Family Health & Wellness
Christine Climer responds: Pressure-treated wood does sometimes contain a preservative called chromated copper arsenate (CCA) -- this means arsenic. Arsenic is a poison and has also been linked with the development of certain types of cancer. When your child touches CCA-treated wood with his hands, arsenic residue sticks to his skin. Then if he puts fingers in his mouth or touches food, he ingests the arsenic.
Walking through your local home improvement store’s lumber department, you may have noticed some wood carries an interesting green tint. That green color is CCA. Many stores no longer carry CCA-treated woods, and the lumber industry has agreed voluntarily to phase out CCA treatment of wood intended for residential use. Other non-arsenic chemicals are available instead. So if you are building a new structure, arsenic exposure is likely to be less of an issue.
© Christine Climer.
NFO Your Family’s Health Editor Christine Climer is a registered nurse with experience in pulmonary disease, pediatrics, home health and hospice services. See more about Christine.