EPA Makes CCA Wood Ruling Official; Virginia Tech Researches Diversion Options

Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has finalized cancellation requests for residential uses of wood treated with chromated copper arsenate (CCA). Under this action, CCA products cannot be used after Dec. 30, 2003, to treat lumber used for residential purposes, including decks, picnic tables, fencing, patios and play structures. The EPA says this phase-out will reduce the risk of human exposure to arsenic.

The Brooks Forest Products Laboratory at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Va., is conducting research on extending the useful life and promoting recycling strategies for CCA-treated wood. Researchers have constructed products they say deck owners, recycling companies or community organizations could make themselves. These products mainly are deck components such as railings, steps, trash can containers, pallets and outdoor furniture. For details on the EPA’s CCA action, visit www.epa.gov/pesticides/factsheets/chemicals/1file.htm.