Arsenic in the Soil from Pressure Treated Wood

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Re: Arsenic in the Soil from Pressure Treated Wood

Postby Farm Fence Solutions » Thu Sep 20, 2018 10:55 am

CCA is still legal for agricultural use. To be certified organic for livestock, or other crops, no treated lumber can be within 25' of the "organic" animal or plant.
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Re: Arsenic in the Soil from Pressure Treated Wood

Postby Jogeephus » Thu Sep 20, 2018 11:03 am

Arsenic is one of the most common elements in our soil and many animals need it to grow properly. There are also two types of arsenic. Organic and inorganic. I believe the inorganic is the most toxic. CCA was made from the less toxic type. My take is that anything, including water, is toxic if you get enough of it.
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Re: Arsenic in the Soil from Pressure Treated Wood

Postby callmefence » Thu Sep 20, 2018 11:05 am

We used to run a crew full time building wood privacy fence. I remember the old treated lumber was way better than the new. But when I was handling it on a very regular basis, I was glad to see the arsenic go.
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Re: Arsenic in the Soil from Pressure Treated Wood

Postby True Grit Farms » Thu Sep 20, 2018 3:25 pm

callmefence wrote:We used to run a crew full time building wood privacy fence. I remember the old treated lumber was way better than the new. But when I was handling it on a very regular basis, I was glad to see the arsenic go.

Why is that? We used to dip lobster traps in CCA, couldn't get the copper taste out of my mouth for days.
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Re: Arsenic in the Soil from Pressure Treated Wood

Postby callmefence » Thu Sep 20, 2018 3:38 pm

True Grit Farms wrote:
callmefence wrote:We used to run a crew full time building wood privacy fence. I remember the old treated lumber was way better than the new. But when I was handling it on a very regular basis, I was glad to see the arsenic go.

Why is that? We used to dip lobster traps in CCA, couldn't get the copper taste out of my mouth for days.


Yeah that's pretty much it. Carrying the damp treated lumber on a sweaty shoulder was pretty much like showering in it. Glad it didn't bother you.
I didn't like it.
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Re: Arsenic in the Soil from Pressure Treated Wood

Postby Bright Raven » Thu Sep 20, 2018 4:45 pm

Jogeephus wrote:Arsenic is one of the most common elements in our soil and many animals need it to grow properly. There are also two types of arsenic. Organic and inorganic. I believe the inorganic is the most toxic. CCA was made from the less toxic type. My take is that anything, including water, is toxic if you get enough of it.


Very good grasshopper. ;-)

Going a step farther. There are many species of inorganic arsenic. BTW: the term species is also applicable to chemistry and refers to the different inorganic compounds that include the arsenic atom. In a pure sense, there is only one arsenic - elemental arsenic (As) on the periodic table. When one says there is more than one arsenic, they mean it comes combined with different other elements to form a compound of arsenic.

People wonder why EPA has to do site specific risk assessments when cleaning up contamination. It is because every site contains different forms or compounds of arsenic.

It gets very complex.

Edited to add: toxicity is not only a function of concentration. It is also a function of bioavailability. A very high concentration can be less toxic than a much lower concentration if the higher concentration is not readily bioavailable.
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Re: Arsenic in the Soil from Pressure Treated Wood

Postby Jogeephus » Thu Sep 20, 2018 6:47 pm

Bright Raven wrote:
Jogeephus wrote:Arsenic is one of the most common elements in our soil and many animals need it to grow properly. There are also two types of arsenic. Organic and inorganic. I believe the inorganic is the most toxic. CCA was made from the less toxic type. My take is that anything, including water, is toxic if you get enough of it.


Very good grasshopper. ;-)

Going a step farther. There are many species of inorganic arsenic. BTW: the term species is also applicable to chemistry and refers to the different inorganic compounds that include the arsenic atom. In a pure sense, there is only one arsenic - elemental arsenic (As) on the periodic table. When one says there is more than one arsenic, they mean it comes combined with different other elements to form a compound of arsenic.

People wonder why EPA has to do site specific risk assessments when cleaning up contamination. It is because every site contains different forms or compounds of arsenic.

It gets very complex.

Edited to add: toxicity is not only a function of concentration. It is also a function of bioavailability. A very high concentration can be less toxic than a much lower concentration if the higher concentration is not readily bioavailable.


A few years ago I did some reading on arsenic after it was found in the drinking water in a small town in our county. Government came in with a bunch of grants and things and purchased land about a mile from the town and then they stuck down a 12" well and built a water tank. After building all this they took a water sample and found this water also contained arsenic so they scrapped the whole project and sold the land to a friend of mine for pennies on the dollar and he now has one heck of an irrigation system for his crops. People in the town are still drinking from the old well so it must not have been that big of a problem in the first place.
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Re: Arsenic in the Soil from Pressure Treated Wood

Postby Bright Raven » Thu Sep 20, 2018 7:03 pm

Jogeephus wrote:
Bright Raven wrote:
Jogeephus wrote:Arsenic is one of the most common elements in our soil and many animals need it to grow properly. There are also two types of arsenic. Organic and inorganic. I believe the inorganic is the most toxic. CCA was made from the less toxic type. My take is that anything, including water, is toxic if you get enough of it.


Very good grasshopper. ;-)

Going a step farther. There are many species of inorganic arsenic. BTW: the term species is also applicable to chemistry and refers to the different inorganic compounds that include the arsenic atom. In a pure sense, there is only one arsenic - elemental arsenic (As) on the periodic table. When one says there is more than one arsenic, they mean it comes combined with different other elements to form a compound of arsenic.

People wonder why EPA has to do site specific risk assessments when cleaning up contamination. It is because every site contains different forms or compounds of arsenic.

It gets very complex.

Edited to add: toxicity is not only a function of concentration. It is also a function of bioavailability. A very high concentration can be less toxic than a much lower concentration if the higher concentration is not readily bioavailable.


A few years ago I did some reading on arsenic after it was found in the drinking water in a small town in our county. Government came in with a bunch of grants and things and purchased land about a mile from the town and then they stuck down a 12" well and built a water tank. After building all this they took a water sample and found this water also contained arsenic so they scrapped the whole project and sold the land to a friend of mine for pennies on the dollar and he now has one heck of an irrigation system for his crops. People in the town are still drinking from the old well so it must not have been that big of a problem in the first place.


Arsenic was one of the contaminants in Butte, Anaconda and the Clark Fork River. Along with Lead, mercury, copper, etc. The only scientific means to determine the risk of arsenic is to conduct a Risk Assessment. The Risk Assessment for arsenic alone filled 4 large binders. Many do not realize that contamination cleanup is much different than a discharge permit. Industrial plants have specific discharge standards set by permit or statute. In a cleanup situation, the responsible party almost always litigates what the cleanup levels are. Every aspect of those size projects are litigated. There is enough research on that project to fill an ocean.
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Re: Arsenic in the Soil from Pressure Treated Wood

Postby True Grit Farms » Thu Sep 20, 2018 7:26 pm

callmefence wrote:
True Grit Farms wrote:
callmefence wrote:We used to run a crew full time building wood privacy fence. I remember the old treated lumber was way better than the new. But when I was handling it on a very regular basis, I was glad to see the arsenic go.

Why is that? We used to dip lobster traps in CCA, couldn't get the copper taste out of my mouth for days.


Yeah that's pretty much it. Carrying the damp treated lumber on a sweaty shoulder was pretty much like showering in it. Glad it didn't bother you.
I didn't like it.

Who knows that could be one of my problems.
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