Consumer Information Sheets (CIS)

Consumer Information Sheets (CIS)

These Consumer Information Sheets are not meant to replace the Safety Data Sheets (SDS) for the pressure treated wood preservatives listed below. The SDS should be read in its entirety before handling any pressure treated wood product.

Creosote Treated Wood
Inorganic Arsenical Pressure Treated Wood (including CCA, ACA and ACZA)
Pentachlorophenol Pressure Treated Wood


Product: Creosote Treated Wood

This wood has been preserved by pressure treatment with a U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) registered anti-microbial pesticide product containing creosote. Creosote pressure treated wood provides protection against attack by fungi, insects and marine borers.

Creosote remains in the pressure treated wood for a long time. Prolonged or repeated exposure to creosote may present certain hazards. Therefore, the following precautions should be taken both when handling creosote treated wood and determining where to use it.

Use Site Precautions for Creosote Treated Wood

  • Creosote treated wood commodities must only be used for those applications included in the American Wood Protection Association (AWPA) use category standards as set forth in the most current edition of the AWPA Book of Standards. For more information, contact the treater and/or the AWPA.
  • Creosote treated wood is for exterior/outdoor uses only.
  • Creosote treated wood should not be used where it will be in frequent or prolonged contact with skin. Do not use creosote treated wood for farrowing or brooding facilities.
  • Do not use creosote treated wood when the preservative may become a component of animal feed, such as structures used for storing silage food for cattle.
  • Do not use creosote treated wood where there may be direct contact with domestic animals or livestock, which may crib (bite) or lick the wood.
  • Do not use creosote treated wood for cutting boards, countertops, or for construction materials for beehives.
  • Do not use creosote treated wood where it may come in direct or indirect contact with public drinking water for human and domestic animals or livestock, except for uses involving incidental contact such as docks and bridges.
  • Although generally not recommended, if creosote treated wood is to be coated or sealed, the wood must be clean and dry before applying the coating material. The only recommended coatings are a water-based pigmented emulsion and alcohol-based shellac products.

Handling Precautions for Creosote Treated Wood

  • Creosote treated wood should be disposed of by ordinary trash collection services; do not burn in open fires or in stoves, fireplaces, or residential boilers. Creosote treated wood may be burned only in commercial or industrial incinerators or boilers in accordance with Federal and State regulations.
  • Avoid frequent or prolonged inhalation of sawdust from creosote treated wood. When sawing and machining the wood, including drilling and adz cutting, wear a dust mask. Whenever possible these machining operations should be performed outdoors to avoid indoor accumulation of airborne sawdust from the creosote treated wood. When power-sawing and machining, wear goggles to protect eyes from flying particles.
  • Avoid frequent or prolonged skin exposure to creosote treated wood. When handling the treated wood, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants and use gloves rated as chemical resistant by the manufacturer. After working with creosote treated wood, wash exposed areas thoroughly before eating, drinking, smoking, and toileting.
  • If oily preservative or sawdust accumulates on clothes, launder before reuse. Wash work clothes separately from other household clothing.

This Consumer Information Sheet is being distributed with creosote pressure treated wood as part of the wood treating industry's voluntary consumer awareness program, which the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved in 1986. Since that time, the EPA has completed a comprehensive re-registration review of creosote, creosote registrants have voluntarily eliminated all non-pressure treatment uses of creosote, and certain American Wood Protection Association standards have changed (for example, the elimination of creosote treated wood block flooring). This updated Consumer Information Sheet reflects these developments.

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Products: Inorganic Arsenical Pressure Treated Wood (including CCA, ACA and ACZA)

This wood has been preserved by pressure treatment with an EPA-registered pesticide containing chromated copper arsenate (CCA) to protect it from termite attack and decay. Wood treated with CCA should be used only where such protection is important.
CCA penetrates deeply into and remains in the pressure treated wood for a long time.

Some chemicals, however, may migrate from treated wood into surrounding soil over time and may be dislodged from the wood surface upon contact with skin. Exposure to CCA may present certain hazards. Therefore, the following precautions should be taken both when handling the treated wood and in determining where to use and dispose of the treated wood.

Use Site Precautions

  • All sawdust and construction debris should be cleaned up and disposed of after construction.
  • Do not use treated wood under circumstances where the preservative may become a component of food or animal feed. Examples of such sites would be use of mulch from recycled arsenic-treated wood, cutting boards, counter tops, animal bedding, and structures or containers for storing animal feed or human food.

  • Only treated wood that is visibly clean and free of surface residue should be used for patios, decks and walkways.

  • Do not use treated wood for construction of those portions of beehives, which may come in contact with honey.
  • Treated wood should not be used where it may come into direct or indirect contact with drinking water, except for uses involving incidental contact such as docks or bridges.

Handling Precautions

  • Treated wood should be disposed of by ordinary trash collection services; treated wood should not be burned in open fires or in stoves, fireplaces, or residential boilers because toxic chemicals may be produced as part of the smoke and ashes.
  • Treated wood from commercial or industrial use (e.g., construction sites) may be burned only in commercial or industrial incinerators or boilers in accordance with State and Federal regulations.
  • Avoid frequent or prolonged inhalation of sawdust from treated wood. Wear a dust mask whenever sawing, sanding, and machining treated wood. Whenever possible, these operations should be performed outdoors to avoid indoor accumulations of airborne sawdust from treated wood.
  • When power-sawing and machining, wear goggles to protect eyes from flying particles. 

  • Wear gloves when working with the wood. After working with the wood, wash exposed areas thoroughly before eating, drinking, smoking, and toileting. 

  • Because preservatives or sawdust may accumulate on clothes, they should be laundered before reuse. Wash work clothes separately from other household clothing.

Approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

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Product: Pentachlorophenol Pressure Treated Wood

This wood has been preserved by pressure treatment with an EPA-registered pesticide containing pentachlorophenol to protect it from insect attack and decay. Wood treated with pentachlorophenol should only be used where such protection is important.
Pentachlorophenol penetrates deeply into and remains in the pressure treated wood for a long time.

Exposure to pentachlorophenol may present certain hazards. Therefore, the following precautions should be taken both when handling the treated wood and in determining where to use and dispose of the treated wood.

Use Site Precautions

  • Logs treated with pentachlorophenol should not be used for log homes.
  • Wood treated with pentachlorophenol should not be used where it will be in frequent or prolonged contact with bare skin (for example, chairs and other outdoor furniture) unless an effective sealer has been applied.
  • Pentachlorophenol treated wood should not be used in residential, industrial, or commercial interiors except for laminated beams or building components which are in ground contact and are subject to decay or insect infestation and where two coats of an appropriate sealer are applied. Sealers may be applied at the installation site.
  • Wood treated with pentachlorophenol should not be used in the interiors of farm buildings where there may be direct contact with domestic animals or livestock which may crib (bite) or lick the wood.
  • In farm buildings, pentachlorophenol treated wood can be used for building components which are in ground contact and are subject to decay or insect infestation and where two coats of an appropriate sealer are applied. Sealers may be applied at the installation site.
  • Do not use pentachlorophenol treated wood for farrowing or brooding facilities.
  • Do not use treated wood under circumstances where the preservative may become a component of food or animal feed. Examples of such sites would be structures or containers for storing silage or food.
  • Do not use treated wood for cutting boards or countertops. Only treated wood that is
    visibly clean and free of surface residue should be used for patios, decks and walkways.
  • Do not use treated wood for construction of those portions of beehives which may come into contact with the honey.
  • Pentachlorophenol treated wood should not be used where it may come into direct or indirect contact with public drinking water, except for uses involving incidental contact such as docks and bridges.
  • Do not use pentachlorophenol treated wood where it may come into direct or indirect contact with drinking water for domestic animals or livestock, except for uses involving incidental contact such as docks and bridges.

Handling Precautions

  • Treated wood should be disposed of by ordinary trash collection services; treated wood should not be burned in open fires or in stoves, fireplaces, or residential boilers because toxic chemicals may be produced as part of the smoke and ashes.
  • Treated wood from commercial or industrial use (e.g., construction sites) may be burned only in commercial or industrial incinerators or boilers rated at 20 million BTUs an hour or greater heat input or its equivalent in accordance with State and Federal regulations.
  • Avoid frequent or prolonged inhalation of sawdust from treated wood and wear a dust mask when sawing and machining treated wood. Whenever possible, these operations should be performed outdoors to avoid indoor accumulations of airborne sawdust from treated wood.
  • Avoid frequent or prolonged skin contact with pentachlorophenol treated wood; when handling the treated wood, wear long sleeved shirts and long pants and use gloves impervious to the chemicals (for example, gloves that are vinyl-coated).
  • When power-sawing and machining, wear goggles to protect eyes from flying particles. 

  • After working with the wood, wash exposed areas thoroughly before eating, drinking, smoking, and toileting.
  • If oily preservatives or sawdust accumulate on clothes, launder before reuse. Wash work clothes separately from other household clothing.
  • Urethane, shellac, latex epoxy enamel and varnish are acceptable sealers for pentachlorophenol treated wood.

Approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

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