Arsenic availability from chromated copper arsenate (CCA)-treated wood.

Document Type


Publication Date



Arsenic, Environmental-Monitoring, Environmental-Pollutants, Humans, Wood

JAX Source

J Environ Qual 2004 Jan-Feb; 33(1):173-80.


Lumber used to construct raised garden beds is often treated with chromated copper arsenate (CCA). This project aimed to determine (i) how far As, Cu, and Cr had diffused away from CCA-treated wood surfaces in raised garden beds under realistic conditions, (ii) the uptake of these elements by crops, and (iii) the effect of CCA solution on soil bacteria. This study showed that As, Cu, and Cr diffuse into soil from CCA-treated wood used to construct raised garden beds. To determine crop uptake of these elements, contaminated soil 0 to 2 cm from the treated wood was obtained from two different beds (40-50 mg kg(-1) As); control soil was collected 1.5 m away from the treated wood (<3-10 mg kg(-1) As). Four replicates of carrot (Daucus carota var. sativus Hoffm. cv. Thumbelina), spinach (Spinacia oleracea L. cv. Indian Summer), bush bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L. cv. Provider), and buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum Moench cv. Common) were grown in pots containing these soils in a greenhouse. After harvest, plant materials were dried, ground, digested, and analyzed for As by inductively coupled plasma-hydride generation (ICP-HG). Concentrations of As in all crops grown in contaminated soils were higher than those from control soils. The levels of As in the crops remained well below the recommended limit for As set by the United States Public Health Service (2.6 mg kg(-1) fresh wt.). To determine if bacteria in soils 0 to 2 cm from the treated wood had higher resistance to Type C chromated copper arsenate (CCA-C) solution than those from reference soils, dilution plates were set up using quarter-strength tryptic soy agar (TSA) media and 0 to 22.94 g L(-1) (0-1.25% v/v) CCA-C working solution. The microorganisms from soils adjacent to treated wood had greater growth on the CCA-amended media than those from reference soils outside the bed.

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