Since we started in 1972, we have provided timber fencing materials for a lot of homeowners in the Brisbane area. We sell CCA treated hardwood for use in building timber fences. CCA can be toxic in certain situations, but there seems to be a lot of misinformation out there. Here are some facts about CCA treated hardwood.
What is CCA?
CCA stands for “chromated copper arsenate.” As you can probably guess from the name, it is a combination of chromium, copper and arsenic. It has been used as a timber preservative since the 1930’s. CCA timber usually leaves a greenish tint on the timber it treats.
CCA is controversial because of the arsenic. Arsenic is a pure elemental crystal that occurs in many minerals but is poisonous in high amounts. However, the arsenic content in CCA treated timber isn’t bioavailable to humans or animals. You would have to eat timber to ingest any arsenic. This is why it is so good against termites.
Even in playgrounds, levels of arsenic after wear and tear are not enough to be toxic, according to testing in the US. Even though testing conducted by an independent panel of physicians in Florida led to the conclusion that CCA is safe, it has been banned for certain applications in the US and Australia.
There is only one instance when CCA treated timber is dangerous: if it is burned and anyone inhales the smoke. That does make the arsenic bioavailable to whoever breathes it in. However, it can still be used for timber fencing and we are wholeheartedly in favour. Here’s why.
Benefits of CCA Treated Hardwood in Timber Fencing
The chromium in CCA is pretty much inert and serves as a binder to hold the solution together. The copper provides protection against bacteria and fungi that can rot the timber. The arsenic provides protection against insects such as lyctid borers and termites. The solution as a whole seems to provide some weather resistance and can help paint stick to the surface.
To learn more or to talk to customer service, call Narangba Timbers today: (07) 3888 1293.