Feds Say No to Treated Lumber Chemical

Wood used to build decks or play structures is treated with chemicals to keep the wood
from rotting. Some of these chemicals caused health concerns and were phased out of the
market. But now one company wants to use a chemical that brings up more health
concerns. Mark Brush reports the EPA has rejected the company’s first bid:

Transcript

Wood used to build decks or play structures is treated with chemicals to keep the wood
from rotting. Some of these chemicals caused health concerns and were phased out of the
market. But now one company wants to use a chemical that brings up more health
concerns. Mark Brush reports the EPA has rejected the company’s first bid:


The Forest Products Research Lab asked the EPA to approve the use of acid copper
chromate as a wood preservative, but the preservative contains a chemical known to
increase the risk of cancer when it’s inhaled.


Jim Jones is the Director of the EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs. He says it’s mostly
a risk to workers who treat the wood in the factory, but it can also cause rashes on people
who handle the wood:


“Let’s say, for example, you work in a retail outlet and you’re involved in sort of moving
it around or you build a deck in the backyard or fencing. For those individuals they run
some risk of dermal sensitization.”


Jones says the risk is low. Only about 2 out of one hundred people are sensitive to the
exposure, but he says the risk to workers and consumers was high enough for the EPA to
reject the company’s bid.


For the Environment Report, I’m Mark Brush.

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