Just In Case You Thought Treated Wood Was OK For Garden Uses
- Subject: [cg] Just In Case You Thought Treated Wood Was OK For Garden Uses
- From: Adam36055@aol.com
- Date: Mon, 10 Feb 2003 15:41:09 EST
This came across Associated Press. Now while I have difficulty believing much
of what I hear from the US government, for an announcement like this to come
out in the middle of this Conservative, pro-business administration is
significant. I forward this to you for your "evidence" file, the next time
somebody tells you there's a sale on treated wood at the nearby Wall Mart,
and wouldn't you like to use it for your garden?
Playground Equipment May Pose Cancer Risk
By DAVID HO
.c The Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) - Children could face an increased lifetime risk of
developing lung or bladder cancer from using playground equipment made of
wood treated with arsenic, the nation's top product safety official said
Almost all wood playground equipment now in use has been treated with a
pesticide called chromated copper arsenate, said Hal Stratton, chairman of
the Consumer Product Safety Commission. He said children can get arsenic
residue from the treated wood on their hands and then put their hands in
Stratton said the agency's scientists recommend that parents and caregivers
thoroughly wash children's hands with soap and water immediately after
youngsters play on playground equipment made of the treated wood. Children
also should not eat while on the equipment, he said.
The safety agency will hold a public meeting next month to consider a
proposed ban on the arsenic-based preservative in playground equipment.
Advocacy groups petitioned for a ban in 2001.
Last year, preservative manufacturers agreed with the Environmental
Protection Agency to stop using the chemical in new wood playsets and other
consumer products by December 2003. An EPA report on the risks of the
pressure-treated wood is expected later this year.
To figure a child's cancer risk from treated playground equipment,
researchers considered factors including how much arsenic is released from
wood, the amount picked up on hands and transferred to the mouth and the time
a child spends with the equipment. Researchers said an average child visits
playgrounds three times each week.
The study found that for every 1 million kids exposed to the treated wood
that frequently during early childhood, two to 100 of them might develop lung
or bladder cancer later in life because of that exposure. This increase is in
addition to other risks of getting cancer.
The range of risk is large because of differing estimates of how likely
arsenic is to cause cancer, agency spokesman Ken Giles said. Some of the data
came from studies in Taiwan, where there are higher levels of arsenic in
Lung cancer is the most common form of cancer; bladder cancer is more rare.
The greatest risk factor for both is smoking.
Mike Casey, a spokesman for the Environmental Working Group, one of the
groups seeking a ban, said the study supports their position that the treated
wood is dangerous.
Wood preservatives containing arsenic and dioxin have been increasingly
targeted as unsafe by advocacy groups. Those preservatives have been commonly
used in utility poles, wood decks and playgrounds.
The safety commission did not study other products because the ban petition
only involved playgrounds, Stratton said.
Arsenic, both manufactured and naturally occurring, is known to cause cancer,
but the preservative industry has said the arsenic-based preservative has
never been linked to skin disease or cancer in children and its wood is safe
when used properly.
The safety commission and the EPA are studying ways to coat treated wood with
a sealant to prevent arsenic from coming through.
EPA began requiring consumer warning labels on treated lumber containing
arsenic in 2001.
On the Net:
Consumer Product Safety Commission: http://www.cpsc.gov
Environmental Protection Agency: http://www.epa.gov
02/10/03 07:25 EST
Copyright 2003 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news
report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed
without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. All active
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