CPSC Makes Right Decision on Arsenic-Treated Wood

CPSC Makes Right Decision on Arsenic-Treated Wood

CEI Urged Commission Not to Ban Wood Preservative
November 03, 2003

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Jody Clarke, 202.331.2252



Washington, D.C., November 4, 2003—The Competitive Enterprise Institute applauds the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s unanimous decision today not to ban the pesticide, chromated copper arsenate, in playground equipment. 


“It is very encouraging that the Commission, despite pressure from radical environmentalists, made the right decision and refused to ban playground sets treated with arsenic,” said Angela Logomasini, director of risk and environmental policy at CEI.  “CPSC effectively acknowledged that the risks associated with this wood are negligible.”  The decision is particularly important because, according to Logomasini, “It may help avert an unwarranted public health scare in which homeowners and communities panic about risks and needlessly tear down play sets and decks.”           


For more than 70 years, wood treated with the preservative that includes trace levels of arsenic has been used in commercial and residential products without ill health effects.  The chemical prevents decay and insect damage.  Based on flawed science and “phantom risks,” CPSC was considering a petition to ban the chemical for residential uses.  Logomasini testified against banning the product at a CPSC hearing earlier this year.