Absorption of arsenic by edible plants

Planter nospam at nospam.com
Wed Mar 22 08:25:29 EST 2000

Maria Luna and Mark Bornfeld wrote:
> My neighbor just erected a barricade fence made of pressure-treated
> wood, right next to my vegetable patch.  I know how toxic this wood is:
> just ask the people at Home Depot to cut it to size for you, and they'll
> tell you they can't do it due to health regulations. I also read
> somewhere that over time, the arsenic compound used to treat
> pressure-treated lumber can leach into the surrounding soil.
> My question is: What risk, if any,  is posed by eating vegetables/fruits
> planted near pressure-treated wood structures? I have planted tomatoes,
> strawberries, and arugula in the past, and had planned to plant a few
> raspberry bushes. Should I revise my plans?

HA... HA... you will never receive a direct answer to your question
(maybe not in this lifetime)---A WORD TO THE WISE!!!  I've been
following this controversy for years.

Considering the billions upon billions of dollars involved in wood
products (and their uses) you would be hard pressed to find anyone
to attempt RELIABLE research to determine wheather arsenate
preservatives leach into the soil and pose a health hazard.  To every
claim that an animal who chewed treated wood and suffered extensive
tissue destruction of the jaw there will be a claim of research to
prove treated wood is safe.  The situation is akin to tobacco---until
recently perhaps.  

My approach to the issue is simple enough... there is enough
controversy, coupled an absence of reliable testing, to just not bother
using pressure treated wood, or plant near it.  Sorry you have the
problem you do---a characteristic of high density urban life.  
Relocate you beds or relocate your residence is really the only

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