Also in this Issue:
EPA Release from February 12, 2002 - Whitman announces transition from consumer use of treated wood containing arsenic
VIDEO LINK- CNN's Mark Potter looks at CCA -treated wood and its potential health dangers (May 23) (QuickTime, Real or Windows Media)
Your Legal Rights - If you are suffering from side effects due to pressure treated wood exposure Contact James F. Humphreys & Associates, L.C. to learn more about your legal rights and options.
CCA Pressure Treated Wood Disposal
Despite the phasing out of CCA pressure treated wood to take effect by December 31, 2003, arsenic poisoning fears continue to plague parents. Years back lobbyists in Washington were able to exempt pressure treated lumber from hazardous waste laws, allowing the pressure treated wood decks and playgrounds to be disposed into unlined landfills. Health officials and environmentalists were afraid that the CCA treated wood would be recycled into mulch, thus contaminating the soil and ground water with arsenic.
The unlined landfills holding the pressure treated wood allow millions of board feet into disposals every year. Currently, the only instruction for disposing pressure treated wood is for the wood to be taken to local landfills. Various environmentalists are not satisfied with the CCA pressure treated wood phase out and are seeking stricter legislation.
Legislation sought involves looking to better address the loopholes that the CCA pressure treated wood phase out will still have. Although by 2004 CCA pressure treated wood will no longer be available for any residential uses, exposure to the arsenic in the workplace will still occur. In addition, a bill that would require residential disclosure when a home is sold will allow home buyers to be notified of any arsenic present in the drinking water or if any pressure treated wood exists on the property. These measures are not still not seen as appropriate measures by many groups pushing to have landfills lined, however this solution will result in a very costly process.
On December 13, 2002, the American Wood Preservatives Institute (AWPI), the national industry trade association that represents the pressure treated wood industry announced they were laying off all its employees and handing operations over to a management firm. The president of the AWPI said that the group has been named as a defendant in nine recent pressure treated wood lawsuits that resulted in a very "serious financial crisis" for the group.
Lawsuits filed against both the federal government and the AWPI has shown no signs of slowing, and a lawsuits was filed against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in December 2002 on behalf of a Gainesville family to ban arsenic treated wood from consumers. Despite the announcement to phase out the CCA pressure treated wood made on February 12, 2002, according to Home Depot sales of the lumber has continued to remain high.
Arsenic is a known human carcinogen that, according to scientists, is now believed to be even more dangerous than previously thought. For more information on CCA pressure treated wood and what your legal rights are, please Contact James F. Humphreys & Associates, L.C. For more CCA pressure treated wood disposal information please contact your public health division.