Can Borate-Treated Lumber Get
Tim Uhler is making a mistake in saying that it's okay for
borate-treated wood to get wet during normal construction
Universal Forest Products, a distributor of Osmose's Advance
Guard, has the following handling instructions on its Web site:
"Borate-treated products must be continuously protected from
liquid water, and they should never be used in contact with the
ground." I think rain qualifies as liquid water, and houses are
still built outdoors.
Arch Wood Products, which markets FrameGuard borate-treated
wood, has the following instructions on its Web site: "If a
partially built structure is left uncovered for an extended
period of time, steps should be taken to shield the wood from
precipitation." Is there any way to shield sill plates from the
rain during construction?
Borate-treated wood has its place in the marketplace, but not
as a direct substitute for ACQ- or CA-treated sill
JLC editor Don Jackson responds: While it's important to
take precautions against the leaching of borates (as Tim Uhler
points out), the manufacturers of borate-treated lumber still
recommend its use for conventional mudsills, which are not
exposed to the weather in service.
The two manufacturers you mention also specifically say that
the lumber can be exposed to the weather during the normal
construction process. The Osmose Web site (www.osmose.com), for
example, contains the following caution: "Advance Guard Borate
Pressure Treated Wood is intended to be used for framing and
applications where the wood is not in direct contact with the
ground and is continuously protected from liquid water. Normal
exposure to weather during ordinary installation will not
adversely affect the performance of the product."
Likewise, Arch Wood's site
(www.wolmanizedwood.com) contains the
following guidelines: "FrameGuard Borate-Treated Wood ... is an
ideal building material where borate leaching is unlikely
except during the initial period of construction. ... Although
it is advisable to avoid exposure to water, it is often
impractical to provide total protection during construction.
Normal exposure to the elements does not affect the long-term
performance of FrameGuard treated lumber."
Passing the Buck on Illegal Day
I totally agree with the East Hampton approach to day laborers
(In the News, 2/06). I too live on Long Island and the
Home Depot near me is swamped with illegals every day. They
urinate on and break into cars in the parking lot, throw
garbage all over, and attract prostitutes. My female customers
won't go near the place anymore, which makes my job more
difficult. Everyone passes the buck about who is responsible
for getting them out of there, and the feds and Immigration
claim they have more important things to do.
Your article seems to accept this invasion and obviously
favors the hiring-hall approach. You expect my community to
spend even more taxpayer dollars to give comfort and training
to people who pay no taxes, get free health care, refuse to
learn English, undercut jobs from Americans, get free education
for their kids — the list goes on and on.
I'm sick of the whining by those who claim they can't compete
without illegals. Most guys here do fine without them, and to
those who need them, maybe it's time for another line of
business. We all survived before they flooded this region and
we'll be just fine if they disappear tomorrow. Unless this
practice ends, you'll see identity theft go wild, loss of
American jobs to foreigners, loss of job skills and quality,
and an ugly decline in our economy.
Instead of wasting money helping illegals, we ought to provide
job location and transportation to get Americans to where the
work is. In many parts of this country, there's little or no
work at all. There are plenty of Americans who can and would do
the work here on Long Island; why don't we help them
I have no doubt I'll be labeled a racist for my views, but I
don't apologize for favoring American workers over any and all
Wants News, Not Views
Having received your magazine since you first published in
newspaper form, I'm disappointed in your new direction. In your
February issue, you again go with a feel-good story about the
illegal alien invasion. Is In the News your editorial page?
It's looking like it, except for the title.
The figures you quote from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
and the Pew Hispanic Center, as always, are way low. We take in
a million-plus legal immigrants a year to start with, and
that's the way it should be. But then we have 3 million
crossing illegally into our country yearly. The Bear Stearns
report of January 2005, by Robert Justich and Betty Ng, CFA,
says the number of illegals in the U.S. may be as high as 20
million. It puts the loss of tax income at $35 billion a year
due to work done off the books, and the social expenses of
health care, education, and law enforcement at $30 billion a
The hidden costs to the country and society go on and on.
Daily I hear and read of contractors — who pay dearly
for insurance, bonds, and business licenses — saying
they're getting hammered by illegal aliens. Our government
continues to look the other way while cheap slave labor is
allowed to enter the country for the benefit of those who will
break our laws.
If JLC continues to slant stories to show support for illegal
immigration and nothing to support the "mom and pop"
contractors, then I guess it will be on corporate coffee tables
all around the country and not on mine.
Larson Glass & Mirror
Of Lawyers and Engineers
Thanks to Jeffrey Price for his explanation of the legal
concept of "betterment" (Letters, 2/06). He's probably
right that I'd make a rotten attorney; I'll take that as a
compliment. I'd gladly pay for a beam I "should have" showed on
the plans rather than pay many times its cost in legal fees
just to make the owner pay for it.
Thor Matteson, SE