Healthy Environment, Healthy Community, Healthy Business

Environment Protection Authority

Environmental Issues

Chemicals and pesticides

Blue pine

Blue pine framing has been developed to resist termites. The timber is treated with synthetic pyrethroids.

Blue pine treated timber

Blue pine

Pyrethrins were developed from chrysanthemums and have long been used in household insecticides.

A synthetic range, known as pyrethroids, is used to kill insects and to make flea collars for dogs and cats. The pyrethroid bifenthrin is commonly employed by the treated timber industry, as well as permethrin.

Another preservative imidacloprid (not a pyrethrin but a neonicotinoid) is also now being used to make blue pine in Australia.

The preservative is usually water based and is known as an envelope treatment because the effectiveness of the treatment relies on the treatment surrounding the timber – it does not need to penetrate it deeply.

Some laminated veneer lumber (LVL) uses synthetic pyrethroids as an envelope treatment or as an addition to the glue solution that binds the timber together. Sometimes these beams are dyed yellow.

Another product, red pine, is used in northern regions of Australia and sometimes in New South Wales. It is an impregnation, rather than an envelope treatment.

Hazard level: H2 (south of the Tropic of Capricorn)

See the Hazard levels and chemical treatment types chart for more information.


Borers and termites

Typical uses


Framing used in interior dry situations, LVL/plywood in dry situations, flooring, joinery etc used in interior dry situations


Inside, above ground (south of the Tropic of Capricorn)


Learn about safe handling.

Page last updated: 12 May 2016