CERTIFIED WOOD
SF Environment used the following criteria to evaluate potential alternatives to wood preservatives
1. If the product is pressure treated, treatment must be standardized by American Wood Products Association for the
intended use. This requirement helps ensure that the treatment meets specifications to
2. Product must not be used in a manner that US EPA prohibits or discourages.
3. Product or use must not violate state or local law, policy, or published best
4. Product may not result in the release or creation of dioxins during manufacture or
5. Product, constituents, or contaminants may not be listed on the EPA Priority PBT list
or the EPA Waste Minimization Priority Chemicals list.
6. Product (or components) should not contain known, likely, or probable human
carcinogens listed by EPA, IARC, NTP, or State of California.
7. Product (or components) should not be listed as reproductive or developmental
toxicants by the State of California.
8. For structures built in or over water, or where significant runoff is likely to occur, the
use of copper should be minimized. If copper-based products are used, products with the
lowest leaching potential should be chosen.
9. Products must not designate as a hazardous waste using criteria set by the State of
All alternatives on the "Arsenic Treated Wood Alternatives List" meet the criteria listed above.