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-The preservative chemicals are toxic. These chemicals and the treated wood must be handled and used carefully to avoid ill effects on people, the environment and animals (Health Protection Branch Issues).12

-Be especially careful with liquid preservatives used on the job site (Wood Preservatives)17

-Wear gloves to avoid direct skin contact when handling or working with pressure treated wood (Health Protection Branch Issues).12

-These gloves should be made of NBR, neoprene, rubber or PVC (CCA poison sheet).33 Wear gloves to help avoid splinters (Tips on Use and Handling of Wolmanized Wood).34

- People who handle the chemical solution without using protective clothing may develop skin irritation or rashes. There is also a slight possibility that this could occur in people who repeatedly, day after day, move and handle pressure-treated lumber (Chromated Copper Arsenate CCOHS).24

-Wear boots, an apron, coveralls, chemical goggles or a facesheild over glasses if there is a risk of splashing when unloading chemicals during mixing and sampling operations (CCA Poison Sheet).32

-Avoid inhaling CCA mists and sawdust from treated wood (CCA Poison Sheet). Whenever possible, these operations should be performed outdoors to avoid indoor accumulations of airborne sawdust (Tips on Use and Handling of Wolmanized Wood).34

-Wear a dust mask when handling or sawing or machining treated wood (CCA Poison Sheet).33

-Reports in medical literature show that high exposures occur when burning or grinding pressure treated wood (Health Protection Branch Issues).12

-During maintenance vessel entry or emergencies wear SCBA with a full facepiece in addition to protective clothing (CCA Poison Sheet).33

-Leave contaminated clothing at work (CCA Poison Sheet)33

-Wash clothes separately from other clothing before re-wearing. (Health Protection Branch Issues).12

-It should not be used indoors, or where it could come in contact with water, feed, or food since some leaching can occur under certain conditions high exposures occur when the chemicals or wood are used in the interior of homes (Health Protection Branch Issues)12 (Chromated Copper Arsenate from CCOHS).24

-Do not use treated wood for cutting boards or countertops, or construction of beehives or hive platforms. Do not use treated wood shavings or sawdust for bedding or litter in barns, chicken houses or similar structures (Tips on Use and Handling of Wolmanized Wood).34

-Preservative treated wood should not be used to line wells or water conduits (Health Protection Branch Issues).12

-Avoid handling freshly treated wood (CCA Poison Sheet).33

- Occupational exposure to the chemicals used in the preservative solution occurs if the wood is handled before the liquid dries. It is during this drying period, after application of the solution, that the bonding with the wood occurs. Exposure to the chemicals may also occur when the cut ends of the wood are treated with the preservative solution (Chromated Copper Arsenate CCOHS).24

-Maintain a clean shop; do not leave sawdust or scrap lumber around as they pose fire and accident hazards (Tips on Use and Handling of Wolmanized Wood).34

-Construction workers who handle, drill, saw, or grind treated wood, may have a high exposure. The exposure is greater for workers in wood treatment plants. People who sell freshly treated lumber, and linemen who often have to climb pressure-treated utility poles may be regularly exposed (Health Protection Branch Issues).12

-If you have purchased wolmanized wood that was dried after treatment, you may paint or stain it immediately, provided the weather is suitable. If your wood has not dried after treatment, allow several weeks for the wood to air dry and then wait for clear weather (Tips on Use and Handling of Wolmanized Wood).34

-Clean up thoroughly before eating, drinking, or using tobacco products (EPA Office of Pesticide Programs Chromated Copper Arsenicals (CCA) and its Use as a Wood Preservative May 1997).27

-Perform the work outdoors on a dropcloth so that the sawdust can be collected and discarded (Fact Sheet-Connecticut Department of Public Health).6

-During winter months the CCA may not be totally fixed when buying wood- in this case the wood is highly "leachable", posing both environmental and health risks-the surface precipitates, usually white crystals-exercise extreme caution (Environmental Building News).16

-Perspiration from hands increases the absorption of CCA through your skin (Environmental Building News).16

-Chemical listed as a carcinogen or potential carcinogen (Material Safety Data Sheet 7-T).36


-Skin contact-flush with water for a minimum of fifteen minutes- wash thoroughly with soap and water -remove contaminated clothing (CCA Poison Sheet) .33

-Ingestion-give conscious victim water- induce vomiting (CCA Poison Sheet).33

-Eye contact-open eyelids and flush with soap and water for a minimum of fifteen minutes (CCA Poison Sheet).33

-Inhalation-remove victim to fresh air (CCA Poison Sheet).33

Contact First Aid get medical help (CCA Poison Sheet).33


-Individuals with an existing (or a history of) disease of the skin, kidney, liver, lungs, or nervous system may be at greater risk of developing either acute or chronic effects (Material Safety Data Sheet 6-T for liquid CCA).33

-Acute overexposure -toxic by ingestion, causes gastroenteritis, esophageal pain, vomiting and anuria or oliguria (Material Safety Data Sheet 6-T for liquid CCA).35

-This solution is highly corrosive, as indicated in its pH. Skin or eye contact may result in severe burns. Chronic Skin Exposure may result in skin ulcers. Inhalation of this solution is highly irritating, and acute exposure by inhalation may result in chemical pneumonitis. (Material Safety Data Sheet 6-T For Liquid CCA).35

-While all three chemicals are toxic, chromium and copper do not raise many concerns if we do not inhale them (e.g. while burning), arsenic is worrisome (Does Pressure Treated Wood Belong in Your Garden).15

-Compared to organic arsenic, inorganic arsenic is much more likely to accumulate in living tissues, where it interacts with cell enzymes and impairs metabolism (Does Pressure Treated Wood Belong in Your Garden).15

-At present there are no wood preservatives in Canada for direct contact with food (Wood Preservatives).17

-On rare occasions, toxic effects of pressure treated wood have been seen both in animals and people. The effects range from slight illnesses to deaths. Accidental illnesses or deaths were traced to improper or careless use of the preservative chemicals or treated wood in the workplace or in the home (Health Protection Branch Issues).12

-Ceilings over stored food are a special problem. Moisture condensing on the underside of a ceiling can drip back down onto the stored food (Wood Preservatives).17

-Not much is known about the long-term effects of frequent exposure to wood preservatives. Some health studies have been carried out on workers in the wood preservation and lumber industry, and people living in houses containing treated wood. Most of these studies showed little or no obvious effect on normal organ function and on health. However, some people heavily exposed to preservative chemicals have become seriously ill, and a few have died. Studies in the smelting and metal processing industries have shown that arsenic and chromium (which are present in CCA) can irritate the skin and may cause or promote some forms of cancer (Health Protection Branch Issues) 12

-Young children are most at risk from the health effects (Fact Sheet Pesticides Used In Pressure Treated Wood).6

-Keep Children and Pets out of under- deck areas where arsenic may have leached in the past (Fact Sheet Pesticides Used in Pressure Treated Wood).6

-Recent studies have shown that rainwater leaches (releases) CCA from the treated wood (Fact Sheet Pesticides in Pressure Treated Wood).6


-May cause burns and swelling (CCA Poison Sheet).33


-Irritates the skin (CCA Poison Sheet).33

-Prolonged Exposure may cause drying, peeling, itching,, reddening, blistering and hardening (CCA Poison Sheet).33

-May cause ulcers of the skin (CCA Poison Sheet).33


-Irritates the mouth, throat and stomach (CCA Poison Sheet).33

-May cause stomach pain and vomiting (CCA Poison Sheet).33

-Repeated ingestion may cause changes to the blood and liver and kidney damage and (CCA poison sheet).33

-May cause shock and death (CCA Poison Sheet).33


-Information is based on known effects of individual components: copper oxide, chromic and arsenic acids (CCA Poison Sheet).33

-The few studies done have found no evidence of health problems with proper handling of CCA (CCA Poison Sheet).33

-Mists or dusts can irritate nose and throat (CCA Poison Sheet).33

-Prolonged exposure may cause ulceration and perforation of tissue in the nose
(CCA Poison Sheet).33

-Excessive and prolonged exposure to arsenic and chromium compounds is suspected of causing cancer (CCA Poison Sheet) .33

-Excessive exposure to chromium may cause nosebleeds, sore throats and kidney damage (CCA Poison Sheet).33

-Excessive and prolonged exposure to arsenic may cause liver damage and nerve damage (CCA Poison Sheet).33

-Contact of CCA with zinc or aluminum (e.g. galvanized steel) may form arsine, an extremely poisonous, but non-irritating gas (CCA Poison Sheet).33

-Arsine may cause changes to the blood, liver, and kidney damage. (CCA Poison Sheet).33


-Protect containers against rupture (CCA Poison Sheet).33

-Concentrated solutions must be handled by trained personnel (CCA Poison Sheet).33

-Easy-to-read-instructions for safe handling should be posted near work and storage areas (CCA Poison Sheet).33

-Steam-or detergent- clean contaminated equipment prior to welding (CCA Poison Sheet).33

-Welding should be done close to an exhaust system (CCA Poison Sheet).33

-Wear a respirator (SCBA, airline, or cartridge respirator with high efficiency particulate filters, as required) when welding; toxic fumes may be formed (CCA Poison Sheet).33

-Change clothing when contaminated (CCA Poison Sheet).33

-Treated wood should not be burned in open fires or stoves (CCA Poison Sheet).33

-Toxic materials may be produced in smoke or ashes (CCA Poison Sheet).33

-Have a safety shower and eye wash in storage and handling areas
(CCA Poison Sheet).33


-Not flammable, but contact with combustible material may result in explosion or fire (CCA Poison Sheet).33

-Use SCBA to fight fire near CCA; toxic compounds may be released (CCA Poison Sheet).33

-Wear full protective equipment (Material Safety Data Sheet 7-T).36


-Evacuate the area (CCA Poison Sheet).33

-Put on personal protective equipment (CCA Poison Sheet).33

-Ventilate the area (CCA Poison Sheet).33

-Clean-up operations require an airline respirator or SCBA with full facepiece because toxic gases may be generated (CCA Poison Sheet).33

-Do not discharge spill to drain or sewer (CCA Poison Sheet).33

-Recycle spilled solutions (CCA Poison Sheet).33

-Absorb residue onto vermiculite and transfer to a labeled metal container with lid for transport to disposal site (CCA Poison Sheet).33

-Wash spill site with soap and water (CCA Poison Sheet).33

-Collect absorbent and contaminated soil in DOT approved containers. This material is toxic to fish and wildlife, do not allow it to contaminate waterways. Individuals involved in cleanup should be protected from contact with solution by using appropriate protective equipment. The reportable quantity for this material in Canada is five (5) liters. If more than five (5) Liters is released it represents danger to health, life, property or the environment, contact the local police force and file a dangerous occurrence report (Material Safety Data Sheet 6-T Liquid CCA).35

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