RE: Just In Case You Thought Treated Wood Was OK For Garden Uses
- Subject: RE: [cg] Just In Case You Thought Treated Wood Was OK For Garden Uses
- From: "Jack Hale" email@example.com
- Date: Mon, 10 Feb 2003 16:45:00 -0500
- Importance: Normal
Although I have no love for CCA or pressure treated lumber, this sounds like
bogus science. Or at least blowing things out of proportion. We need to be
careful how we handle this kind of "information." Bad information is way
more dangerous than pressure treated lumber. Here's what I'm thinking.
- one-in-a-million used to mean incredibly rare. 2-in-a-million seems like
about the same. 100 in a million is bigger, but a pretty small number. It
equals 1 in 10,000. The chance of a resident being murdered here in
Hartford in just the next year alone is about 1 in 3,000. I know, I know,
there are some other risk factors like being young, minority, and male and
involved in drugs, but it's just to give a sense of scale. Does anybody
want to figure out what the relationship is between the cancer risk of
playing on a pressure treated playground to some other behaviors?
- It appears that this report is the result of a mathematical model.
Somebody had to make a lot of guesses about how much CCA gets on a person's
hands during play, how much gets transferred to mouth, and what impact that
might have when extrapolated to a million kids. They didn't refer to any
specific evidence of a link between such play and actual cancer cases.
Admittedly, these folks have some pretty high-end Oija boards, but I
wouldn't bet the ranch on their results.
- Nonetheless, I like their advice. Teach your kids to keep their hands out
of their mouths, and to wash their hands after they play outside. It
probably wouldn't be a bad idea to hose off the playground equipment every
once in a while too, or even scrub it with soap. At least it would remove
some of the pigeon droppings.
I don't have any particular love for CCA, but I have even less love for
seeing my friends stampeded by this kind of stuff. The real big battle for
the health of our children is in our gardens and our schools and our city
halls and in Washington and in our own homes. We need to be vigilant and
careful, but we also need to maintain a sense of balance. From what I hear
lately, for example, the impact of the Bush "No Child Left Behind" plan on
the stability of local schools may well far surpass the impact of all the
pressure treated playgrounds on the continent.
Jack N. Hale
Knox Parks Foundation
75 Laurel Street
Hartford, CT 06106
[mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]On Behalf Of Adam36055@aol.com
Sent: Monday, February 10, 2003 3:41 PM
Subject: [cg] Just In Case You Thought Treated Wood Was OK For Garden Uses
This came across Associated Press. Now while I have difficulty believing
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
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
or bladder cancer later in life because of that exposure. This increase is
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
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
wood is dangerous.
Wood preservatives containing arsenic and dioxin have been increasingly
targeted as unsafe by advocacy groups. Those preservatives have been
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
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
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
report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed
without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. All active
hyperlinks have been inserted by AO
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