Creosote update: find out more on the 2021 approval review

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The NFU has been working with the Wood Protection Association on the continuing use of creosote in agricultural situations.

In 2003 the EU took the decision to ban the amateur use of creosote as a precautionary measure, because of concerns around the impacts of creosote on human health and the environment.

Approvals for professional and industrial use of creosote products were allowed to continue. However, these approvals - made under the EU Biocidal Products Regulation (BPR) - place restrictions on the type of products and on where wood treated with creosote can be used.

Under the BPR, creosote is approved for use on railway sleepers, highways fencing, overhead electricity and telecommunication poles, as well as stakes, poles and fencing for agricultural use.

Creosote expiry dates possibly postponed

Creosote as an active substance is approved for use in the UK until 31 October 2021. Creosote suppliers are working on getting this approval renewed.

The authorisations for many creosote-containing products were due to expire on 29 March 2021, however the current expectation is that these expiry dates will be postponed (not renewed) beyond 31st October this year, to enable continued use of these products while the active substance approval process is being worked through.

Before using any creosote-containing products you should check the list of current use-by dates in the UK on the HSE website.

The NFU has been working with Wood Protection Association on the continuing use of creosote in agricultural situations and thanks them for their support on this issue.

Coal-tar creosote has been used as a wood preservative since 1838 and is used across agriculture to provide a safe and reliable service life in tree stakes, poles and animal fencing.

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  • Posted by: William Williams-WynnePosted on: 02/11/2018 20:03:55

    Comment: Well done. We use creosote on the tops of our mountain fence posts and it doubles the life of the stakes