Navigation Links
Researchers: Treated wood poses long-term threat

Arsenic from treated lumber used in decks, utility poles and fences will likely leach into the environment for decades to come, possibly threatening groundwater, according to two research papers published online Wednesday.

Researchers from the University of Miami, the University of Florida and Florida International University examined arsenic leaching from chromated copper arsenate, or CCA-treated wood, from a real deck as well as from simulated landfills.

Their conclusion: The deck wood leached high levels of arsenic into rainwater runoff and the soil -- and treated wood only continued leaching arsenic while sitting in simulated landfills.

The papers appeared in the online version of the journal Environmental Science & Technology, Research ASAP. The bulk of the funding for the research came from the Florida Center for Solid and Hazardous Waste Management, a statewide research center hosted by the UF College of Engineering.

"What's important for people to realize is that arsenic is relatively mobile, so it's something we have to be relatively concerned about ?how to manage this huge stock of CCA wood that remains to be disposed of," said Tim Townsend, a UF associate professor of environmental engineering.

Earlier studies on the arsenic leaching problem prompted the wood products industry to phase out CCA-products for residential use in 2003, but CCA-wood can still be used in utility poles and industrial timbers.

Helena Solo-Gabriele, a professor of environmental engineering at the University of Miami, Townsend and their colleagues studied rainwater runoff from a CCA-treated deck for a year. Their conclusion: Arsenic contamination was 100 times higher than runoff from an untreated deck.

Not only that, but a layer of sand underneath the deck had arsenic levels 15 to 30 times higher than background levels, while water that percolated through the sand also was contaminated by the toxic metal.

"Only a sm all fraction leaches in any given year," Solo-Gabriele told Environmental Science & Technology Online News, the journal's news section. But because the wood can be in the ground for several years "the impacts can be significant, especially given the high concentrations of arsenic in the wood itself."

The researchers concluded that by 2000, Florida had imported 28,000 metric tons of arsenic, 4,600 of which have already leached into the environment, according to one of their papers. They predicted that as much as 11,000 additional tons of arsenic will leach from decks and other structures in the next 40 years.

That suggests that managers may want to carefully consider what should be the final resting place for CCA-treated wood that has been taken out of service, Townsend said.

"These estimates provide decision-makers with information that helps them decide whether or not CCA-treated wood should go into lined or unlined landfills," he said.

Unfortunately, however, that won't end the problem. A mathematical model based on the researchers' experiments estimated that between 20 and 50 tons of arsenic may have leached into construction and demolition landfills in Florida before 2000, with an expected increase of between 350 and 830 tons of the heavy metal by 2040.

Florida law does not require that construction-and-demolition landfills be equipped with linings. Although there isn't yet much evidence of groundwater contamination in monitoring wells around those landfills, that could well become a problem, said John Schert, director of the Florida Center for Solid and Hazardous Waste Management.

"The leaching research conducted by the team suggests that arsenic contamination of the groundwater under these landfills may be a large future problem that future generations have to deal with," Schert said.

One possible solution is to require linings, Schert said. However, that might put many of the landfills out of busines s.

"This would probably lead to much more illegal dumping of construction-and-demolition waste in remote, rural and agricultural locations," he said. "Illegal dumping of construction and demolition waste in Florida is already a big problem."


'"/>

Source:University of Florida


Related biology news :

1. Embryonic Stem Cells Treated With Growth Factor Reverse Hemophilia In Mice: UNC Researchers
2. Mouse study reveals human X-SCID gene therapy poses substantial cancer risk
3. HIVMA opposes The Gambias unproven AIDS remedy
4. Chemical guidance of T cells leads to immunologic memory and long-term immunity
5. World shark attacks dipped in 2005, part of long-term trend
6. Joslin discovers signs of residual islet cell function in people with long-term type 1 diabetes
7. Tracing the formation of long-term memory
8. Proteins necessary for brain development found to be critical for long-term memory
9. Radiation therapy combo cures prostate cancer long-term
10. Ocean dead zones trigger sex changes in fish, posing extinction threat
11. Spring migration of pink-footed geese under threat
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:4/15/2016)...  A new partnership announced today will help ... in a fraction of the time it takes ... life insurance policies to consumers without requiring inconvenient ... Diagnostics, rapid testing (A1C, Cotinine and HIV) and ... weight, pulse, BMI, and activity data) available at ...
(Date:4/13/2016)... April 13, 2016  IMPOWER physicians supporting Medicaid patients ... a new clinical standard in telehealth thanks to a ... the higi platform, IMPOWER patients can routinely track key ... body mass index, and, when they opt in, share ... visit to a local retail location at no cost. ...
(Date:3/29/2016)... 29, 2016 LegacyXChange, Inc. (OTC: ... and SelectaDNA/CSI Protect are pleased to announce our successful ... a variety of writing instruments, ensuring athletes signatures against ... collectibles from athletes on LegacyXChange will be assured of ... DNA. Bill Bollander , CEO states, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 Houston Methodist Willowbrook ... Cy-Fair Sports Association to serve as their official ... Houston Methodist Willowbrook will provide sponsorship support, athletic ... with association coaches, volunteers, athletes and families. ... Cy-Fair Sports Association and to bring Houston Methodist ...
(Date:6/23/2016)...  The Biodesign Challenge (BDC), a university competition that ... living systems and biotechnology, announced its winning teams at ... New York City . The teams, ... at MoMA,s Celeste Bartos Theater during the daylong summit. ... curator of architecture and design, and Suzanne Lee ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , ... June 23, 2016 , ... STACS DNA Inc., ... Leader at the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory, has joined STACS DNA as a Field ... DNA team,” said Jocelyn Tremblay, President and COO of STACS DNA. “In further expanding ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016  Blueprint Bio, a company ... to the medical community, has closed its Series A ... Nunez . "We have received a commitment ... capital we need to meet our current goals," stated ... us the runway to complete validation on the current ...
Breaking Biology Technology: