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ERMA Confirms CCA Treated Timber Not a Public Risk

ERMA Confirms CCA Treated Timber Not a Public Risk

The New Zealand Building Industry Federation (BIF) and the New Zealand Forest Industries Council (NZFIC) today welcomed a report into CCA (Copper Chromium Arsenic) treated timber commissioned by the Environmental Risk Management Authority (ERMA). The report concludes that “based on currently available evidence, CCA treated wood does not pose significant risk to the public”.

“Toxicologist Deborah Read’s peer-reviewed report is a balanced and comprehensive analysis of the current information on CCA treated timber,” said New Zealand Forest Industries Council Chief Executive, Stephen Jacobi.

The industry welcomes the report’s conclusion that “CCA-treated wood has…been in use for many years without discernable adverse effects suggesting that if there is a true increased risk it is very small.”

The forest and building industries first approached ERMA regarding CCA treated timber last year, after becoming aware of changes regarding the use of the product in the United States. In November the industry advocated to the Government that an independent review of the latest literature on CCA treated timber be undertaken.

The two organisations support ERMA’s view that there is a need for consumers to be well informed regarding safe use and handling of treated timber. While the industry has been providing this information for a number of years, an enhanced consumer and retail education programme on safe use and handling of all treated timber is in the final stages of preparation.

“It is the industry view that there are no comparable products currently available in terms of cost effectiveness, proven performance, and flexibility for a wide range of domestic and commercial uses,” said Building Industry Federation Chairman Richard Carver.

The industry will continue to take a proactive and supportive role in any further work required related to the continuing safe use of CCA treated timber.

The industry also welcomes the Building Industry Authority (BIA) announcement that it will be drawing on the findings of the ERMA report before making any recommendations regarding CCA treatments.

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