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Chromated Copper Arsenate (CCA)

CCA Table of Contents
Regulatory Highlights

Chemical Review Manager: Lance Wormell (wormell.lance@epa.gov), 703-603-0523

Current as of July 2011

EPA has completed its reregistration eligibility decisions (RED) for the heavy duty wood preservatives chromated arsenicals, pentachlorophenol, and creosote.  In general, EPA has determined that the compounds contribute benefits to society and are eligible for reregistration provided the mitigation measures and associated label changes identified in the REDs are implemented and required data are submitted.  In its risk assessments, the Agency identified risks of concern associated with occupational exposure (i.e., treatment plant workers) to all three preservatives and ecological exposure to pentachlorophenol and creosote.

Chromated copper arsenate (CCA) is a chemical wood preservative containing chromium, copper and arsenic. CCA is used in pressure treated wood to protect wood from rotting due to insects and microbial agents. EPA has classified CCA as a restricted use product, for use only by certified pesticide applicators.

CCA has been used to pressure treat lumber since the 1940s. Since the 1970s, the majority of the wood used in outdoor residential settings has been CCA-treated wood. Pressure treated wood containing CCA is no longer being produced for use in most residential settings, including decks and playsets.

The Agency has completed its reregistration eligibility decision (RED) and will continue to work with stakeholders to implement its decision. Pesticide manufacturers to voluntarily phased out certain CCA use for wood products around the home and in children's play areas. Effective December 31, 2003, no wood treater or manufacturer may treat wood with CCA for residential uses, with certain exceptions.

Timeline for Reregistration/Risk Assessment

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Reregistration Eligibility Decision

Reregistration Eligbility Decision (RED) for Chromated Arsenicals (Case 0132), September 25, 2008

Alternatives/Other Wood Preservatives

There are several arsenic-free wood pressure treatment alternatives to CCA, as well as several building material alternatives to pressure treated wood, already on the market.

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Coatings (Sealant) Studies

EPA and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) conducted two-year studies (August 2003-August 2005) of the effectiveness of coatings in preventing leaching of arsenic from CCA-treated wood.  Both studies examined whether or not the application of different wood sealants on CCA-treated wood affects the amount of CCA residues to which an individual may be exposed.  The data suggest that application of penetrating stains and coatings to decks or other residential CCA-treated structures at least once a year can reduce potential exposure to arsenic.

CPSC released its draft final report in October 2006. EPA’s Science Advisory Panel (SAP) submitted its final report on the EPA and CPSC studies in January 2007. 

The data demonstrate the SAP report suggested more definitive studies are needed.  They also invited the coatings industry to develop products with specific characteristics intended to reduce dislodgeable arsenic.

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General Information

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Guidance Documents

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Risk Assessments & Reviews

  • Preliminary Evaluation of the Non-Dietary Hazard and Exposure to Children from Contact with Chromated Copper Arsenate Treated Wood Playground Structures and Contaminated Soil (October 2001)
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    Technical Guidance

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    Use Cancellations

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    Report an Incident

    If you believe you are suffering possible adverse effects from working with CCA-treated wood, you should immediately contact your medical provider. For further information, and to report incidents to the EPA, please contact the National Pesticide Information Center at 1-800-858-7378, or e-mail npic@ace.orst.edu. Exit EPA disclaimer

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