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The wood in most playground sets, picnic tables and decks contains potentially hazardous levels of the same poison at the center of the debate over the safety of America's drinking water: arsenic. An Environmental Working Group analysis finds that even if the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency keeps its promise to lower permissible levels of arsenic in drinking water, it will not be able to protect the nation's children from arsenic unless it regulates a more pervasive source of arsenic in "pressure-treated" wood.
The East Coast's leading manufacturer of wooden playground equipment, PlayNation Play Systems, Inc., announced today that it will discontinue the use of arsenic-treated lumber, becoming the first national playground manufacturer to exclusively use arsenic-free preserved wood in the construction of treated wood playgrounds.Read More
The Healthy Building Network (HBN) and the Environmental Working Group (EWG) today petitioned the Consumer Product Safety Commission to ban arsenic-treated wood in playground equipment and to review its safety for use in other consumer items.Read More
The Center for Environmental Health (CEH) announced today that it has filed legal notice to sue the manufacturers of wooden playground equipment treated with arsenic.Read More
In September 2000, researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that every single one of the 289 persons tested for the plasticizer dibutyl phthalate (DBP) had the compound in their bodies. The finding passed with little public fanfare, but surprised government scientists, who just one month earlier had rated DBP of little health concern based on the scientific assumption, which later turned out to be wrong, that levels in humans were within safe limits. DBP causes a number of birth defects in lab animals, primarily to male offspring, including testicular atrophy, reduced sperm count, and defects in the structure of the penis (CERHR 2000).Read More
-A massive government review has concluded that the most widely used insecticide in the United States poses excessive safety risks to millions of American each year who are exposed when they use the chemical to kill bugs in their homes or gardens, or consume food contaminated with the compound.Read More
Seal or remove arsenic-treated wood decks & play structures. Those built before 2003 likely contain arsenic. Don't allow children to eat at older picnic tables (or cover them with a cloth). Have kids wash hands after playing near these surfaces, or avoid them altogether.Read More