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David Axt, AIA, CCS, CSI
Senior Member
Username: david_axt

Post Number: 186
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Thursday, October 23, 2003 - 01:02 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Where can I find the latest information on wood preservatives? I heard that the EPA is not currently allowing CCA (Wolmanizing) preservatives to be used anymore.

Dave Metzger
Senior Member
Username: davemetzger

Post Number: 61
Registered: 07-2001
Posted on Thursday, October 23, 2003 - 01:26 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Chromated copper arsenate (CCA) treatments (of which Wolmanized is the best-known brand name) has been the most commonly available and least expensive of treatments listed, but as it contains chromium and arsenic and is not environmentally friendly, its future use will be limited to certain non-residential applications.

Other preservative treatments include ammoniacal copper zinc arsenate (ACZA); ammoniacal, or amine, copper quat (ACQ); copper bis (dimethyldithiocarbamate) (CDDC); ammoniacal copper citrate (CC); and copper azole, Type A (CBA-A).

They are more expensive than CCA. Will they work over time?

The Forest Products Laboratory website has information available: www.fpl.fs.fed.us/pres_fire/preservation_FAQ.htm
John Bunzick, CCS, CCCA
Senior Member
Username: bunzick

Post Number: 149
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Thursday, October 23, 2003 - 01:27 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

There is a voluntary ban negotiated between the EPA and the various producers of treated wood products. CCA will still be allowed for certain industrial uses. We now specify ACQ, though the amounts used on our work are so small, I really don't know how that is working out. Borax-based treatments are the most benign, but they cannot be exposed to water or they leach out -- good for framing homes but not for decks.

I would check the various manufacturer's web sites and talk to their reps. They have been the best source of information for me. The AWPA and AWPI both have information too, though they emphasize that CCA is "safe". If you want information about the EPA's research, a quick search on www.epa.gov turns up some material. Also, if you are a Masterspec subscriber, their evaluations have some information.
David Cline
Senior Member
Username: dcline

Post Number: 11
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Thursday, October 23, 2003 - 01:30 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Visit www.treatedwood.com
Once there, look at the information regarding ACQ. In response to increasing demand for alternatives to CCA wood preservatives, ACQ Preserve® wood preservative technology was developed. I will refrain from "product selling" and let you examine the information for yourself.
Marc C Chavez
Intermediate Member
Username: mchavez

Post Number: 15
Registered: 07-2002
Posted on Thursday, October 23, 2003 - 02:47 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Try www.awpa.com the wood preserver's assoc. They have a new manual out and all the old names like C1 and C2 are now going to be UC1 and UC2
Tracy Van Niel
Senior Member
Username: tracy_van_niel

Post Number: 50
Registered: 04-2002
Posted on Friday, October 24, 2003 - 09:24 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Arch Wood, Chemical Specialties, and Osmose all have ACQ preservative products available. My understanding was that CCA would still be out there after January 1, 2004, but that it would only be approved for use with telephone poles and marine pilings. Two types of construction that my firm does not deal with.
Helaine K. Robinson CCS
Senior Member
Username: hollyrob

Post Number: 10
Registered: 07-2003
Posted on Tuesday, November 04, 2003 - 12:26 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

U.S. Rejects Arsenic-Treated Lumber Ban

November 4, 2003 11:15 AM EST


WASHINGTON - Federal regulators Tuesday denied a request to ban arsenic-treated lumber used in playground equipment, which environmentalists say poses a health hazard.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission voted unanimously to adopt its staff's finding and recommendation that a ban was not needed because most manufacturers already have stopped using the treated wood and other makers soon will follow suit.

The lumber in question is treated with a pesticide, chromated copper arsenate, that protects it from decay and insect damage. Almost all wooden playground equipment has been treated with the pesticide. The concern is that children can get cancer-causing arsenic residue from the treated wood on their hands, then put their hands in their mouths.

Besides playgrounds, the treated wood has been used in picnic tables and decks.

Environmental organizations had asked the commission to ban the treated wood.

The lumber industry has maintained that the treated wood is safe and that children are exposed to more arsenic in food and water than on the playground. Still, following discussions with the Environmental Protection Agency, the industry agreed in February 2002 to phase out the treated wood by December 2003

The industry's agreement applies to new products. The commission and the EPA are studying ways to coat existing products made of treated wood with a sealant to prevent arsenic from seeping through.


On the Net:

Consumer Product Safety Commission: http://www.cpsc.gov

Environmental Protection Agency: http://www.epa.gov


Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Tracy Van Niel
Senior Member
Username: tracy_van_niel

Post Number: 52
Registered: 04-2002
Posted on Thursday, November 06, 2003 - 09:24 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I think Holly's posting is a little misleading. Her article specifically relates to playground equipment made with treated wood. Following the EPA link she posted, I found an article which indicates that in February of 2002, the 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". One of the new alternative wood preservatives is the ACQ treatment noted above. To see the full article:

William C. Pegues, FCSI, CCS
Senior Member
Username: wpegues

Post Number: 234
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Thursday, November 06, 2003 - 02:08 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Holly's posting of the AP article deals mostly as related the major new posting regarding playground equipment, but it does in fact make the same statement regarding treated wood that you relate - to quote from her posting...

"Still, following discussions with the Environmental Protection Agency, the industry agreed in February 2002 to phase out the treated wood by December 2003"

I believe that's virtually identical to your quote.

AP could certainly have worded it more clearly, but they did get it right.
Helaine K. Robinson CCS
Senior Member
Username: hollyrob

Post Number: 15
Registered: 07-2003
Posted on Friday, November 14, 2003 - 05:49 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post


Treated Wood Poses Cancer Risk to Kids
EPA Releases Early Findings on Exposure to Lumber Processed With Arsenic

By Eric Pianin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, November 14, 2003; Page A11

A new Environmental Protection Agency study concludes that children who repeatedly come in contact with commonly found playground equipment and decks made of arsenic-treated wood face increased risk of developing cancer.

The study suggests the risk to children is considerably greater than EPA officials indicated last year in announcing the products were being taken off the market. Although manufacturers have agreed to stop producing arsenic-treated wood products beginning in 2004, such wood remains in many public playgrounds and back yards.

The preliminary findings released yesterday show that 90 percent of children repeatedly exposed to arsenic-treated wood face a greater than one-in-1 million risk of cancer -- the EPA's historic threshold of concern about the effects of toxic chemicals.

The problem appears to be greater in the warmer climates of southern states, where children tend to spend more time playing outdoors. There, 10 percent of all children face a cancer risk that is 100 times higher than children in the general population, according to a review of the EPA data by the Environmental Working Group (EWG).

EPA officials cautioned that the findings are preliminary and are subject to review next month by the agency's Scientific Advisory Panel.

"I think it's premature to speak with [any] degree of certainty," said Jim Jones, director of the EPA's office of pesticide programs, which ordered the study. "The preliminary assessment, I would say, shows there are marginal increases in risk to children who play on decks and play sets, but there's a lot of variables that go into the assessment."

However, the draft "probabilistic exposure assessment" contradicts the agency's assurances last year that existing arsenic-treated wood products did not pose a serious public risk.

In February 2002, the EPA and the chemical and home-improvement industries announced a two-year phaseout of the use of arsenic-based preservatives in pressure-treated wood widely used for fences, decks, playgrounds and boardwalks. Arsenic is a known carcinogen, and some experts and environmentalists have long suspected that children who repeatedly come in contact with the preservative -- known as chromated copper arsenate, or CCA -- face a heightened risk of developing cancer of the lungs, bladder or skin.

While stressing that people should take precautions, such as washing their hands after coming into contact with CCA-laced wood and never placing food directly on a deck or outdoor table surface, then-EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman declared: "EPA does not believe there is any reason to remove or replace CCA-treated structures, including decks or playground equipment."

Jones said that at the time of the announcement, "We had no reason to believe there was an increase in risk associated with it. . . . At that time, we didn't have a risk assessment."

The EPA's preliminary findings echo the concerns voiced last week by members of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, who have conducted hearings and studies into the risks posed by arsenic-treated wood. The commission announced it is initiating studies of wood sealants to give consumers ways to protect their children from arsenic leaching from play sets and decks.

A nationwide survey conducted last year by the EWG and the University of North Carolina at Asheville found that arsenic used to treat outdoor wood products does not dissipate with time and that children who play on decade-old equipment are as likely to be exposed to high levels of the potential cancer-causing agent as those who play on structures manufactured recently.

Jane Houlihan, EWG's vice president for research, said the EPA study "confirms that we need to protect children from arsenic-treated wood at playgrounds around the country."

© 2003 The Washington Post Company
Helaine K. Robinson CCS
Senior Member
Username: hollyrob

Post Number: 34
Registered: 07-2003
Posted on Monday, January 26, 2004 - 10:16 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Has anyone heard anything about this problem?

"New chemicals being used in pressure-treated lumber for decks will dissolve an ordinary screw in six months. A builder needs to know such things, and be able to document it."

This is on p. 2 toward the end of this article:

D. Marshall Fryer
Senior Member
Username: dmfryer

Post Number: 20
Registered: 09-2003
Posted on Monday, January 26, 2004 - 11:31 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

As I understand it, hot-dipped galvanized and stainless steel fasteners are fine with the newer wood preservative chamicals. What is causing the problems are cheap "electroplated" and "zinc painted" fasteners, that are not designed for exposure to the weather under any circumstances, but which are used being used by unscrupulous homebuilders to save money, and by homeowners because they don't know any better, and nobody is really trying to educate them.

Unsupported blanket statements such as found in the above cited artcle do not help the educational process.

I found the AWPA.com web site to have some useful information on the subject, as well as links to the various chemical producers who would appear to have a vested interest in seeing the correct fasteners used with their products.
Tracy Van Niel
Senior Member
Username: tracy_van_niel

Post Number: 59
Registered: 04-2002
Posted on Tuesday, January 27, 2004 - 02:27 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

I agree with Mr. Fryer. The product information and guide specifications for Arch Wood Protection, Osmose, and Chemical Specialties indicate that hot-dipped galvanized and stainless steel fasteners should be used with the ACQ products so the information is out there.

Of course, it doesn't mean a hill of beans if the DIY'ers don't do their homework or the developer/cost cutter is just looking at the bottom line.
Helaine K. Robinson CCS
Senior Member
Username: hollyrob

Post Number: 36
Registered: 07-2003
Posted on Tuesday, January 27, 2004 - 02:37 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Unfortunately, the article is about a construction trade school's program for ex-cons. Is this what construction workers are typically being taught?

Tennessee Technology Center at Memphis
Helaine K. Robinson CCS
Senior Member
Username: hollyrob

Post Number: 50
Registered: 07-2003
Posted on Wednesday, May 05, 2004 - 10:28 am:   Edit PostDelete PostPrint Post

Another newspaper article on dangers of wood preservatives:

Washington Post: Arsenic treated wood in decks and fences raises safety issues


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