Over the past year or two,
— long the American
standard for outdoor living
spaces and playground equipment
— has taken a beating over allegations
that the arsenic used to treat it is a
possible health hazard. The lumbertreatment
industry has sought to put
such concerns to rest by phasing out
CCA in favor of less toxic alternatives
(see Notebook, 4/02).
Even without arsenic, though, pressure-
treated decking has shortcomings.
Homeowners don’t like the
hassle of annual water sealing and
maintenance. Builders hate dealing
with its wane, warp, and diminishing
quality. And people in both categories
could live without its nasty splinters.
Pressure-treated lumber has a lower
up-front cost, but that advantage will
dwindle as CCA is replaced by the