; Influence of CCA-treated pine structures on the arsenic content of soils in preschool playgrounds near Melbourne, Australia
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Influence of CCA-treated pine structures on the arsenic content of soils in preschool playgrounds near Melbourne, Australia

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The arsenic content of soil was determined in three playgrounds at Healesville, near Melbourne, that contained copper-chromium-arsenic (CCA)-treated pine structures. The highest background arsenic content of Healesville topsoil and subsoil was 9.1 and 14.6 mg/kg ovendry basis, respectively. The mean arsenic content found near CCA-treated pine was mostly similar to the control samples, although the highest reading obtained was 23.9 mg/kg. Highest arsenic contents in control samples from Warrandyte, a site 30 km from Healesville, were 31.7 and 46.4 mg/kg for topsoil and subsoil respectively. The highest reading found at Healesville was below the 30 mg/kg average used by the APVMA to determine the level of health risk, or lack of risk, that might be posed to children playing on CCA-treated timber structures in Australia. The results indicate that there is no need to remove existing CCA-treated pine structures from the preschools at Healesville, based on health risk concerns from arsenic. The depth of wood chips normally placed around playground equipment to cushion falls, further reduces the likelihood of contact with arsenic-containing soil. [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT]

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