CCA is a chemical compound used in the lumber industry to slow wood decay. Wood is a vital part of construction but it is a natural material subject to decay over time. To slow this, the timber industry created a compound of copper, chromium and arsenic to preserve timber. Of the compounds in CCA, arsenic has been linked to most injuries. The CCA is leached out of the wood by burning or direct contamination. CCA preserves wood by getting rid of certain cellulose and lignin materials that can be used as food for fungi and pests. CCA exposure can occur by burning or by leeching in which the chemical seeps into its surrounding environment.
Adverse Effects of CCA
Arsenic is the chemical that has been causing injuries to those exposed by CCA. Arsenic can be tested through, hair, urine and fingernail samples. Renal damage, spasms, jaundice and hypertension can all result from exposure to arsenic. The severity of the injuries depends on the amount and duration of the exposure.
Current Status of CCA
The EPA has recently enacted regulation on the use of CCA. However, it is an effective wood preservative and still widely used worldwide in the timber industry. One of the most common ways of CCA exposure is through burning. Avoid scrap wood from construction sites since wood designated for building construction is treated with chemical compounds for better durability. If you think you might have been exposed to toxic levels of CCA, consult your physician. Contacting an attorney specializing in defective products or toxic exposure can help retain your legal rights and strengthen your ability to recover for the injuries you have suffered.