Relative leaching and aquatic toxicity of pressure-treated wood products using batch leaching tests

Kristin Stook, Thabet Tolaymat, Marnie Ward, Brajesh Dubey, Timothy Townsend, Helena Solo-Gabriele, Gabriel Bitton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


Size-reduced samples of southern yellow pine dimensional lumber, each treated with one of five different waterborne chemical preservatives, were leached using 18-h batch leaching tests. The wood preservatives included chromated copper arsenate (CCA), alkaline copper quaternary, copper boron azole, copper citrate, and copper dimethyldithiocarbamate. An unpreserved wood sample was tested as well. The batch leaching tests followed methodology prescribed in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency toxicity characteristic leaching procedure (TCLP). The wood samples were first size-reduced and then leached using four different leaching solutions (synthetic landfill leachate, synthetic rainwater, deionized water, and synthetic seawater). CCA-treated wood leached greater concentrations of arsenic and copper relative to chromium, with copper leaching more with the TCLP and synthetic seawater. Copper leached at greater concentrations from the arsenic-free preservatives relative to CCA. Arsenic leached from CCA-treated wood at concentrations above the U.S. federal toxicity characteristic limit (5 mg/L). All of the arsenic-free alternatives displayed a greater degree of aquatic toxicity compared to CCA. Invertebrate and algal assays were more sensitive than Microtox. Examination of the relative leaching of the preservative compounds indicated that the arsenic-free preservatives were advantageous over CCA with respect to waste disposal and soil contamination issues but potentially posed a greater risk to aquatic ecosystems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-163
Number of pages9
JournalEnvironmental Science and Technology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry


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