Controlling risk and efficacy: Biocidal Products Regulation (BPR)
European strategy for sustainable use of biocides and biocidal products is focused on the Biocidal Products Regulation (BPR). This regulation established a procedure for assessing the effectiveness, safety in use (humans and animals) and impact on the environment (air, soil and water-dwelling animals and plants) of biocides and similar assessments for products containing biocides and how they are used.
The BPR ensures that only biocides that meet its criteria are permitted for use. Their approval and authorisation are time-limited allowing for comparison of existing products with newer ones that may be more effective or have other desirable characteristics leading to the potential for substitution over time.
Effectiveness is an requirement
Assessment of effectiveness is important in ensuring that no more than the amount of biocides needed to protect wood in service are authorised. Combined with training and certification of treatment plant operatives using national and European standards for treated wood, use of biocides is limited to just enough to protect and to conform to health, safety and environmental protection measures set out in regulations.
Controlling safe production: Industrial Emissions Directive (IED)
Industrial Emissions Directive (IED) regulate and control how wood preservatives are used in industrial plants ensuring that all parts of the treatment process are contained or controlled within no-effect limits so there is no impact on or release to air, soil or ground water. These regulations build upon industry codes of practice developed long before regulations came into force establishing a base of safety at treatment plants that fits easily into more formal regulatory control.
Continuous Improvement with Best available techniques” (BAT)
One central part of implement IED is the “Best available techniques” (BAT) reference document on surface treatment using organic solvents including preservation of wood and wood products with chemicals.
Specifically, for the preservation of wood and wood products, this document outlines the most advanced and effective methods and practices for treating wood with chemicals. The aim is to minimize environmental impacts and ensure safety while maintaining efficiency and effectiveness in wood preservation processes.
BAT and the Reference document covers topics such as the types of chemicals used in wood preservation, methods of application, strategies for reducing emissions and waste, and best practices for handling and storage. It also emphasises the importance of environmental protection and worker safety in these processes. The guidelines are designed to be in line with the broader goals of the Industrial Emissions Directive, which seeks to prevent or reduce pollution arising from industrial activities across the European Union.
Read more on: Industry regulation
Biocidal Products Regulation (BPR) https://health.ec.europa.eu/biocides/regulation_en
European Commission, Joint Research Centre, Chronopoulos, G., Cakmak, G., Tempany, P. et al., Best available techniques (BAT) reference document on surface treatment using organic solvents including preservation of wood and wood products with chemicals – Industrial Emissions Directive 2010/75/EU (integrated pollution prevention and control), Publications Office, 2020, https://data.europa.eu/doi/10.2760/857
Best Available Techniques (BAT) Document Reference on Surface Treatment Using Organic Solvents including Preservation of Wood and Wood Products with Chemicals
Industrial Emissions Directive 2010/75/EU EUR 30475 EN