Pressure Treated Wood

Hazards and Alternatives

What you need to know about pressure-treated wood:



Disposal Options

Alternatives to Using CCA-Treated Wood:
Alternatives to CCA-treated wood include: wood treated with Ammoniacal Copper Quaternary (ACQ), recycled plastic lumber and wood/plastic composites, cedar, other wood, and reused lumber.

ACQ-treated wood contains no EPA-listed hazardous compounds. It meets the same standards as CCA-treated wood for above ground and ground contact for both the International Conference of Building Officials (ICBO) and the American Wood Preservers Association (AWPA).

Recycled plastic lumber and wood/plastic composites are extremely durable and require little maintenance. Plastic lumber can be sawed or drilled, and it also resists graffiti. Plastic lumber works best in low-load structural applications, such as decking, walkways, benches, and tables. It is not intended for load-bearing elements, such as posts, joists, and beams. Plastic lumber typically costs more to purchase, but when maintenance, repair, and replacement are factored in, plastic wood may cost less than traditional lumber.

Cedar is a naturally rot-resistant wood.

Other types of wood, such as spruce, may be used to avoid chemicals but might have to be replaced sooner. Spruce may last 10 years in an area with moderate precipitation and few wood-boring pests.

Used lumber can be found at some building material reuse centers. Contact EcoBuilding Bargains in Springfield at 413-788-6900.

This information was produced with funding from the
USDA Rural Utilities Service.