A known human carcinogen, arsenic is a common contaminant in food and water. It was also used in virtually all pressure-treated wood products before EWG helped get it off the market.
The Environmental Working Group today asked the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to ban the use of arsenic-treated wood in outdoor play structures and to order consumer refunds for millions of playsets nationwide, based on a new round of laboratory tests that found high levels of arsenic contamination even on older pressure-treated wooden structures.Read More
Testimony before the Consumer Product Safety Commission
Vice President for Research
Environmental Working Group
Results from the largest–ever testing program for arsenic–treated wood, released today by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), show that the public remains at risk from high levels of arsenic leaching out of pressure–treated wood in older decks, playsets, and picnic tables.Read More
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) today applauded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for standing up to the chemical and wood treatment industries by forcing the phase-out of arsenic-treated lumber.Read More
Nationwide sampling in 13 metropolitan areas found harmful levels of cancer-causing arsenic on the surface of "pressure-treated" wood purchased at Home Depot and Lowe's Home Improvement Warehouse stores, according to a report released today.Read More
Nationwide sampling by a coalition of public interest groups* found dangerous levels of arsenic on the surface of “pressure treated” wood purchased at The Home Depot and Lowe’s Home Improvement Warehouse. These twin giants of the home improvement industry aggressively promote their concern for the environment, but they stack their shelves with highly hazardous lumber infused with the arsenic-containing pesticide CCA.
In February 2002 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a phase out of the pesticide CCA, or chromated copper arsenate, an arsenic based chemical mixture used to preserve so-called “pressure-treated” lumber. CCA is 22 percent arsenic by weight, and the Agency noted when it announced the ban that “arsenic is a known human carcinogen.” Children who play on arsenic-treated play structures and decks are at particularly high risk.
The wood in most playground sets, picnic tables and decks contains potentially hazardous levels of the same poison at the center of the debate over the safety of America's drinking water: arsenic. An Environmental Working Group analysis finds that even if the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency keeps its promise to lower permissible levels of arsenic in drinking water, it will not be able to protect the nation's children from arsenic unless it regulates a more pervasive source of arsenic in "pressure-treated" wood.