Experts Tout the Safety of CCA-Treated Wood

Arlington, Va. -- Toxicology, chemistry and health risk assessment experts testified before SAP, a peer-reviewing body for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), at the EPA meeting yesterday to discuss the possible effects of chromated copper arsenate (CCA)-treated wood.

A study, led by Dr. Barbara Beck, toxicologist and principal at Gradient Corp., concluded that CCA-preserved wood does not pose undue health risks to children or adults from short- or long-term exposure. Her team studied the potential for dermal contact with and ingestion of arsenic dislodged from CCA-treated wood structures and soil containing arsenic released from CCA-treated wood structures. According to the study, the estimated cancer and non-cancer risks for both children and adults were found to be within the acceptable risk limits used by the EPA.

Meantime, the preserved wood industry is working with the EPA to enhance consumer awareness of the proper handling of CCA-treated wood. The industry's voluntary program includes an end-tag safe-handling label, signs for retail locations, a revised consumer safety information sheet and a new customer safety information website,

However, methods to dispose of CCA-treated wood have not been discussed. CCA-treated wood currently is sent to unlined landfills throughout the United States.

For more information on CCA-treated wood disposal, visit Waste Age's special report on poison wood.