Steel fencing seen as a healthier option - 30 June 2014

A week in a coma from arsenic poisoning was the final step in convincing fencing contractor Matt Roberts that steel posts were the only way to go.
 
The 25 year old ended up in hospital last year after the toxic copper, chrome and arsenic from wet treated pine posts found their way into his body during a job in Coleraine, Victoria.
 
“All I really remember was being extremely dizzy and seeing flashing lights,” Mr Roberts said.
 
“There was no one else around so I started driving myself to hospital. Lucky for me, there was a policeman driving the other way that I was able to flag down with my headlights. Who knows where I’d be without his help.”
 
Mr Roberts has made a full recovery, and is now back contracting full time.

“I grew up on a farm, and have been using Waratah products ever since I was knee high to a grasshopper,” he said.


 
“I already trusted the brand because I knew it was durable, built to last and will save you money in labour and installation costs in the long run.
 
“After my experience with the CCA and creosote posts, in an ideal world, I wouldn’t bother with anything but Waratah.”
 
Lately, Mr Roberts has being using the JIO MaxY posts and the fully adjustable and reusable Adjusta-Stay system.
 
“A big selling point for me, of MaxY posts versus pine, is the ease and speed of installation. There’s less labour, easier handling and obviously the health and safety benefits,” he said.
 
“Getting that message out to clients, however, is easier said than done. It’s a bit of a challenge changing the old school mentality away from wooden posts.
 
“I’m only 25 and have a lot of working years ahead of me. I don’t want to end up in hospital again.”
 
Published results of scientific studies from the United States Environmental Protection Agency suggest that arsenic, over time, slowly leaches from CCA-treated wood products.
 
The amount and rate at which arsenic  leaches, however, varies considerably depending on numerous factors, such as local climate, acidity of rain and soil, age of the wood product, and how much CCA is applied to the products.