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All Hands on Deck

All Hands on Deck

Thursday, August 1, 2002

View and Download the report here: All Hands on Deck

In February 2002 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a phase out of the pesticide CCA, or chromated copper arsenate, an arsenic based chemical mixture used to preserve so-called “pressure-treated” lumber. CCA is 22 percent arsenic by weight, and the Agency noted when it announced the ban that “arsenic is a known human carcinogen.” Children who play on arsenic-treated play structures and decks are at particularly high risk.

Over 90 percent of all outdoor wooden structures in the United States are made with arsenic-treated lumber. Under the terms of the phase out, all of these structures will remain in place. Indeed, thousands more will be added to the human environment up until the final phase out date for the pesticide of January 2004. With literally millions of arsenic-treated decks, playsets, picnic tables and playgrounds in place across the country, several important questions remain unanswered: What level of risk do old arsenic-treated structures pose? And if the risk is similar to the new wood being banned, what should be done to protect people, particularly children, using structures made with this commonplace material?

View and Download the report here: All Hands on Deck

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