(photo: J. Wood)
Le potentiel des "poteaux
N'importe quel tour des rues d'une ville ou de chemins de campagne
suffit pour confirmer l'omniprésence de poteaux saturés de poisons
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.
The Power of "Poisoned
Brian C. Bradley
BA, B.Sc., M.Ed., CET, TESOL
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.
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).
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
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.