Arsenic in the Soil from Pressure Treated Wood

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jltrent

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Wood post before 2004 contained arsenic and test have shown a soil contamination of at least 8' around them. According to the EPA experts this can cause health hazards. Can the dirt just be dug up and taken to a landfill? Also could this be causing health problems for my cattle?

https://www.co.thurston.wa.us/health/ehhm/cca.html
 

Dave

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Well there is arsenic in the soil. Actually it is there naturally too. All those years I did soil tests for people the city people would want soil test for arsenic. When I would tell them that they indeed had arsenic in their soil it would shock them. It is not a matter of is it present. It is at what level does it need to reach to be harmful.
 

Bright Raven

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I would not worry about the amount of arsenic that would leach out of a fence post. No. It is extremely unlikely it would hurt a cow based on the percentage of their total diet that would come from around the fence posts.

Arsenic is naturally occurring and the levels depend on the geological history of the area. The rocky Mountain region tends to have high arsenic levels.

As the Remedial Project Manager on the Butte Montana Priority Soils Superfund Project, Arsenic was one of the major contaminants of concern along with lead. On that site, the arsenic was the result of hard rock mining.

To set action levels for arsenic and other soil contaminants, site-specific risk assessments have to be conducted to determine the clean up levels. 90 % of the named responsible parties have enough money and resources that the EPA cannot pull cleanup levels out of the clear blue sky. They have to be demonstrated through risk assessments. Many times like in Butte, we fed contaminated soils to hogs to determine bioavailability and effects.

There are generally no specific legal levels set in statute. It all has to be proven in scientific study and evaluated by toxicologists.
 

Stocker Steve

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Bright Raven":2vi2dhb4 said:
Many times like in Butte, we fed contaminated soils to hogs to determine bioavailability and effects. There are generally no specific legal levels set in statute. It all has to be proven in scientific study and evaluated by toxicologists.

How do you know when a hog is toxic?
 

Rafter S

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jltrent":3hy3q0zo said:
Wood post before 2004 contained arsenic and test have shown a soil contamination of at least 8' around them. According to the EPA experts this can cause health hazards. Can the dirt just be dug up and taken to a landfill? Also could this be causing health problems for my cattle?

https://www.co.thurston.wa.us/health/ehhm/cca.html

Only if you're in California.
 

Bright Raven

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Stocker Steve":3gp64ssi said:
Bright Raven":3gp64ssi said:
Many times like in Butte, we fed contaminated soils to hogs to determine bioavailability and effects. There are generally no specific legal levels set in statute. It all has to be proven in scientific study and evaluated by toxicologists.

How do you know when a hog is toxic?

The study of bioavailability of metals in hogs as a proxy for using humans was developed in Great Britain. They feed the hog known quantities of the species of contaminants from a specific site. It is a long explanation so briefly, they deduce how much is absorbed into the hog and how much is excreted. That provides data on whether the contaminant is bioavailable. Some forms of lead in silica for instant pass right through. Zero bioavailability. Thus, you cannot enforce a cleanup if there is ZERO risk. Hogs are much like humans in function. Thus, they act as a proxy. If they show high levels of lead in tissue then a model (IBUK) is used to determine "toxicity ". I am summarizing what is contained in volumes.
 

ALACOWMAN

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Stocker Steve":299bb5fw said:
Bright Raven":299bb5fw said:
Many times like in Butte, we fed contaminated soils to hogs to determine bioavailability and effects. There are generally no specific legal levels set in statute. It all has to be proven in scientific study and evaluated by toxicologists.

How do you know when a hog is toxic?
This is a good indicator ..https://www.google.com/search?q=dead+pi ... KXPnQomsSM:
 

wbvs58

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It's good for you. The old geriatric tonics used to have arsenic and strychnine in them to give the oldies a bit of pep. Now they just have viagra.

Ken
 

MtnCows93

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i know a guy that burned a old pile of treated wood out in his pasture and the cows ate the ashes and killed 8 of his cows
 

Bright Raven

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MtnCows93":1ks8wu84 said:
i know a guy that burned a old pile of treated wood out in his pasture and the cows ate the ashes and killed 8 of his cows

That is a pathway of a totally different nature. In that case the arsenic and other preservatives would be concentrated in the ash. In which case, there is a clear pathway for the cows to get a lethal dose.
 

JMJ Farms

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MtnCows93":3ultjo2y said:
i know a guy that burned a old pile of treated wood out in his pasture and the cows ate the ashes and killed 8 of his cows

Heard of this some years back. Good thing somebody told me too bc I wouldn’t have ever given it a second thought. What compels them to eat the ashes?
 

Bright Raven

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JMJ Farms":qgoy4sa7 said:
MtnCows93":qgoy4sa7 said:
i know a guy that burned a old pile of treated wood out in his pasture and the cows ate the ashes and killed 8 of his cows

Heard of this some years back. Good thing somebody told me too bc I wouldn’t have ever given it a second thought. What compels them to eat the ashes?

Minerals. They are attracted by the salts and minerals in ash.
 

msplmtneer

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When I worked at a wood treating plant ne of my jabs was to check the solution for the % of chrome,copper and arsenic also in the wood. I also sampled water out of a water cooler on city water, the iced tea I took to work and Mountain Dew soda I can't remember the numbers but everything I sampled had arsenic in it the Mountain Dew had the most. Some time in the late 1990s or early 2000 Congress outlawed arsenic in the treatment of wood for the general public. As far as I know it was nation wide, we changed to a different chemical that we had to add separate from separate tank it was about twice as costly and we used a tanker load about every other day. The CCA solution we used before we used about two loads a week. The new chemical was commonly called Quat was more corrosive than the CCA and more harmful to critters and humans, I touched some pipe that had some Quat spilled on it and was hosed off and had dried and was burned on both of my forearms it is nasty stuff it eats metal but is legal. So yes Arsenic is nasty also but it is natural and you can find it every where but not in lethal amounts but there is a warning sheet you should have been given where you bought the wood that tells you not to burn scrap treated wood to dispose of it in a landfill or incinerator. :tiphat:
 

Farm Fence Solutions

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CCA is still legal for agricultural use. To be certified organic for livestock, or other crops, no treated lumber can be within 25' of the "organic" animal or plant.
 

Jogeephus

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Arsenic is one of the most common elements in our soil and many animals need it to grow properly. There are also two types of arsenic. Organic and inorganic. I believe the inorganic is the most toxic. CCA was made from the less toxic type. My take is that anything, including water, is toxic if you get enough of it.
 

callmefence

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We used to run a crew full time building wood privacy fence. I remember the old treated lumber was way better than the new. But when I was handling it on a very regular basis, I was glad to see the arsenic go.
 

True Grit Farms

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callmefence":2qdk2xbb said:
We used to run a crew full time building wood privacy fence. I remember the old treated lumber was way better than the new. But when I was handling it on a very regular basis, I was glad to see the arsenic go.
Why is that? We used to dip lobster traps in CCA, couldn't get the copper taste out of my mouth for days.
 

callmefence

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True Grit Farms":173vawm8 said:
callmefence":173vawm8 said:
We used to run a crew full time building wood privacy fence. I remember the old treated lumber was way better than the new. But when I was handling it on a very regular basis, I was glad to see the arsenic go.
Why is that? We used to dip lobster traps in CCA, couldn't get the copper taste out of my mouth for days.

Yeah that's pretty much it. Carrying the damp treated lumber on a sweaty shoulder was pretty much like showering in it. Glad it didn't bother you.
I didn't like it.
 

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