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Chromated Copper Arsenate (CCA):
Evaluating the Wood Preservative Chromated Copper Arsenate (CCA)

CCA Table of Contents

Current as of February 12, 2002

Under Federal law, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is responsible for regulating the sale, distribution, and use of pesticides in the United States, and establishing maximum levels of pesticides in or on food. To ensure that older pesticides continue to meet current science and regulatory standards, EPA reassesses the science and uses of these pesticides in a reregistration program. In addition, in this program EPA determines whether changes are appropriate to ensure the safety of pesticides' continued use. This document provides an overview of how EPA is conducting its comprehensive review of CCA under this program, along with some of the key issues under consideration. On February 12, 2002, EPA announced a voluntary decision by industry to move away from consumer use of CCA treated lumber by December 31, 2003, in favor of new alternative wood preservatives.

EPA's Reregistration Review Process

Since 1988, EPA has been conducting a comprehensive review of older pesticides (those initially registered before November 1, 1984) to consider their health and environmental effects and to make decisions about future use. EPA is currently reassessing CCA under this reregistration program. Our assessment is grounded in:

Sound Science: EPA is conducting a thorough review of the latest public health and environmental studies available on CCA. We have also been consulting with other Federal agencies for their guidance and opinion, and have received external peer review on key elements of our risk assessment.

Stakeholder Involvement: We are consulting with states and foreign countries that have taken regulatory actions on CCA to understand their scientific assessments and the reasons for their regulatory standards. We are also working closely with wood treaters, CCA product registrants, retailers, other Federal agencies, trade associations, and public interest groups.

Public Participation: We are dedicated to maintaining an open dialogue with the public and allowing concerned citizens the opportunity to take part in our decision-making processes. By making our assessments public, opening comment periods, and conducting public meetings, we ensure that our regulatory decisions are comprehensive, well-balanced, and consider stakeholder concerns.

Expediting Key Components

As part of the Agency's review of the science and uses of CCA-treated wood, EPA placed special emphasis on two issues: evaluating potential risks to children playing on play-structures constructed of CCA-treated wood, and the need to ensure that CCA safety information was readily available to consumers. In giving these issues priority attention, EPA took the following actions:

Focusing on Children: Early 2001, the Agency began conducting a focused assessment of the potential exposure of children to playground equipment built with CCA-treated wood. We are reviewing the recommendations we have received from our independent panel of scientific experts on that assessment, while considering the next steps we plan to take in light of the recent change in the registration status of CCA.

Improving the Safer Use and Handling Practices Program: In Summer of 2001, EPA worked with the wood preservative industry, registrants, major retailers, and public interest groups to expand the CCA consumer awareness program. The expanded program includes labeling on all pieces of CCA-treated lumber, in-store displays and additional information available to the public.

Please visit the CCA fact sheet, which includes Question and Answer documents, open comment periods, upcoming meetings, and other updates, or visit EPA's Pesticides' home page.

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