Pine wood is used in many homes and in different capacities due to its high qualities. But what you do not know is that treated pine wood poses a certain degree of risk to your health. In fact it is not advisable to use pine wood treated with copper chromium arsenic (CCA) when building garden furniture, patios, exterior seating, or children's playground. CCA is one of the chemicals used in pine treatment. Even though the risk may be small, it is still important to handle treated pine with plenty of care while you are working on it.
Chemicals Used In Pine Treatment
Like other types of timber, pine wood is treated by different chemicals. They include boron compounds, copper chromium arsenic, and light organic solvent preservative (LOSP). The overall report regarding safety of pine treated with these chemicals is good, except when it comes to CCA treated pine. The question raised by most users is connected to the arsenic used in the treatment. Although the chemical (arsenic) is fixed within the wood, there is a possibility that it can find its way out of the wood's surface. If this happens, then it is possible that you can ingest or inhale the highly poisonous chemical.
Another product used in pine treatment is alkaline copper quaternary (ACQ). ACQ treated pine is safer to use and has elements (copper and ammonium) that deal efficiently with fungi and wood boring insects like termites.
How To Protect Yourself When Working With Treated Pine
When working with pine wood, there is a chance that you may come into contact with some of the chemicals used in pine treatment. No matter how small this chance may be, it is better to play safe than to be sorry later. The following are precautionary measures you can take while you are working with treated pine:
- If you are cutting treated pine wood, remember to wear a respirator to prevent yourself from inhaling the sawdust particles. A paper mask may not be enough.
- Wear goggles and gloves to avoid splinters.
Even if you have observed these measures with total care, it doesn't mean that you can't carry tiny particles of the chemicals with you. Due to this possibility, you should thoroughly wash your face and hands before eating and drinking. And to restrict the penetration of the chemicals through the skin, cover any cuts, abrasions, wounds or other existing skin injuries before you can start working with treated pine. For more information, talk to a professional like Australian Treated Pine.