EPA’s Decision to Ban Arsenic-based Pesticides Another Example of “Regulate First, Think Later,” Says Environmental Risk Expert

EPA’s Decision to Ban Arsenic-based Pesticides Another Example of “Regulate First, Think Later,” Says Environmental Risk Expert

February 12, 2002

Washington, D.C., February 13, 2002 — “The Environmental Protection Agency’s announcement that it will ban chromated copper arsenate (CCA) for residential use is another dangerous rush to regulatory judgment,” says Angela Logomasini, Director of Risk and Environmental Policy for the Competitive Enterprise Institute.  “The agency made this decision before completing its risk assessment on the product.”<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

 

Logomasini is reacting to the announcement this week that the lumber industry reached an agreement with the EPA to stop using the arsenic-based preservative CCA in pressure-treated wood used to build decks, playground equipment, and picnic tables.  Pursuant to that agreement, EPA will ban residential uses by January 2004.  More expensive preservatives will replace the arsenic.

 

The EPA concedes that it has not found the CCA-treated wood to pose a health hazard.  Logomasini points out that the EPA’s actions to ban its residential use came only after three companies agreed to phase it out.

 

“The end result of this action will hurt families financially because it will be more expensive to build decks, retaining walls, and other structures for their homes,” says Logomasini.  In addition, she believes the hysteria created by such rulings may also cause people to start dismantling structures composed of CCA treated wood, needlessly spending enormous sums of money to pay for new construction that won’t be any safer.  Hysteria created by environmental groups has already led a Florida day care center to dismantle playground sets.

 

Logomasini concludes, “The EPA’s rush to ban CCA is yet another example of the agency jumping the gun without scientific justification.  The problem with this approach is that the agency fails to see the serious tradeoffs they force the public to make.”

Ms. Logomasini can be reached for interviews at 202.331.1010, ext. 242, or through the media relations department at 202.331.1010.

CEI is a non-profit, non-partisan public policy group dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and limited government.  For more information about CEI, visit our website at www.cei.org.