Preschem’s Commitment to OHS&E
Preschem is committed to conducting its business in a manner that will minimise the potential for environmental impact and issues surrounding OH&S from the manufacturing and end use of its products. This is accomplished by Preschem taking a multi-faceted approach to achieve these objectives, of which include:
• Compliance with Government Regulation including Product Registration
• Determining the environmental impact of Polesaver and Bioguard
• Development of the Chemical Delivery System
• Disposal of Treated Poles
• Disposal of Packaging Material
The registration of chemical products which act as biocides, applies in all countries. The registration process assesses products for effective performance and safety to people, animals and the environment. Before any chemical based products can be sold, supplied, distributed or used, they must pass a thorough examination by the relevant Government Authority and if approved, placed on a national register. In Australia, the national authority is the APVMA. This provides users and the public assurance that the chemicals are suitably formulated and labelled to ensure correct and safe use. Until registration is granted, chemical biocides cannot be manufactured or sold. The registration approval process takes up to 2 years to complete.
All of Preschem’s preservative products are registered for use within Australia, and certain products are registered for use in countries such as South Africa, Brasil and New Zealand. The registration of all our remedial all our remedial preservatives are for general use, so they can be applied without the need for specialist chemical licenses.
Determining the environmental impact of Polesaver and Bioguard
The active fungicides used in Preschem products such as Polesaver Rods and Bioguard Bandage are Boron and Fluoride, which are both naturally occurring elements.
Boron is widely distributed in plants, soil, fresh waterways and the ocean. Boron is an essential micronutrient for the healthy growth of plants and in fact, it is essential to all life. Boron is renowned for its very low toxicity to mammals. It doesn’t accumulate in body tissue of humans or animals
Fluoride is also widely distributed in plants, soil, fresh waterways and the ocean. Fluoride is the 11th most abundant element on earth, being 3 times more abundant than carbon. Fluoride is found in all sedentary and igneous rocks as well as in the tissue of all plants and animals. It is also present in food and added to many water supplies as part of ongoing fluoridation. Fluoride does not accumulate in the body tissue of humans or animals, nor is considered carcinogenic.
Studies on the effect on the environment
A number of studies have been conducted by analysing the soil for Boron and Fluoride that may have leached from Polesaver or Bioguard treated poles. The results indicate that the actives do not accumulate in the surrounding soil. In fact, these studies could only detect trace levels similar to that found naturally occurring in the soil within the same vicinity.
Chemical Delivery System
The Bioguard Bandage has an impervious polyethylene cover which keeps the active ingredients isolated from the soil. The ingredients, which are activated by moisture, are in a slow release form and therefore only very small amounts of actives are released at any given time. The relatively small mass of chemical contained in the bandage means that any soluble chemicals that leach from the bandage into the soil are vastly diluted as they soak away. The active ingredients solubility will ensure that they do not accumulate anywhere.
Polesaver Rods are installed into holes drilled into poles; the chemical is therefore safely contained within the pole. The solid nature of the rods means that unlike liquids and pastes, their application is cleaner and safer, no contamination of the environment occurs as a result of spillage. The rods will not leak through cracks and checks that are found in many poles. This results in the active remaining in the pole instead of being rapidly lost into the surrounding environment.