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Report Cites Cancer Risk of Treated-Wood Playsets

Chromated Copper Arsenate (CCA)

May 11, 2005 EPA and CPSC: Interim study on the effectiveness of sealants in reducing the amount of CCA that leaches from the treated wood.

Chromated copper arsenate (CCA) is a chemical wood preservative containing chromium, copper and arsenic. CCA is used in pressure treated wood to protect wood from rotting due to insects and microbial agents. EPA has classified CCA as a restricted use product, for use only by certified pesticide applicators.

CCA has been used to pressure treat lumber since the 1940s. Since the 1970s, the majority of the wood used in outdoor residential settings has been CCA-treated wood. Pressure treated wood containing CCA is no longer being produced for use in most residential settings, including decks and playsets.

The Agency has worked with pesticide manufacturers to voluntarily phase out CCA use for wood products around the home and in children's play areas. Effective December 31, 2003, no wood treater or manufacturer may treat wood with CCA for residential uses, with certain exceptions. General Information from EPA is available at

Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Finds Pressure Treated Wood Increases Risk of Cancer in Children
In response to a petition filed by the Healthy Building Network, the Consumer Product Safety Commission released a report on Feb. 7 linking arsenic-treated lumber to increased cancer rates in children.

Read the Healthy Building Networks Press Advisory

Read the CPSC Statement

Read the CPSC Fact Sheet

The Healthy Building Network Testifies to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) on Pressure Treated Wood

On March 17, 2003, Paul Bogart of the Healthy Building Network testified before the Consumer Products Safety Commission about the dangers of arsenic-treated lumber and the necessary next steps to protect children.

Testimony of Paul Bogart, Healthy Building Network

Government Report Says Wood Playsets Pose a Cancer Risk

Scientists at the Consumer Products Safety Commission said today that children playing on millions of outdoor wood playground sets nationwide face an increased risk of bladder and lung cancer from arsenic exposure. The report recommends that children wash their hands after playing on wooden playground sets and also not eat in the vicinity of the wood.

Source: New York Times Article, February 8, 2003

What to do if you have CCA wood
Poisoned Wood Playsets and Decks

The EPA announced a phase out of arsenic-treated wood, removing the wood from home improvement stores by January 2004. In the meantime, children need to be protected from arsenic exposure acquired from decks and playsets already constructed. The following link provides several measures that can be instituted at home and at schools to protect children.



Read the reports and studies on children's environmental health by CLICKING HERE.