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Chromated Copper Arsenate is a chemical compound mixture containing inorganic arsenic, copper, and chromium that has been used as a wood preservative since the 1940’s. The purpose of using CCA is to protect wood from dry rot, fungi, molds, termites, and other pests that can threaten the integrity of wood. By Jan. 2004, the EPA will not allow CCA products for residential uses. This includes wood used in play-structures, decks, picnic tables, landscaping timbers, residential fencing, patios and walkways/boardwalks.

Health Issues: Arsenic is a proven carcinogen.  However, the EPA has not concluded that CCA-treated wood poses an unreasonable risk and therefore does not believe that there is reason to remove or replace CCA treated structures such as decks or playground equipment.

Solutions: If you work with arsenic-treated wood in home projects, you should wear dust masks, gloves, and protective clothing to reduce exposure to sawdust. Annually sealing the wood with a penetrating coating (oil-based semi-transparent stains) may reduce the movement of preservative chemicals from CCA-treated wood. Children who play on CCA-treated playgrounds should wash their hands prior to eating. Do not compost or mulch sawdust or remnants from CCA-treated wood. For more information, please visit

Contact the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality

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