TRENTON – A measure sponsored by Senator Steve Sweeney which would ban the sale or use of creosote and creosote-treated products was approved today by the full Senate by a vote of 24 to 12.
Creosote is a by-product of coal mining and manufacturing used as a wood preservative. The creosote is applied to wood through a pressure-treating process to help prevent the growth of mold and fungi, and termite and other insect damage.
“According to the Environmental Protection Agency, creosote is a carcinogen which poses a serious threat to the health of residents and to the environment,” said Senator Sweeney, D-Gloucester, Cumberland and Salem. “Creosote ingestion can cause serious burns, kidney and liver damage and even death, as well as soil and ground contamination. There have to be other, safer alternatives that can be used to help preserve wood. We can’t afford to sacrifice the health of our residents.”
The Senator’s bill, S-1965, would ban the sale, use and burning of Creosote and Creosote-treated products after July 1. Under the bill’s provisions, persons found guilty of using Creosote would be fined $500 for a first offense, and $1000 for subsequent offenses.