CCA-Treated Wood Hazards in Homes and Playgrounds in Puerto Rico
Zimmetry Environmental provides testing and consulting services to identify chromium, arsenic and other potentially hazardous substances.
CCA-treated wood can still be found in decks, playgrounds and in other structures throughout Puerto Rico
Chromated copper arsenate, commonly referred to as CCA, is a pesticide containing chromium, copper and arsenic. It has been widely used as a wood preservative pesticide since the 1940s to protect wood against termites, fungi and other pests. Wood treated with CCA was widely used in outdoor structures including decks, playground equipment, picnic tables, garden-bed borders and docks.
In December of 2003, CCA manufacturers discontinued manufacturing products with the inorganic pesticide for most residential uses in the United States. A primary reason for discontinuing its use was due to concerns of residues on newly treated wood and because the CCA can leach out of treated wood products over time. CCA leachate contains arsenic, chromium and copper and since it is water-soluble, rainwater can seep in and leach CCA onto the wood surface. Cracking of the wood as it ages may also speed up this leaching process. The CCA residue can be wiped or dislodged from the wood surface and can stick to hands or clothing from contact. Even the soil beneath and adjacent to CCA-treated wood structures can become contaminated.
A major exposure concerns associated with CCA-treated wood is due to arsenic, an element that can increase the risk of certain types of cancers. Young children can be at risk of exposure to CCA when playing on older playground equipment or decks built with treated wood. They can be exposed to CCA by touching the leachate on the wood surface with their hands and then inadvertently ingesting it through hand-to-mouth activities. Because of this, children should not eat while on CCA-treated wood and they should thoroughly wash their hands after touching these treated surfaces.
“CCA-treated wood can still be found in decks, playgrounds and in other structures throughout Puerto Rico,” said Harry Pena, President of Zimmetry Environmental. “The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommends applying a penetrating protective coating on a regular basis for anyone with an older deck or other structure made with CCA-treated wood as this may reduce the leaching of chemicals.”
Residents of Puerto Rico concerned about the possible presence of arsenic and chromium in and around their home, playground or other locations can turn to the environmental experts at Zimmetry. They offer environmental testing for these and other potentially hazardous materials and also recently sponsored an online video about exposure concerns to CCA-treated wood that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/B0DXDqt00hA
To learn more about Zimmetry Environmental and their pesticide, environmental, indoor air quality (IAQ), occupational and compliance consulting services, please visit www.zimmetry.com, call (787) 995.0005 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .
About Zimmetry Environmental
Since 2002, Zimmetry Environmental has been providing environmental consulting services to building owners and managers, architects, engineers, EHS professionals and Fortune 500 companies. The company is based in Puerto Rico and provides services across the Caribbean and Central America. The professionals at Zimmetry offer environmental compliance, indoor air quality, asbestos, lead-based paint, Phase I ESAs and general environmental consulting services.
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