Fire / Feu


(photo: J. Wood)

Le potentiel des "poteaux empoisonnés"

N'importe quel tour des rues d'une ville ou de chemins de campagne suffit pour confirmer l'omniprésence de poteaux saturés de poisons divers.

Traditionnellement, ces poteaux sont imprégnés par un poison tiré de ces quatre catégories : ils peuvent être imprégnés avec de la créosote, avec un penta-
chlorophénol granulaire ou en flocons mélangés avec du pétrole, avec de l'arsenic au cuivre chromé (ACC), ou bien avec un arsenic au cuivre ammoniacal (ACA). Aucune de ces quatre catégories de produits est exempte de neurotoxines ou de carcinogènes connus.

Compte tenu de ces faits, où étaient donc nos représentants élus durant ce dernier siècle alors que notre santé, notre environnement et nos meilleurs intérêts étaient menacés par cette prolifération de produits toxiques dans notre paysage. 

Aussi longtemps que nous nous complairons dans l'indifférence et l'inactivité, les entreprises continueront d'empoisonner notre environnement avec ces poisons.



Link of interest:

An Overview

Environment Canada

CCA Consumer

Pole Pollution
New Utility Pole
Chemical Risks...

by Jay Feldman, M.A. & Gregory Kidd, J.D. 

The Power of "Poisoned Poles"

Brian C. Bradley

BA, B.Sc., M.Ed., CET, TESOL
March 2002

drive along any city street or country road
is enough to verify the over-abundance of utility poles that have been saturated with a variety of poisons ... at least to the observant. 
These 'poisoned poles' traditionally take on one of four varieties/classes of poisons, which include poles impregnated with:

1. creosote, at full strength or used in a 50:50 mixture with petroleum oil (this is the standard product used in the manufacture of railway ties);

2. granular or flaked pentachlorophenol (PCP) mixed with petroleum oils (most commonly used in the manufacture of utility poles and railway ties);

3. chromated copper arsenate (CCA) diluted with water to a 1.5 - 4.0% strength (although concentration levels have increased significantly within the last 5 years) working solution (i.e., the 'green-coloured' wood used in the manufacture of outdoor structures like playground equipment, decks, gazebos, etc.); and

4. ammoniacal copper arsenate (ACA) diluted with water to a 2 - 4% total oxide content (not normally used as extensively as the above three, but still present due to government apathy and lack of responsibility).

Consumer Safety Canada

Now, it is interesting to note that not one of the four varieties described above is void of known neurotoxins and carcinogens. So given this fact, where have our elected representatives been for the last 100 years and more when our health, our environment and our best interests have been at stake during the proliferation of these toxins in our environment?

I have yet to receive an acceptable response to the above question. Indeed, when 'politicians' (and other 'responsible individuals') have provided anything that remotely resembled a response, their words have essentially confirmed that they are concerned with the 'race for the dollar' more than they are concerned with the responsible discharge of their offices. It is recognized, however, that creosote and CCA - treated lumber are the most common forms of wood treatment encountered by the outdoor enthusiast. Indeed, CCA-treated lumber (a.k.a. "pressure-treated wood") has incrementally marketed its way into many of our backyards and into other 'formerly-natural' and safe environments.

It was not an 'off the cuff' decision for Shakespeare to include at least one of the above-listed poisons (i.e., arsenic) as an integral factor in his plays. The lethal nature of some of these poisons has been well recognized for more than 300 years. The inability of humans to detect the presence and dangers of these poisons, without the aide of very sophisticated technical equipment, has been the weakness upon which industry (and supporting politicians) has relied in the manufacture of these 'poison poles' and similar products.

As long as we continue to be lulled into a state of complacent indifference and inactivity, these industries will only continue to infiltrate our living spaces with these poisons until we realize that their limit has been long ago exceeded. Perhaps with the accompanying and accelerated degradation in our health and in our lives, enough people will band together in the spirit of holding the aforementioned 'responsible individuals' accountable. Who knows? Now count how many of these 'poison poles' (and/or material of similar substance) have moved into your backyard and/or neighborhood.