LETHAL ENVIRONMENTAL THREATS

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Email author: bcbrad3

FACTS:

- arsenic is a known neurotoxin and carcinogen (cancer-causing agent, ref. Chen & Wang, 1990)


- solutions used in the manufacture of "pressure-treated" (CCA) wood contain more than 18% arsenic (Cox, 1991)


- in 1993 Environment and Health & Welfare Canada stated that arsenic is a "non-threshold toxicant" (i.e., a substance for which there is believed to be some chance of adverse health effects at any level of exposure) (Environment Canada, 1993; ref. Amdur et al., 1991;)


- in 1990 researchers from Health Canada determined that arsenic could be obtained from "pressure-treated" wood simply by touching it (Galarneau et al., 1990)


- a college student, after fighting a fire on a deck made from "pressure-treated" wood, fell into a coma the next day and died ( -., 1994a) 


- soil samples taken from beneath CCA wood decks contained up to 80 times more arsenic than surrounding soil, and as much as 35 times the legal limit for arsenic in soil (Long, 1997)


- dangerous levels of arsenic - as much as 10 to 35 times above legal limits - are leaching from CCA-treated wood, and potentially hazardous amounts of arsenic easily rub off whenever the wood is touched (Fall, 1998)


- there are alternative and less toxic methods of protecting wood (ref. 1A; 2A; Daar, 1986)


arsenic is absorbed primarily through oral exposure, but some can be gained through the respiratory route (Goldstein, 1990, p. 100)


- in 1991 Health & Welfare published "pressure-treated" wood safety tips that cautioned people to "wear gloves when handling/touching CCA wood" (Health & Welfare, 1991)


- research has shown that arsenic is leached from "pressure-treated" wood by rain and the organic acids found naturally in the soil (Long & McGrath, 1994; and Weis, et al., 1991)


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- a worker has won a $450,000 (US) lawsuit against a "pressure-treated" wood manufacture as a result of developing neuropathy in his legs from working with this product (Clement v. Wyckoff, 1990)


- research has shown that the amount of arsenic leached from a 7-foot length of "pressure-treated" 2 x 4, in one week is enough to kill a rat (Warner and Solomon, 1990)

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- results of one test obtained by EBN (Environmental Building News) show that CCA-treated wood actually fails the Toxic Characteristics Leaching Procedure test for arsenic (Wilson, 1997)


- "When algae removed from CCA wood were provided as food for snails, the snails gradually ceased activity, retreated into their shells and died, while snails fed algae from nearby rocks all remained active" (Weis, 1995)


- 0.4 lbs of copper, chromium and arsenic, are placed per cubic foot into "pressure treated" wood .... wood designed for marine use has 1.5 lbs/cubic foot, or in Florida, 2.5 lbs/cubic foot (Weis, 1992)


- independent research on four of the major brand names of "pressure treated" wood, manufactured by seven different treatment companies, shows that none of them meet the CSA standard 080-m1983 specifications for penetration or retention of the solutions used (Répin, 1990)


- leaching of arsenic from decks made of CCA-treated wood, produced soil levels 20.5 times the concentration of controls for coated decks and 31.4 times the arsenic concentration for uncoated decks (Jun, 1997)


- ACQ (ammoniacal copper quaternary) compound contains no chromium and no arsenic in its formulation, but imparts to wood the same long service life that consumers have come to expect from CCA-treated wood products (Bailey, 1997)


- According to Consumer Reports (Aug. 2000) the EPA were proposing a reduction, to the then standard (i.e., 50 ppb = 50 parts per billion) of arsenic in drinking water, to 5 ppb and soliciting public comments on a range of limits: 20 ppb, 10 ppb, 5 ppb and 3ppb


- Currently antiquated and inadequate Canadian standards for acceptable levels of arsenic in drinking water stand at 0.025 mg/l (=25 ug/l = 25 ppb) with no active nor near-term proposed change in this standard (Feb., 1989)


- 20th century problems involving the effects of pesticides will become the 21st century groundwater pollution problem and will jeopardize the safety of its citizens' food (Goldstein, 1990, p. 229)


- a 1990 US Consumer Product Safety Commission study of CCA wood playground equipment estimated that 2 year old children can ingest as much as 2016 micrograms of arsenic per day by playing on CCA treated wood (Long, 1997)


- there is no registration requirement that covers voluntary use of pesticides by ordinary citizens (Goldstein, 1990, p. 104)


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- the goal of an ecologically healthy society necessitates some significant changes from the way we have lived our lives in the 20th century (Goldstein, 1990, p. 248)


- like so many other ecological mistakes - the abusive use of pesticides ..- the obvious and documented environmental impact went undeterred until the pollutant took a toll in human health and safety (Howard & Perley, 1991. pp. 7 - 8)


- research in the development and use of biological controls has been quietly going on in the USA and Canada for a little over 100 years (Goldstein, 1990, p. 149)


- "We now have overwhelming evidence that every child, no matter where in the world he or she is born, will be exposed, not only from birth, but from conception, to manmade chemicals that can undermine the child's ability to reach its fullest potential - chemicals that interfere with the natural chemicals that tell tissues how to develop and construct healthy, whole individuals." (Colborn, 1996)


- "what unfolds slowly is not, by our lights, urgent, and it will therefore take a collective act of imagination to understand the extremity of the situation we now confront (Gelbspan, 1995)


- "the people who run the world's oil and coal companies know that the march of science, and of political action, may be slowed by disinformation ....by keeping the discussion focused on whether there is a problem in the first place, they have effectively silenced the debate over what to do about it" (Gelbspan, 1995)


- the goal of an ecologically healthy society necessitates some significant changes from the way we have lived our lives in the 20th century (Goldstein, 1990, p. 248)


- “…. news organizations can be sued not for the truth or falsity of what they report, but instead just for seeking out information from insiders who have material important to the public health and welfare …” (Hewitt, 2001, 193-194)


- “As Kenneth Watt (Watt, 1974) has pointed out, we suffer from “the Titanic effect” – the willful suppression of painful knowledge about the danger of our situation until we are no longer able to deal with it.” (Nelson, 1976, 23-24)


- “These unpleasing threats to all we hold most dear are products of a system so organized as to produce them – to produce them, and not their contraries.” (Beer, 1973)


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- “Our choice, then, is between the painful but confidence-instilling processes of coming to know who and where we are so that we can act consistently, and therefore enhance the chances for sustained humane life, and the immensely appealing but finally empty alternative of continuing to drift, of acting as if we know what we are doing when both the mounting evidence and our most honest fears indicate that we do not.” (Nelson, 1976, 33)

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- “We keep manufacturing the toxic products by the thousands and then the millions, despite the “unintended consequences”, the hidden costs. Who thought of our entire planet as a testing ground?” ( Berthold – Bond, 1999, p..2)


- “…, toxicity – the long-term health impact of long-term exposure to toxic substances – has crept up on us and now to a large extent defines our physical reality.” (Leviton, 2001, xxi)


- “Toxicity is slowly draining the life out of us, yet so pervasive and effective is this systematic poisoning that we are barely, if at all, aware of it in our everyday living.” (Leviton, 2001, xxii)


- while our elected government representative continued to shy away from the real issues that threaten our health and environment, their MO of doing nothing (see Gov’t Attrocities – DVA) amounts to nothing more nor less than ignoring their elected mandates


- without an active and forceful drive to ‘safely remove’ all existing structures of ptw, along with a complete banning of its manufacture/sale/use and importation, the efforts of all groups intending to address this problem are fruitless


TOXIC "PRESSURE-TREATED" WOOD 

(Portion of Reference Bibliography)


1A (First Alternative) BORACOL & IMPEL (Boron) Rods. Source: Sasco Products Ltd., 31 Ilsley Ave., Dartmouth, N.S.  B3B 1L5, Ph: 902-468-2126, Fax: 902-468-2642.


2A (Second Alternative) “LifeTime” Wood Treatment. (Under review) Source: Valhalla Wood Preservatives Ltd., 1931 – 12th Avenue S.W., Calgary, Alberta, T3C 0R9, Ph: 403-228-5193, Fax: 403-229-9365. 


(Feb., 1989) http://www.hc_sc.gc.ca/ehp/ehd/catalogue/bch_pubs/dwgsup_doc/arsenic.pdf


(Fall, 1998) "Frontiers of Plant Science", 51(1), pp. 6-8 (as cited in ORGANIC GARDENING, July/August 1999, 46(4), p. 12.


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(Mar, 1997) "Recommendations for Disposal of Treated Wood" ) ENVIRONMENTAL BUILDING NEWS, 6(3), p. 13.


(Jun, 1997) "New Evidence of Leaching from CCA-treated Decks" ENVIRONMENTAL BUILDING NEWS, 6(6), p. 3.


(Jun 2, 1983) "Arsenic, Chromium, and Copper Poisoning from Burning Treated Wood", THE NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE.


(Aug, 2000) “A contaminant compendium” Consumer Reports, 65(8), p. 19.

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(-, 1992) "Letters" (July/August), ORGANIC GARDENING, 39(6), pp.8-11.


(-, 1993) "Pressure-Treated Wood: How bad is it and what are the alternatives-" ENVIRONMENTAL BUILDING NEWS, 2(1), January/February, pp. 6-14.


(-, 1994a) "Letters" (April), ORGANIC GARDENING, 41(4), pp. 8-14.


(-, 1994b) "Letters" (July/August), ORGANIC GARDENING, 41(6), pp. 8-13.


(Nov/Dec. 1992) "The Phone Poles that Will Not Die", MSW MANAGEMENT.


(Dec./Jan. 2002) “Arenic seeps into the spotlight”, Mother Earth News, No. 189, p. 18.


Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, TOXICOLOGICAL PROFILE FOR ARSENIC, Final Update, 1993, US  Department of Health and Human Services.


Agriculture Canada (1990) "Wood Treatment Materials", Note to CAPCO, Aug. 1.


Agriculture Canada (1992) Re-Evaluation of Heavy Duty Wood Preservatives, Food Production & Inspection Branch, A92-02, July 2.


Amdur, Mary O., Doull, John and Klaassen, Curtis D. (1991) `Major Toxic Metals with Multiple Effects: Arsenic' in CASARETT AND DOULL'S TOXICOLOGY: THE BASIC SCIENCE OF POISONS, 4th ed., Toronto: Pergamon Press, pp. 629-633.

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Bailey, Thomas (1997) "CSI Responds" ENVIRONMENTAL BUILDING NEWS, 6(4), p. 3.


Berthold-Bond, Annie (1999) Better Basics for the Home, New York: Three River Press, 339 p. ISBN 0-609-80325-5.


Bradley, Brian (1996) "Toxic Playgrounds: Lethal Pressure Treated Wood", ENVIRONMENTAL NEWS LETTER ADVANCING COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT (E.N.L.A.C.E.), 1(2), pp. 1, 4 & 5.


Beer, Stafford (1974) Designing Freedom, CBC Massey Lectures, Thirteenth Series, 1973. Toronto: CBC Publications (as cited in Nelson, Ruben F.W. (1976) The Illusions of Urban Man, Macmillan Company of Canada Ltd. for the Ministry of State of Urban Affairs, 76p)..


Brown, Joseph P. and Fan, Anna M. (1992) "Arsenic-Recommended Public Health Level for Drinking Water", California Environmental Protection Agency.

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Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (1997) BUILDING MATERIALS FOR THE ENVIRONMENTALLY HYPERSENSITIVE, Ottawa: CMHC, 238p.


Canadian Standards Association (1991) A GUIDELINE ON CHILDREN'S PLAYSPACES AND EQUIPMENT, CAN/CSA-Z614-M90, para. 7.3.7, p. 26.


Chen, Chien-Jen and Wang, Chih-Jen (1990) "Ecological Correlation between Arsenic Level in Well Water and Age-Adjusted Mortality from Malignant Neoplasms" CANCER RESEARCH, 50(17), Sep. 1, pp. 5470-5474.


Chou, G.K. et al, (1973) "Uptake of metal toxicants by fungal hyphae colonising CCA-Impregnated wood" WOOD SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY, 7(3), pp. 206-211.


Clement v. Wyckoff Co. (1990) Wash Superior Court, King County, No. 87-2-13888-7, judgment entered 9/13/90.


Colborn, Theo (1996) Our Stolen Future: Are We Threatening Our Fertility, Intelligence, and Survival? (Dutton. As cited in ORGANIC GARDENING, 1998, Vol. 45 No. 8, p. 10).


Cooper, Paul A. and Ung, U.T. (1992) "Leaching of CCA-C from Jack Pine Sapwood in Compost", FOREST PRODUCTS JOURNAL, 42(9), Sep.


Cox, Caroline (1991) "Chromated Copper Arsenate", JOURNAL OF PESTICIDE REFORM, Spring , pp. 19-23

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Daar, Sheila (1986)  "Update: Least - Toxic Methods for Protecting Wood" THE IPM PRACTITIONER,8(1), January, pp. 1 - 3.


Dobbs, A.J. "The growth and metal content of plants grown in soil contaminated be a copper chromium arsenic wood preservative" MSW Management---


Elkington, John and Hailes, Julia (1998) MANUAL 2000: THE ETHICAL CONSUMER GUIDE, Toronto: Key Porter Books, 320p.


Environment Canada (1988) Reports EPS 2/WP/1 to 5, (See EPS 2/WP/3 "Chromated Copper Arsenate (CCA) Wood Preservation Facilities - Recommendations for Design and Operation") April.


Environment Canada (1993) Arsenic and its Compounds, Government of Canada, Health and Welfare Canada.


Evans, Fred G. (1987) "Leaching from CCA - Impregnated wood to food, drinking-water and silage, THE INTERNATIONAL WORKING GROUP ON WOOD PRESERVATION, Document No.: IRG/WP/3433.


Fauteux, Andre, (1992b) "Going organic to avoid becoming a statistic" HABITABEC, Montreal, 26 juin, p. 4.


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Ferrara, Mike (1992)  "Spring Soil Spectacular" (April), ORGANIC GARDENING, 39(4), pp. 26-37 (see p.27).


Galarneau, D., Riedel, D., Harrison, J., Gregoire, D.C. and Bertrand, N. (1990) "Residues of Arsenic, Chromium and Copper on and Near Outdoor Structures Built of Wood Treated with `CCA' Type Preservatives",  AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY (DIVISION OF ENVIRONMENTAL CHEMISTRY), Aug. 26-31.


Gelbspan, Ross (1995) "The heat is on, the warming of the world's climate sparks a blaze of denial" HARPER'S, 291(1747), pp.31-37.


Goldsein, Joan (1990) DEMANDING CLEAN FOOD AND WATER, THE FIGHT FOR A BASIC HUMAN RIGHT, New York: Plenum Press, 271 p.


Grant, C. (19--) "Env Pollution" 14.21326. MSW Management-Health & Welfare Canada (Health Protection Branch) (1991), "Pressure-Treated ("Preserved") Wood and Wood Preservatives", ISSUES, October 30.

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Henningsson, Byorn and Carlsson, Birgit (1984) "Leaching of arsenic, copper and chrome from preservative-treated timber in playground equipment" The International Research Group of Wood Preservation, Document No. IRG/WP/3149.


Hewitt, Don (2001) TELL ME A STORY, New York: Public Affairs, 272p.


Howard, Robert (1992/1993) "Pressure-treated wood: It lasts, but is it safe-" CANADIAN GARDENING, Dec/Jan, pp. 9 -10.


Howard, Ross and Perley, Michael. (1991) POISONED SKIES, Toronto: Stoddart Publishing Co.


Huling et al., (1995) "Wood Preserving Waste Contaminated Soil; Treatment and Toxicity Response", BIOREMEDIATION OF RECALCITRANT ORGANICS, 3(7): 101-109.


Interdepartmental Executive Committee on Pest Management, "Re-Evaluation of Heavy Duty Wood Preservatives Status Report" Note to CAPCO, Feb. 14, 1994.


Kalnins, Martins A. and Detroy, Benjamin F. (1984) "Effect of wood preservative treatment of beehives on honey bees and hive products" JOURNAL OF AGRICULTURE AND FOOD CHEMISTRY, 32, pp. 1176-1180.


Leviton, Richard (2001) The Healthy Living Space. Charlottesville: Hampton Roads Publishing, 625 p. ISBN 1-57174-209-3.


Long, Cheryl (1997) "Arsenic again shown to leach from pressure treated wood" ORGANIC GARDENING, Apr., 44(4), pp. 18, 20.


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Long, Cheryl (1994) "Will Texas now go organic-" ORGANIC GARDENING, Sep/Oct., 41(7), p. 20.


Long, Cheryl and McGrath, Mike (1994) "Treated Wood", ORGANIC GARDENING, Jan., 41(1), pp. 71-74.


Moore, Steven (1993). "Toxic Lumber", EARTHKEEPER, 4(1), pp.16-19. Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, "Arsenic in Drinking Water", California Environmental Protection Agency, April 1992.


Nelson, Ruben F.W. (1976) The Illusions of Urban Man, Macmillan Company of Canada Ltd. for the Ministry of State of Urban Affairs, 76p.


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Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment. Report to the Legislature-evaluation of Hazards Posed by the Use of Wood Preservatives on Playground Equipment, Department of Health Services, Health and Welfare Agency, State of California, February 1987.


Peters, H.A. et al. (1983) "Arsenic, Chromium, and Copper Poisoning from Burning Treated Wood", THE NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE. 308 (22) pp. 1360 - 1361


Peters, H.A., Croft, W.A., Woolson, E.A., Darcey, B.A., and Olson, M.A. (1984) "Seasonal Arsenic Exposure from Burning Chromium-Copper-Arsenate-Treated Wood", JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION, May 11, 251(18), pp. 2393-2396.


Raloff, Janet (1992) "Arsenic in Water - Bigger Cancer Threat", SCIENCE NEWS, Apr. 18, p. 253.


Répin, Raynald (1990)  "Mistreated Wood", PROTECT YOURSELF, June, pp. 36-43.


Stilwell, (1997) "Contamination of Soil with Copper, Chromium, and Arsenic Under Decks Built from Pressure Treated Wood", BULLETIN OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONTAMINATION AND TOXICOLOGY, 58, pp. 22-28.


The Academy of Natural Sciences Philadelphia, PA. (1991) "Arsenic in the water - A surprising new source", News Release, January.


The Academy of Natural Sciences Philadelphia, PA. (1992) "Tracing arsenic through the Chesapeake Bay", ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH, 2(1), Fall.


Tyrrell, Elaine A. (1990) "Project on Playground Equipment - Transmittal of Estimate of Risk of Skin Cancer from Dislodgeable Arsenic on Pressure Treated Wood Playground Equipment" Memorandum to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, August.

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US Consumer Product Safety Commission (1990). Project On Playground Equipment-Transmittal of Estimate of Risk of Skin Cancer from Dislodgeable Arsenic on Pressure Treated Wood Playground Equipment.


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Warner, J.E. and Solomon, K.R. (1990) "Acidity as a Factor in Leaching of Copper, Chromium and Arsenic from CCA-Treated Dimension Lumber", ENVIRONMENTAL TOXICOLOGY & CHEMISTRY (9), pp. 1331-1337.


Watt, Kenneth E.F. The Titanic Effect – Planning for the Unthinkable, Shemford, Conn.: Senaner Assoc., Inc., 1974 (as cited in Nelson, Ruben F.W. (1976) The Illusions of Urban Man, Macmillan Company of Canada Ltd. for the Ministry of State of Urban Affairs, 76p).


Weis, Peddrick, Weis, Judith S. and Coohill, Lisa M. (1991) "Toxicity to Estuarine Organisms of Leachates from Chromated Copper Arsenate Treated Wood", ARCHIVES ENVIRONMENTAL CONTAMINATION AND TOXICOLOGY 20, pp. 118-124.


Weis, Judith (1995) "Pressure-treated wood toxic effects in the marine environment" Sierra Club National Coastal Issues Paper No. 2


Weis, Judith S. and Weis, Peddrick (1994) "Effects of contaminants from chromated copper arsenate-treated lumber on benthos." ARCHIVES OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONTAMINATION AND TOXICOLOGY, 26, pp. 103-109.


Weis, Peddrick, Weis, Judith S. and Proctor, T. (1993) "Copper, chromium and arsenic in sediments adjacent to wood treated with chromated copper arsenate." ESTUARINE, COASTAL AND SHELF SCIENCE, 36, pp. 71-79.


Weis, J.S. and Weis, P. (1992) "Transfer of contaminants from CCA-treated lumber to aquatic biota" JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL MARINE BIOLOGY AND ECOLOGY, 161, pp. 189-199.


Weis, Peddrick, Weis, Judith S. and Coohill, Lisa M. (1991) "Toxicity to estuarine organisms of leachates from chromated copper arsenate treated wood." ARCHIVES OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONTAMINATION AND TOXICOLOGY, 22, pp. 118-124.


Weis, Judith (1992) "NPS from treated wood structures in the Coastal Environment", EPA NONPOINT NEWS-NOTES, 20: 9-10.


Wilson, Alex (1997) "Disposal: The Achilles' Heel of CCA-Treated Wood" ENVIRONMENTAL BUILDING NEWS, 6(3), pp. 1, 10-13.


Wolmanac Industrial Concentrate 60%, Registration Number 21226 Pest Control Product Act.


World Health Organization, Arsenic in Drinking Water, (May 2001),  

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URLs:


 http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs210/en/

    

 http://www3.sympatico.ca/pbarrie/docs/lethal.htm  


 http://www.chebucto.ns.ca/Environment/RATE/Lethal_pressure_treated.html


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