Chromated Copper Arsenate (CCA):
Alternatives to Chromated Copper Arsenate
CCA Table of Contents
As of December 31, 2003, the pressure treated wood industry discontinued the use of chromated copper arsenate (CCA) as the primary wood preservative used for most residential and general consumer construction. Existing CCA-treated stockpiles may be used until exhausted; however, the transition to CCA alternatives is well underway. There are several arsenic-free wood pressure treatment alternatives to CCA already on the market including ACQ, Borates, Copper Azole, Cyproconazole, and Propiconazole. There are also several alternative building materials to pressure treated wood that are available today.
Compared to the historic heavy-duty wood preservatives, ACQ and Copper Azole have been developed relatively recently and/or have been used infrequently, only limited research has been conducted on their potential leaching and environmental impact. Though slightly more expensive than the former CCA-treated wood, the appearance, strength properties, and handling characteristics of CCA alternatives are very similar to those of CCA.
As with any preservative treatment, hardware corrosion is a consideration in choosing appropriate fasteners. The industry has established guidance regarding the proper hardware to use with the alternatives that minimizes corrosivity concerns. Please refer the hardware portion of the Safety & Precautions page for hardware recommendations when working with the new wood treatments. Here you can also find handling and disposal recommendations.
Additional resource information
- Lebow, Stan T. 2004. Alternatives to Chromated Copper Arsenate for Residential Construction (PDF). (13 pp, 695k, About PDF) "Res. Pap. FPL-RP-618. Madison, WI: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory.
- American Wood-Preservers' Association
- Osmose, Inc.
- Arch Wood Protection, Inc.
- Chemical Specialties Inc.
- U.S. Borax
For more information
Call the Antimicrobials Hotline at 703-308-0127, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.