Saving Green: The Story of Copper Naphthenate Wood Preservative
ROCKFORD, Tenn., Sept. 7, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — An unintended result of a recent action by EPA would be that copper naphthenate, arguably one of the greenest and safest wood pressure treatment chemicals, would no longer be available forcing the use of higher toxicity chemicals.
When EPA issues a Data Call-In (DCI), they are requesting additional research to further validate the safety of a product. It is up to the companies that sell the product to provide that data. Sometimes the expense of generating the data can be in the millions of dollars. In many cases, companies cannot cost justify the research expense based on their projected sales and profit. This is exactly what happened with copper naphthenate. All three companies producing the product made business decisions not to provide the data and instead canceled their EPA registrations.
This would mean copper naphthenate would no longer be available in the U.S. which would force the use of higher toxicity chemicals. Of all the chemicals used in pressure treatment for utility poles, bridge timbers and railroad crossties, copper naphthenate was the only non-restricted use product on the market. This meant that copper naphthenate has a toxicity profile that has been deemed safe for consumer use. Loss of the chemical would also encourage the use of alternative materials like concrete or steel which have a carbon footprint that is four times greater than wood and produce higher levels of air and water contaminates. This type of outcome is not in line with the goals of EPA, the wood treatment facilities or the railroads and utilities.
Many times this is the point where frustration builds as well-intentioned government programs create problems that seem to have an effect contrary to their purpose. And because of red tape, businesses and government employees are not able to apply common sense and solve the problem.
This time the story was different. An innovative “green” company called Nisus Corporation, wood treatment industry leaders, and the EPA all worked together to make sure common sense prevailed.
Nisus Corporation, the world’s largest manufacturer of green pest control products, also has a wood preservation division. When industry leaders contacted them about the situation, company president and CEO Kevin L. Kirkland thought copper naphthenate would be a good fit for their business. For the next 60 days his team worked on multiple problems to ensure the product remained available and to minimize supply interruption.
“We needed labels written for submission to EPA, independent chemical data generation and contract manufacturing while we built our production facility,” Kirkland explained. We also had to develop marketing materials and alert the entire industry to reassure them that copper naphthenate was not going away. It was an incredible amount of work for our group, and one of the most impressive parts of the process was the performance of EPA. When I met with the EPA staff in Washington, D.C., they had a complete understanding of the situation and the potential consequences. EPA management assured us they would process the Nisus registration applications expeditiously in order to minimize any interruption in the supply of registered copper naphthenate.
“In every instance through this process EPA did exactly what they said they would do and they did it exactly in the time frame given – or sooner,” continued Kirkland. “Normally this process would take a minimum of six months, but in this case the folks at EPA got it done in just six weeks without lowering any standards. You always hear stories about inefficient government or government that gets in the way of business…well today, in our small corner of the world, EPA got it done!”
Now the wood treatment product with the best environmental profile remains available to the market. Nisus Corporation will promote the products through their ePoleÃ‚® brand for utility poles and eTieÃ‚® brand for railroad ties. These brands will represent:
1. Wood harvested from sustainable local forests
2. Treatment with a low environmental impact, non-restricted use wood preservative to prevent decay and protect wood from termites and other wood destroying organisms
3. Sustainable environmental fate includes ability to reuse wood coming out of service or use for renewable energy production.
Nisus will be registering the following products under the name brand of QNAP:
QNAP8 Copper Naphthenate Concentrate – an oil-based 8% Cu active
QNAP5W Copper Naphthenate Concentrate – a water-based 5% Cu active
Nisus will also register:
QNAP1 RTU Copper Naphthenate – an oil-based 1% Cu active
QNAP1W RTU Copper Naphthenate – a water-based 1% Cu active, tintable formulation, to be used by sub-registrants who support the remedial, end-cut and retail markets.
President/CEO: Kevin L. Kirkland, email@example.com, W: 800-264-0870
Technical Contact: Dr. Jeff Lloyd, firstname.lastname@example.org, C: 865-406-9704
Regulatory: Dr Janet Kintz-Early, email@example.com, W: 800-264-0870
Sales Orders: Sandy Stalans, firstname.lastname@example.org, W: 800-264-0870
Nisus Corporation was founded in 1990 in Knoxville, TN and is the originator of Green Pest ManagementÃ‚®. In addition to wood preservation expertise, Nisus manufactures and distributes green products for professional pest management, mold control, disinfecting & sanitizing, odor control, plumbing maintenance and pool and spa management.
Available Topic Expert(s): For information on the listed expert(s), click appropriate link.
Dr. Jeff Lloyd
Media Contact: Jim Gorman
SOURCE Nisus Corporation