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Warning! Your Wooden Deck and Your Child's Swingset may be Highly Toxic!

After 70 years of production, the manufacture of pressure-treated (CCA) wood for residential use has ended in the United States. It turns out that the arsenic in pressure-treated wood rubs off on the hands of those who touch it. When those who touch it are children, their risk of developing lung and bladder cancer are significantly raised. Young children at play put their hands in their mouth an average of 16 times an hour; CCA is 22 percent pure arsenic by weight, and arsenic is a known human carcinogen. I warned of this concern nearly one year ago. Fortunately, there is a simple solution: Instruct your kids on the dangers and warn them to avoid any wooden playground equipment, as it is loaded with not only arsenic but also the toxic chemical dioxin. Plastic or metal equipment should be just fine.

Rachel's Environment & Health News February 12, 2004

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