Sodium fluoride (NaF) is a wood preservative with fungicidal activity and antifeedant activity against termites. In this study, wood blocks of Pinus massoniana were treated with a 0.5% (wt/wt) aqueous solution of NaF, and placed in soil contact under field conditions to evaluate leachability of NaF and resistance to Reticulitermes flaviceps (Oshima). Fluoride leachate levels in soil from wood-soil locations were also determined. After 12-mo outdoor exposure, 91.54% of fluoride was leached from NaF-treated wood and fluoride retention of the wood was 154.28 µg/g wood. In NaF-treated wood-soil locations, soil fluoride residues were significantly higher than locations with the water-treated negative control. Termite activity (presence or occupation) on NaF-treated blocks was 6.25% which was significantly less than 40.00% activity on water-treated control blocks. The mass lost from the wood of NaF-treated blocks was 17.46% which was significantly less than the 45.21% loss from the water-treated blocks. The results show that fluoride is readily leachable from treated wood into surrounding soil. NaF treatment can reduce termite damage to wood under field conditions, and this compound should receive further consideration as a wood preservative to protect timber from termite damage.
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Vol. 108 • No. 4