A "tried-and-true" performer has a significant and timely safety dimension.

That's an apt description of copper-8-quinolinolate, the active ingredient in wood preservatives used for decades in diverse and demanding wood protection applications. Copper-8-containing preservatives have demonstrated outstanding control of mold, mildew and wood decay in a host of industrial, governmental, recreational, and residential environments.

In recent years, copper-8-quinolinolate chemistry has taken on a new role in the wood protection market. Reflecting today's strong focus on personal safety and concern for the environment, copper-8-containing preservatives are finding increasing acceptance as environmentally acceptable alternatives to such commonly used preservatives as chromated copper arsenate (CCA) and pentachlorophenol.

Copper-8 chemistry is unique in that it has earned the approval of the U.S. FDA for use in indirect food contact applications. EPA-approved copper-8 chemistry also meets all state and federal air quality regulations. What's more, copper-8-containing preservatives do not have the adverse environmental impact associated with CCA preservatives because they will not leach chrome and arsenic compounds into water and the soil. Copper-8 chemistry is used extensively in seed preservatives for a variety of crops in the agricultural products field.

One high-performance wood preservative using copper-8-quinolinolate to full advantage is NYTEK(r) 10 fungicide. Because of its copper-8 chemistry, NYTEK 10 preservative is ideal for use in applications requiring a balance of efficacy and minimal threat to human safety and the environment. This preservative is helping innovative companies concerned with wood treatment and the manufacture of wood products intended for above-ground use precisely meet the needs of customers in a rapidly growing list of specialty wood preservative applications.

Permapost Products Co., a supplier of fabricated and treated wood products headquartered in Hillsboro, OR, has used NYTEK 10 preservative to help develop a strong presence in several niches of the specialty wood preservative market. Permapost's NYTEK 10-containing proprietary preservative has received top marks for performance in such diverse areas as meat processing facilities, public parks and freshwater environments.

"We provide pressure-treated Douglas Fir lumber for the wood track panels that are part of assembly lines in meat processing facilities across the country," says David Bond, Permapost chief operations officer. "In this application, a preservative has to extend the service life of the wood tracks to make them a cost-effective investment. At the same time, this preservative has to meet the FDA's stringent requirements concerning where treated wood may come in contact with foodstuffs. Our coppper-8-containing preservative meets both these major requirements. This preservative ensures that the wooden tracks have structural soundness and durability by providing long-term protection from insects, decay, mold, mildew and bacteria growth. In addition, because of copper-8's low mammalian toxicity, our preservative has FDA approval for use in incidental food contact applications."

In public parks, Permapost's copper-8-containing wood preservative is used for such applications as handrails on pedestrian bridges and viewing platforms, picnic tables and benches, shelters, and fences. Working with architects and municipal planners, Permapost custom-designs and fabricates these applications from Douglas fir in aesthetically pleasing shapes that reflect and complement the overall design scheme of the park. Permapost then treats these units by the closed cylinder vacuum pressure method detailed in the latest standards of the American Wood Preservers' Association. Besides providing fungicidal efficacy, this preservative has been formulated with a water repellent to provide dimensional stability and reduce checking. Permapost's preservative also is UV-resistant, so it will not break down during long-term exposure to the sun. This preservative penetrates deeply into the wood, promotes natural weathering and cures below the surface to enhance the natural beauty of the wood.

Permapost's copper-8-containing wood preservative has also produced excellent results when used in marinas, wharves and "high-end" docks in freshwater environments, principally lakes in the Pacific Northwest. The twin benefits of durability through efficacy and environmentally friendly performance features make this preservative an economical and safer alternative to CCA and other commonly used preservatives.

The strong combination of efficacy and safety features of copper-8-containing preservatives is helping other types of companies in the wood products industry grow their businesses and comply with government regulations. One such firm is Foxwood Inc., a national hardwood wholesale company -- commonly referred to as a "hardwood concentration yard"-- in Trevilians, VA. At Foxwood, green hardwood lumber -- primarily red and white oak and poplar -- arrives from neighboring sawmills, is graded into two groups and put on stacking sticks. One group is air-dried to reduce moisture content to 25% or less, then kiln-dried to reduce moisture to 6-8%. Hardwood in the second group, which will be shipped green to those customers having drying equipment, is treated with a preservative and flat packed to eliminate the presence of bacteria that promotes the growth of sapstain mold.

Foxwood then ships both groups of hardwood to a myriad of global manufacturers of home construction products, furniture and accessories. Foxwood's well-prepared hardwood is used in such diverse applications as moldings, baseboards and flooring; entertainment units such as VCRs, televisions, tape decks and CD players; and high-end furniture such as kitchen cabinets and bedroom units.

In the treatment of its hardwood, Foxwood uses NYTEK GOLD fungicide, a water-dilutable dispersion of copper-8-quinolinolate designed for the control of sapstain mold in hardwood and softwood lumber and timber.

"The excellent ability of NYTEK GOLD preservative to prohibit growth of sapstain is critically important for our operations," says Jonathon Fox, owner/operator of Foxwood Inc. "The buildup of sapstain results in discoloration which distorts the natural beauty of hardwood and renders it considerably less valuable. In our business, effective control of sapstain is clearly a matter of dollars and good sense."

In addition to providing superior sapstain control, the NYTEK preservative presents no unusual handling requirements and will not shorten the life of dip tanks, sprayers and other applications and handling equipment. What's more, the preservative is characterized by low toxicity and minimal environmental impact.

"The copper-8-chemistry of NYTEK GOLD makes it a much safer alternative than preservatives made with CCA and Pentachlorophenol," says Fox. "The EPA is putting increasing pressure on hardwood concentration yards to utilize products and processes that pose the least hazard to the environment. NYTEK GOLD has helped us comply with EPA regulations quickly, effectively and economically." c

NYTEK is a registered trademark of Rohm and Haas Co.

ChemPoint.com is the exclusive sales and supply chain channel for NYTEK wood preservatives. For additional information on NYTEK wood preservatives, contact ChemPoint, phone 800/485.9569; visit www.chempoint.com; e-mail info@chempoint.com; or Circle Number 141.