Environmental Groups Seek EPA Action on Treated Wood

Date: December 27, 2001

Source: News Room

Contending that the government has failed to act to protect the nation's children from exposure to widely used and highly toxic wood preservatives, many environmental and public health groups have petitioned the EPA to immediately stop the continued use of chromated copper arsenate and pentachlorophenol. The groups say that the EPA has sufficient data on wood preservatives' health and environmental risks and economically viable alternatives to initiate cancellation and suspension proceedings, rather than conduct further reviews. In the petition, the groups cite high cancer risks from exposure to wood surfaces of playground equipment treated with CCA, which contains high levels of arsenic as a major component, and soil that has become contaminated. Earlier this year, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush closed contaminated parks and took steps to curtail future use of arsenic treated wood. There are a number of principal users of chemically treated wood products, including utility companies (treated wood poles), construction companies (treated lumber) and the railroad owners (treated railroad ties). Wood treated with CCA is widely available through retail markets, such as Home Depot and Lowe¹s Home Improvement.

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