30 May, 2008

CP083 - ETNO Common Position on the use of creosote for impregnation of telephone poles

Under the revision of the Biocide Directive 98/8/EC, creosote which is widely used to impregnate telephone poles, may be banned, being considered as hazardous. ETNO considers that a controlled, continued use of creosote for the impregnation of telephone poles should be permitted. A ban would result in very high costs and radically increased carbon dioxide emissions as currently there is no sustainable alternative.

ETNO therefore asks the European Commission to perform a socio-economical analysis of the consequences of the proposed creosote ban, as well as to take such action that continued use of creosote as a wood preservative is permitted. The Swedish Chemical Agency, (KemI) is proposing that creosote is not included in Annex 1 of the Biocides Product Directive, thereby effectively prohibiting its continued use. An analysis of consequences regarding community, environmental, working environment (except human exposure/human toxicity) and safety aspects as well as total costs, has not been carried out.

ETNO considers that a controlled, continued use of creosote for the impregnation of telephone poles should be permitted. A ban would result in very high costs and radically increased carbon dioxide emissions as currently there is no sustainable alternative. Additionally, finding and assessing such an alternative will take a long time because lifetimes of over 30, preferably 40 years are required.

ETNO therefore asks the European Commission to perform a socio-economical analysis of the consequences of the proposed creosote ban, as well as to take such action that continued use of creosote as a wood preservative is permitted.

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