It’s a wonderful thing to have a back yard big enough for your children to play in, and even have a swing set or other playground equipment? But are you sure it is safe?
If it is made from pressure treated wood, you may want to be check on what was used to treat the wood. Although they have finally agreed to stop, suppliers used to treat wood with a pesticide called chromated copper arsenate (CCA), which contains arsenic. Although CCA has not been formally banned, nor is it likely to be banned at this time, manufacturers no longer make it.
Now, the danger may not be terribly severe, but children are the most susceptible to poisoning from this kind of source. Not only are they smaller than adults, but children are the ones climbing all over the equipment, and may eat off it as well. Most will show no symptoms, but they may have increased cancer risk for their lifetime.
What can you do about this? The obvious one is to get rid of the equipment, but as such wood is also used in decks and picnic tables, this may not be viable for all families.
Fortunately, you can simply seal the deck twice a year to limit or prevent contact with the arsenic. The Consumer Products Safety Commission is testing to see which products work best, but for now I would simply suggest avoiding the cheapest of the products.
Also make sure your kids wash their hands after playing and do not allow food on the equipment.
If you have a picnic table you believe may have been treated with this, seal it as well and consider using a plastic tablecloth as well to minimize contact.
Although the arsenic exposure from such products is believe to be minimal, perhaps even less than from other sources, it is one form of contact which can be easily controlled.
Playing It Safe: Part 1 - Planning and Constructing a Safe Backyard Playground
A backyard playground is a great way to keep the kids busy, but it's also an easy place for them to get hurt. With proper planning and construction, you can cut down the odds of serious injury.
Playing It Safe: Part 2 - Protective Playground Surfaces - Which Option is Right for You?
One of the best ways to protect children in your backyard playground is to have an appropriate play surface. Get the information you need to make an educated decision.
Do You Have Recalled Items in Your Home?
Checking on the safety of things you and your family use in your home could be very important. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources to make this relatively easy.
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