30 January 2002 01:04 [Source: ICIS news]
WASHINGTON (CNI)--Manufacturers of chromium copper arsenate (CCA) and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are holding discussions regarding the re-registration of the wood preservative and a possible phase-out, government and industry officials told CNI Tuesday.
A spokesman for Senator Bill Nelson (Democrat-Florida) said talks are underway between chemical manufacturers and EPA over a possible phase-out of certain CCA uses. Nelson has been pushing the agency to quickly review potential health hazards posed by inorganic arsenic in treated wood.
A report to Congress from EPA on its regulatory progress on CCA-treated wood is expected by 15 February, based on a directive in EPA's fiscal year 2002 budget, according to a statement by Nelson.
An industry source said that if there is a "transition away from" CCA-preserved wood, it would not apply to all uses but only to some non-industrial applications such as wood for decks and playground equipment.
EPA is scheduled to issue a preliminary risk assessment of wood treated with CCA in the second quarter.
Activists have filed a petition with the Consumer Product Safety Commission which seeks a ban on the use of CCA on playground equipment. They also have asked EPA to cancel product registrations in light of reported CCA cancer risks and other possible adverse health effects.
However, the American Wood Preservers Institute maintains that CCA is safe when properly handled and used according to industry standards, and that CCA-preserved wood does not present undue health risks to adults or children from short or long-term exposure.
CCA has been "effectively used for almost 70 years" to pressure-treat lumber so that it can withstand termites and decay, the institute notes.
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