[Market-farming] pressure treated organic?

E C GRANATA elainegranata at msn.com
Sun Nov 11 19:40:03 EST 2007

Riva:  Thanks.  The label didn't have the treatment products listed but with that kind of warning label, it sounds pretty bad to me.  I'm getting rid of it.  Appreciate your reply.

  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: road's end farm<mailto:organic101 at linkny.com> 
  To: Market Farming<mailto:market-farming at lists.ibiblio.org> 
  Sent: Saturday, November 10, 2007 5:50 PM
  Subject: Re: [Market-farming] pressure treated organic?

  On Nov 10, 2007, at 7:20 PM, E C GRANATA wrote:

    Folks:  Does anyone know if pressure treated wood is acceptable for organic production?  The label makes it sound lethal-- don't cut it without a mask, don't burn it, dispose of it according to EPA  protocols!  I picked some up from Craig's list and didn't realize till I got it home and found a label that it was treated.
    Thanks for any information.

  This is probably not acceptable, though it might depend on exactly what you're proposing to do with it. The standards say (205.206 f):

  "The producer must not use lumber treated with arsenate or other prohibited materials for new installations or replacement purposes in contact with soil or livestock".

  If in doubt, check with a local certifier about the specific treatment and use. The label should say what it's been treated with. Some uses, such as materials for buildings when the treated wood doesn't come in direct contact with the crop, or fences not in contact with livestock, might be OK; but don't rely on me, I might be misreading the NOFA-NY guidance on this.

  I think some of the more poisonous treatments are no longer legal for sale, even aside from organic production questions; but some of that stuff may still be floating around, even if it's supposed to be off the market. I don't know how toxic or nontoxic the newer materials are, or whether there are any newer materials that have been approved for some organic purposes; but the last time (a couple of years ago, I think) I asked whether there was any approved treatment for vineyard posts, I was told to use either untreated wood or metal for the posts.

  Also, you might in any case want to be cautious about using any material with a label telling you not to cut it without a mask, if the wood will be where any humans, animals, or crops may be exposed; as the materials generally leach out of the wood for some time.

  -- Rivka; Finger Lakes NY, Zone 5 mostly
  Fresh-market organic produce, small scale_______________________________________________
  Market-farming mailing list
  Market-farming at lists.ibiblio.org

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