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Daily News Archive
From August 21, 2001

Senator Nelson (D-FL) Calls for EPA to Report to Congress on Progress of CCA Risk Assessment

Wood preserving chemicals remain in the news as elevated levels of arsenic and pentachlorophenol are discovered in soil near treated-wood structures. The heavy-duty wood preservatives, namely the inorganic arsenicals (including chromated copper arsenate or CCA) pentachlorophenol (penta) and creosote, rank among the most toxic chemicals known. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is in the process of reevaluating the heavy-duty wood preservatives and is scheduled to publish the Reregistration Eligibility Decisions (REDs) some time in 2003. EPA originally claimed that the REDs would be complete in 1998. Click here for more information.

The pace at which EPA has conducted the reevaluation of the heavy-duty wood preservatives does not adequately protect the health of our children. The agency needs to take action to remove this unnecessary threat of arsenic poisoning created by continued use of CCA and the other arsenic based wood preservatives.

Senator Nelson's legislation requires that not later than 30 days after the date of enactment of VA HUD, EPA, in consultation with the Consumer Product Safety Commission, submit a report to Congress that includes:

(1) The Environmental Protection Agency's most up-to-date understanding of the potential health and safety risks to children playing on and around CCA-treated wood playground equipment;

(2) The Environmental Protection Agency's current recommendations to state and local governments about the continued use of CCA-treated wood playground equipment; and

(3) An assessment of whether consumers considering purchasing of CCA-treated playground equipment are adequately informed concerning the health effects associated with arsenic.