Information for Building Material
Dealers and Retailers
Building material dealers and retailers are in the business of
providing quality products to builders and homeowners.
It's not just about making a quick
sale...it's about building relationships with customers so
they will keep coming back to buy products they can depend on,
and advice from a dealer they can trust. Dealers
and retailers specify wood treated to AWPA Standards because
they know that preservative manufacturers have submitted data
proving their preservative works to a body of experts in the
field, and industry standards have been developed based on that
Why should I stock wood treated in accordance with AWPA
In order for a treated wood product to be listed in AWPA
Standard U1, a person must submit a proposal for standardization
to AWPA. A data package containing all relevant
information pertaining to the proposed preservative system must
accompany the proposal. The proposal and data are made
available to all AWPA Technical Committee Members, all
Association members, and upon request, the general public.
The proposal is considered by our Technical Committees
in an open, ANSI-accredited, consensus-based process, and if
passed at all levels of expert peer review, it is published in
AWPA's Book of Standards. We believe this degree of review is
necessary to weed out preservative systems that may not
Some companies claim their products "conform" to AWPA,
but have not been through the standardization process. What
does this mean?
While AWPA does develop test methods which can be used
by anyone to evaluate the performance of wood preservatives, you
must understand that these tests do not provide pass/fail results,
and that the data generated by these methods should be evaluated
by experts in wood protection in an open, consensus-based process.
In fact, AWPA Evaluation Standards clearly state that they are for
the sole purpose of developing AWPA Standards. In addition,
Appendix A to our Technical Committee Regulations clearly
states that testing in accordance with the document does not
constitute conformance with any AWPA Standard. A treated
wood product cannot "conform" unless it meets the requirements of
and is listed in AWPA Standard U1.
What about products that are advertised as "tested in
accordance with AWPA Standards"?
Performing a test without measured results and
evaluation by a body of experts in the field really doesn’t mean anything. If
a treated wood product is tested in
accordance with AWPA standards and the resulting data were deemed
adequate by AWPA’s Technical Committees, then the product would be
found in AWPA Standard U1. If it's not in the standards, then claims of
testing, no matter how credible they seem, cannot possibly mean
that a preservative or treated wood product meets, conforms to,
or complies with any AWPA Standard.
Have preservatives like CCA or Creosote been banned?
No, CCA or creosote treated wood is still used, but
mainly for industrial products, such as utility poles and railroad
crossties, and for marine uses, such as piling and bulkhead.
Plywood is still treated with CCA, as are other heavy-duty uses.
For information on permitted uses of CCA, visit the U.S. EPA's
CCA or their site for
creosote. Other resources on these two preservatives
can be found at the websites of the
Wood Preservative Science Council, or the