Arsenic in Soil and CCA Treated Wood by Field Portable XRF
Chromated copper arsenate (CCA) has been the most widely used wood preservative for decks, playgrounds and exterior housing structures. However, in recent years, issues surrounding the use of CCA preservative chemical have escalated, prompting manufacturers to voluntarily stop producing it as of the end of 2003 and begin using alternative wood preservatives. There are concerns of possible arsenic (As) leaching into soil both during the wood’s in-use life, and if discarded wood is placed in un-lined landfills. This leaching could cause an increase of arsenic in topsoil and ultimately into drinking water supplies, which would be a major concern to the health of children and adults. Additionally, improper incineration of CCA treated wood may not only increase the level of airborne As, but the elevated levels of the heavy metals in the remaining ash are also a disposal hazard.