Article 14611 of rec.gardens:
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From: jim.mcnelly@hal9k.ann-arbor.mi.us (Jim Mcnelly) 
Newsgroups: rec.gardens
Subject: Re: raised beds
Message-ID: <1878.104.uupcb@hal9k.ann-arbor.mi.us>
Date: 16 Mar 93 16:33:00 GMT
Distribution: world
Organization: HAL 9000 BBS, W-NET HQ, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
Reply-To: jim.mcnelly@hal9k.ann-arbor.mi.us (Jim Mcnelly) 
Lines: 38

To: daoffer@ccwf.cc.utexas.edu (Debora Offer)
From: jim.mcnelly@hal9k.ann-arbor.mi.us
Date: 15 Mar 93 12:38:40

DO>rd Lauria) writes:
DO>        >I am planning to build some raised beds for my garden.  It seems
DO>        >smart to use pressure treated wood to protect from rot, but it seem
DO>        >I remember seeing something awhile back that this was bad because
DO>        >the chemicals could leach into the soil and then into the plants.
DO>        >
DO>        >Is this true?  What have others done?  Not use PT wood?  Line the
DO>        >bed with plastic?

Pressure treated lumber, or Cromated Copper Arsenate, CCA contains over
3000 PPM arsenic and over 1000 PPM lead. The EPA sludge rules set the
acceptable limit for arsenic at 11 PPM and lead at 250. While it is
generally true that arsenic does not leach out of properly treated wood,
the sawdust is rarely vacuumed and disposed and it can run off into
surface water and permanently contaminate the soil. Improperly treated
wood can contain live aresenic crystals and the brochure that is
SUPPOSED to be handed out every time any CCA treated wood is sold warns
about contacting the wood with skin, as arsenic is a severe carcinogen,
notably for skin cancer. The info can be acquired from the Treated Wood
Assn at 800-241-0240. The scraps should NEVER be burned as both fumes
and ash are highly toxic. Currently, there is NO acceptable disposal
option for treated lumber, and the product does eventually decompose,
leaving its metals in the soil.

Jim the Compost Man~~~~~
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