Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): Charles K. McMahon; Parshall B. Bush; Edwin A. Woolson
    Date: 1986
    Source: Forest Products Journal , 36(11/12): 45-50.
    Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
    PDF: View PDF  (296 KB)


    Abstract. Waterborne salts have been used to preserve wood for many years. One of the more common formulations contains copper, chromium, and arsenic salts and is known as chromated copper arsenate, or CCA. Questions have been raised about the amount of arsenic released when CCA treated wood is burned in wood stoves, fireplaces, or boilers. Distribution of the ash which contains residual chemicals also presents a problem. This study was undertaken to clarify the amount of total arsenic released to the atmosphere when CCA treated wood is burned under various combustion conditions and to determine from selected samples the nature of the arsenical chemicals released to the atmosphere. Through the use of a horizontal tube furnace laboratory procedure, we found the amount of arsenic released ranges between 22 and 77 percent, with the higher values occurring when the fuel ash is exposed to high temperatures for long periods. Arsenic that is released is found primarily in condensed (particulate) emissions and consists of arsenates and arsenites. Percentages of copper and chromium volatilized were found to be 11 and 15 percent, respectively.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    McMahon, Charles K.; Bush, Parshall B.; Woolson, Edwin A. 1986. How much arsenic is released when CCA wood is burned?. Forest Products Journal , 36(11/12): 45-50.

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page