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Over the past year or two, pressure-treated decking — 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 new