The DIY market for creosote has been dealt a death blow with EC ratification of a ban on the treatment.

The ban, incorporating tougher composition restrictions on industrial applications such as on railway sleepers, may jeopardise at least 100 UK jobs and an annual turnover of £3.7m, according to an EU survey.

The EC decision is based on a scientific report which concludes the toxicity risk of creosote is higher than previously thought. The ban starts in June 2003 and includes the sale of creosote-treated wood.

Dr Chris Coggins, director of the British Wood Preserving and Damp-proofing Association, said: ‘We are very unhappy with the decision. It is an interpretation of the data which we do not accept.’

Stewart Ockleton, purchaser at Bartoline which sells creosote to the DIY market, said: ‘It’s a significant part of our business and a very sad state of affairs. But there’s not much we can do about it.’