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Pressure Treated Wood
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Arsenic Treated Wood Being Phased Out

Dec 29, 2003 | Chromated Copper Arsenate, or CCA, has been around since the 1930's, and it is contained in 98 percent of the lumber sold in the US for outdoor use. You'll find it in decks, fences, and playground equipment.

There are concerns that children exposed to arsenic treated playground equipment could develop lung or bladder cancer.

Research shows that for every one million kids exposed to the treated wood during early childhood, two to one hundred of them could get sick.

Two years ago, the EPA and the wood treatment industry agreed to phase out the material. Wednesday at midnight is the deadline for removing the products from the market.

If you do own playground equipment built with CCA pressure treated wood, the Consumer Product Safety Commission is recommending that you wash your child's hands with soap and water after outdoor play and especially before eating. Likewise, children should be discouraged from eating while on CCA treated playgrounds. Children should also avoid hand to mouth contact while playing.

"Wet wood or freshly treated wood could present a problem to a child that would touch the wood and then put hands to his mouth," says Pharmacology Professor Dr. David Potter.

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