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CCA Treated Lumber - Safe or Not
Do It Yourself

I want to build a fence of CCA treated yellow pine. I have heard it is toxic. Is it safe to use for fences at my home?

According to the State of Connecticut, Department of Public Health is it under certain conditions. They released a report April 6, 1999 to the Connecticut Building Contractors and Remodelers that can be summarized in part as follows.

CCA treated wood contains arsenic in small quantities. Arsenic in large quantities can kill you. It is a poison. Small amounts can leach from the wood into the soil from outdoor use of CCA treated lumber. This will not contaminate your soil to the degree where testing is required, but certain precautions should be taken to avoid the danger of long term exposure.

  • Properly seal with sealants, preferably oil-based stains.

  • keep children and pets out of under-deck areas.

  • Don't grow edible plants directly next to it.

  • Use plastic liners on the inside of CCA boards used for frame garden beds.

From my own knowledge base, I recommend you don't use it as firewood for family cookouts when roasting your weenies. Don't use it in your interior fireplaces. Don't burn it all. Don't make toothpicks out of it or cutting boards. I think you have the right idea.

Author: Frank R. Hoover, Hoover Fence Co.
25 years+ in the fence business

Copyright 1999 Hoover Fence Co.
May be reprinted as long as the source is acknowledged
August 31, 1999


All content copyright Hoover Fence Co. and Hoover Enterprises, June 1999.
4521 Warren Rd., Newton Falls, OH 44444,  Phone: (330) 358-2335