The future of creosote

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The future of creosote fencing in the UK

Coal-tar creosote has been used as a wood preservative since 1838 but was banned for sale to the general public in the United Kingdom in 2003. This ban was enacted due to concerns over the potential health and environmental risks associated with the use. However, approvals made under the EU Biocidal Products Regulation (BPR) were allowed to continue for professional and industrial use. These approvals included use for railway sleepers, highways fencing, overhead electricity and telecommunication poles, as well as stakes, poles and fencing for agricultural use.

However, we’ve been aware, for a few years, that creosote production would come to an end and that time is fast approaching. The ban will apply to the sale and supply of creosote for agricultural use, including the treatment of fencing, gates, and other wooden structures. The ban will not cover use in certain industrial applications, such as railway sleepers and telegraph poles, where there are no suitable alternatives.

When will the ban happen?

The ban is due to come into effect in February 2025, therefore, there is plenty of time to get some fencing jobs carried out.

What will happen after the creosote ban?

Octowood, will use the Tanasote® treatment, which Tanasote® is a modern hot oil-based wood preservative containing copper and innovative organic co-biocides. It has been specifically designed to minimise early failures whilst providing a long service life.

Developed and manufactured by Arxada, Tanasote® was approved in March 2021 under the Biocidal Products Regulation (BPR) authorisation process. It has been granted the maximum 10 years authorisation (before reauthorisation), passing all necessary environmental, human and animal health risk assessments. It is the only oil-based wood preservative that has this authorisation.

Production of the Octoposts using the Tanasote® treatment will commence very soon.

Tanasote wood treatment features:

  • Hot oil-based copper preservative designed to offer a high performance alternative to traditional Creosote treatments.
  • Depending on timber species treated and end-use application, Tanasote® has been designed to deliver a service life of 40+ years*, whilst minimising the risk of early failures.
  • Oil-based product provides deep preservative penetration and mobility in the wood.
  • Innovative organic co-biocide protecting against a wide spectrum of aggressive decay fungi.
  • Incorporates a long lasting water repellent to minimise splitting.
  • Low odour from the preservative and the treated timber.
  • Across Europe, Tanasote® has been granted the maximum 10 year authorisation (before reauthorisation) under the BPR.
  • National approvals by leading wood preservative quality schemes – NWPC NTR approved, FCBA CTB P+ approved.
  • Tanasote® S40 efficacy data has been reviewed by BM TRADA, a reputable independent third-party assessor. BM TRADA have agreed with the test data interpretation of a 40 year desired life for timbers in a Use Class 4 scenario of up to 40 years – a full copy of the summary statement is available on request from Arxada.

Focusing on safety

In the Risk Assessments† commissioned for the BPR Product Assessment for Tanasote® it was evidenced that:

  • No issues are to be expected when it (the product) is handled, stored or applied as recommended;
  • No unacceptable risk is identified for professionals or non-professionals working with Tanasote® treated timber, or for the general public;
  • Tanasote® treated timber is considered acceptable for the infants in a playground risk assessment scenario – please note, Tanasote® has not been designed for this particular
  • end use application, but it reinforces the acceptable risk that the BPR process has identified.

For more information on Tanasote®, please use the link here

Please feel free to get in touch should you wish to discuss any of the information provided.