The following statement on CCA-treated wood was recently released by the EPA. "On February 12, 2002, EPA announced a voluntary decision by industry to move consumer use of treated lumber products away from a variety of pressure-treated wood that contains arsenic by December 31, 2003, in favor of new alternative wood preservatives. This transition affects virtually all residential uses of wood treated with chromated copper arsenate, also known as CCA, including wood used in play structures, decks, picnic tables, landscaping timbers, residential fencing, patios, and walkways/boardwalks. By January 2004, EPA will not allow CCA products for any of these residential uses. This decision will facilitate the voluntary transition to new alternative wood preservatives that do not contain arsenic in both the manufacturing and retail sectors. Although the Agency has not concluded that there is unreasonable risk to the public from these products, we do believe that any reduction in exposure to arsenic is desirable. This action comes years ahead of completing the Agency's regulatory and scientific assessment of CCA and will result in substantial reductions in potential exposure to CCA.
Questions and answers regarding the phase out of CCA-treated wood can be found here .
This article originally appeared in the April 12, 2002 issue, p. 39.