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February 15, 1985

Toxic Effects of Marine Plywood

Author Affiliations

Orange Park, Fla

JAMA. 1985;253(7):980-981. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03350310062020

To the Editor.—  I read with interest the recent article regarding toxic effects from burning arsenic-treated (pressure-treated) wood.1 I recently had a bulkhead installed using such wood. Discussion with the builders indicated that they suffered from rough and irritated hands and had irritation of other parts of their body that were routinely in contact with the wood during construction. They usually did not wear gloves. This is clearly an effect of the chemicals contained in the wood, most notably arsenic, and is not usually seen in carpenters not using arsenic-treated wood. The effects may be accentuated in marine construction use, with the recent introduction of 1.13-kg treated wood. This wood has ten times the amount of chemicals found in the usual 0.11-kg pressure-treated wood used in land construction, the type most likely burned by the family in the aforementioned article. I suggest that appropriate warnings be distributed to lumber