Pressure-Treated Wood: Organic and Natural Alternatives

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By Lee Rinehart

Published: September 2011

Updated: September 2011



8 pages


Synthetically treated lumber is not allowed under the National Organic Program (NOP) Regulations. Arsenic and lead, although natural materials, also are prohibited. Lumber is pressure treated to resist insects and fungi, but the materials used in the treatment are toxic to humans. This publication includes a discussion of currently used materials, lumber treatments using less-toxic materials, decay-resistant lumber species, and an explanation of the National Organic Program Regulation.

Table of Contents

USDA National Organic Program Regulations
What Materials Are Used in Treating Lumber?
Preservatives Applied Before Purchase
Preservatives Applied After Purchase
Alternatives to Treated Lumber
Further Resources

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This page was last updated on: May 7, 2019