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Pressure Treated Wood

Arsenic is a notoriously deadly poison, but for twenty years it was the most common preservative applied to wood used to build playgrounds and outdoor decks in neighborhoods across the United States. As a result, these structures, where children and families play and eat, are the largest source of arsenic exposure for an overwhelming majority of Americans.

This source of arsenic exposure will now be virtually abolished as a result of a major victory won by the Healthy Building Network and its allies in 2001. A campaign against pressure treated wood spearheaded by HBN led the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to halt the manufacture and sale of arsenic-treated wood for most residential uses as of January 1, 2004.

HBN's campaign against treated wood shifted over $4 billion in materials purchases from toxic materials to healthier alternatives that are comparable in both price and performance to the materials they replaced.

"The wood treatment industry and the EPA finally reached the common sense conclusion that the best way to protect kids from arsenic wood was not to affix a poison label to it, but to eliminate it," said Paul Bogart of the Healthy Building Network.
See the links below for more information about HBN's campaign against pressure treated wood.

For Consumers


  • HBN Testifies to the Consumer Product Safety Commissions on Pressure Treated Wood
    On March 17, 2003, Paul Bogart of the Healthy Building Network testified before the CPSC about the dangers of arsenic-treated lumber and the necessary next steps to protect children.
    Read the Testimony

  • Consumer Product Safety Commission Finds Pressure Treated Wood Increases Risk of Cancer in Children
    In response to a petition filed by the Healthy Building Network, the CPSC released a report on Feb. 7 linking arsenic-treated lumber to increased cancer rates in children.
    Read the HBN Press Advisory
    Read the CPSC Statement
    Read the CPSC Fact Sheet

Links to Campaign Partners

For more information on Arsenic in Drinking Water Contact:

For More Information on How To Ban Arsenic as a Pesticide Contact: For More Reports from the Environmental Working Group: For More Information About the California Proposition 65 Action on Playground Manufacturers Contact:

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