||3/4/1999 8:55:00 PM
I'd like to put in my two cents about ACQ. I have no
involvement with any wood treatment products.
ACQ stands for Ammonium Copper Quaternary. It's
classified as a pesticide by the EPA. It compares in
performance to other wood preservatives that can be
much more toxic to humans and the environment, such as
copper chromium arsenate or pentachloroethylene. In
that sense it is a "safer" option.
I don't know why the company makes such a
comprehensive disclaimer, but my guess would be that
they are concerned about legal liabilities. All
treated wood should be handled properly but my
observations are that construction workers and do-it-
yourselfers routinely ignore safety precautions. For
the person who refuses to wear gloves or a use a
respirator, I think ACQ really is a safer alternative.
That's not the same thing as a safe alternative!
When wood treated with heavy metals is burned, the
combustion byproducts may be hazardous. Where I live
there are no effective controls to keep treated wood
scrap from being burned. I regularly see treated wood
in the dumpsters on construction sites that go to
recyclers to be turned into hog fuel. Personally, I'd
rather see ACQ burned than CCA.
There are safer alternatives to ACQ, such as plastic
composite "lumber". I recently used one (Trex) to
rebuild my deck. It cost more than treated wood, but I
don't have to worry about the safety of people
building, using or disposing of the deck.
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