Pressure treated wood&small children

Old 04-21-05, 01:49 PM
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Pressure treated wood&small children


Correct my logic where it is wrong anywhere.....

I thought I read somewhere that small children shouldn't play on/touch pressure treated wood (i.e. outdoor porches/decks) because the cyanide that is used in the treatment of the wood can be poisonous in rare circumstances. I thought I also read that the EPA was going to come up with an "offical" way to seal these pressure treated decks so that the cyanide can't come into contact with children's skin if it is touched.

So is the above statement correct, and if it is, how should I treat my pressure treated deck so that it is safe for small children to touch?


P.S. is it cynaide or arsenic?
Old 04-21-05, 02:23 PM
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They don't pressure treat wood with cynaide or arsenic anymore. Now they use Alkaline Copper Quaternary (ACQ) compounds.

If you have an old CCA PT deck, seal it every couple of years with a good sealer (Cabot's, Silken's, SuperDeck, etc) and you shouldn't have to lose sleep about the kids playing on it. If you choose to save a bit of money (in the short term), use a less expensive sealer like Thompson's or Behr. You'll have to seal the deck EVERY year (twice as much time involved) and you'll pay more over a 2 year period for it than you will if you opt for the first ones I mentioned. ($15 EVERY year, or $25 every 2 years!)
Old 04-21-05, 03:10 PM
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Thanks Lefty....
Old 04-22-05, 12:39 AM
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I sure hope they're right about ACQ being safe, or at least safer than CCA. What concerns me is the list of safety precautions for ACQ. This was taken off an ACQ website:

*Wear a dust mask and goggles when cutting or handling treated or untreated wood.
*Wear gloves when working with treated or untreated wood.
*After working with wood, wash exposed areas thoroughly.
*Do not burn pressure-treated wood.
*Wash work clothes separately from other household clothing before reuse.
*Pressure-treated wood should not be used where it may come into direct or indirect contact with drinking water, except for uses involving incidental contact such as fresh water docks and bridges.
*Do not use pressure-treated wood in circumstances where the preservative may become a component of food, animal feed, or beehives.
*Do not use pressure-treated wood for mulch.
*ACQ treated wood scraps and cut offs should be disposed of in a non-hazardous material lined landfill in accordance with local, state and federal regulations.

That list sure sounds like something toxic; in fact it sounds a lot like the same precautions they used to have for CCA! Could be that it was written by a bunch of lawyers, though; guess time will tell if there's any problems with ACQ.

Old 04-22-05, 09:45 AM
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CCA was banned for use at schools, parks, etc. ACQ is legal as far as i know. That warning is typical lawyers warnings so the manufacturer can cover his behind. In years to come tissue boxes will come with a warning label of 'Do not inhale while using this product' and tooth brushed will say 'Do not swallow while using this product'.

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