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Treated Wood and Wood Preservatives

Insects and mold can damage wood over time. Treating wood with pesticides can prevent wood from rotting as quickly. Treated wood is commonly used to build telephone poles, road signs, and marine pilings, as well as decks, play structures, and raised garden beds. Several wood preservatives are registered with the EPA, each with different uses and potential risks.

Preservatives can extend the life of wood and reduce waste of forest resources, but proper use is important. Read the end tags on wood in the store to find the right type for your project. Wood touching the ground may be treated differently than wood for an aboveground deck. Preservatives may leach into nearby soils or water and touching treated wood may leave residues on exposed skin. Consider wearing gloves or taking other precautions when using treated wood.

For more information:

If you have questions about this, or any pesticide-related topic, please call NPIC at 800-858-7378 (8:00am - 12:00pm PST), or email us at npic@ace.orst.edu.


Specific Wood Preservatives

Each type of wood preservative may be appropriate for some jobs, but not others. Check end tags on treated wood to find out what preservative was used.

Preservatives Components
Acid Copper Chromate (ACC) Arsenic
Alkaline Copper Quaternary (ACQ) Chromium
Bis-(N-cyclohexyldiazeniumdioxy)-copper (Cu-HDO) Copper
Borates Cyproconazole
Chromated Copper Arsenate (CCA) Propiconazole
Copper Azole (CA)
Micronized Copper

Additional Resources:

Last updated February 22, 2021

Related Topics:

What are pests?

Learn about a pest

Identify a pest

Control a pest

Integrated Pest Management

What are pesticides?





Natural and Biological Pesticides



Other types of pesticides

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