Creosote and its Use as a Wood Preservative
Chemical Review Manager: Jacqueline Cambpell-McFarlane (email@example.com), 703-308-6416
Current as of November 2008
EPA has completed its reregistration eligibility decisions (RED) for the heavy duty wood preservatives chromated arsenicals, pentachlorophenol, and creosote. In general, EPA has determined that the compounds contribute benefits to society and are eligible for reregistration provided the mitigation measures and associated label changes identified in the REDs are implemented and required data are submitted. In its risk assessments, the Agency identified risks of concern associated with occupational exposure (i.e., treatment plant workers) to all three preservatives and ecological exposure to pentachlorophenol and creosote.
Creosote is a wood preservative used for commercial purposes only; it has no registered residential uses. Creosote is obtained from high temperature distillation of coal tar (itself a mixture of hundreds of organic substances), and over 100 components in creosote have been identified. It is used as a fungicide, insecticide, miticide, and sporicide to protect wood and is applied by pressure methods to wood products, primarily utility poles and railroad ties.
EPA reassessed creosote as part of its reregistration program for older pesticides. The Reregistration Eligibility Decision (RED) for creosote was signed on September 25, 2008. Federal law directs EPA to periodically reevaluate older pesticides to ensure that they continue to meet current safety standards.
- September 25, 2008 – Chromated Arsenicals Reregistration Eligibility Decision (RED) signed.
- November 19, 2008 – Announce availability of RED in Federal Register
- March 31, 2009 – Updated product labels reflecting mitigation to be submitted to EPA
- December 31, 2013 – All treatment plants to be upgraded to reflect measures outlined in RED
Questions & Answers
Creosote Regulatory Status:
- Chromated Arsenicals, Pentachlorophenol, Creosote Reregistration Eligibility Decisions; Notice of Availability [November 18, 2008]
- Federal Register: September 15, 2004 (69 FR 55623), Response to Requests to Cancel Certain Creosote Wood Preservative Products, and/or to Amend to Terminate Certain Uses of Other Creosote Products.
- Federal Register: December 5, 2003 (68 FR 68042), Notice of Availability of the Preliminary Risk Assessment for Creosote Reregistration Eligibility Decision.
- Notice of Receipt of Request to Cancel Certain Creosote and Acid Copper Chromate (ACC) Wood Preservative Products, and/or Amend to Terminate Certain Uses of Other Creosote Products; Extension of Comment Period: 68 FR 66413, 11/26/03
- Notice of Receipt of Request to Cancel Certain Creosote and Acid Copper Chromate (ACC) Wood Preservative Products, and/or Amend to Terminate Certain Uses of Other Creosote Products: 68 FR 55952, 9/29/03
- Creosote: Risk Assessment and Science Support Branch's Revised Preliminary Risk Assessments and Science Chapters in Support of The Reregistration Eligibility Decision, EPA's Docket #OPP-2003-0248.
- The risk assessment for creosote is a cooperative re-evaluation between the US EPA and Health Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA) under NAFTA, with both countries contributing to the study review and peer review process. Exposure data used in the preliminary risk assessment were collected from both US and Canadian wood-treatment facilities.