Laboratory studies of CCA-C-leaching: influence of wood and soil properties on extent of arsenic and copper depletion

IRG/WP 02-50186

D Crawford, R F Fox, D P Kamden, S T Lebow, D D Nicholas, D Pettry, T Schultz, L Sites, R J Ziobro

The extent which a wood preservative leaches is important for efficacy studies and environmental concerns. However, little information exists on the effect soil properties have on leaching. This study investigated leaching of stakelets which had been cut from five different southern yellow pine (SYP) sapwood boards then treated with CCA-C to a target retention of 6.4 kgm-3 (0.4 pcf). All stakelets were leached for 12 weeks by a common laboratory method in five different soils or water, with five replicate stakelets per board/soil. The physical and chemical properties of the five different soils were determined and the average leaching of the individual components of CCA was correlated with the various soil properties. Unfortunately, migration of a soil component (likely iron) into the stakelets from at least one of the five soils interfered with Cr determination by X-ray fluorescence; consequently, Cr depletion was not studied. Stakelets cut from one board tended to have lower Cu and As losses than the average of the other four boards for all five soils and water, and stakelets from another board tended to have higher Cu losses. Stakelets from all five boards had similar initial Cu and As levels, suggesting that the board effect was not due to differences in initial retentions. Cu loss was approximately equal to or greater than As loss for stakelets exposed to all five soils, but for wood leached in water the As loss was about twice the Cu loss. The soil property which was most statistically correlated to Cu loss was % Base Saturation (r2 of 77%), with Soil Acidity (pH) also important as a single predictor, and the Cr and Cu Soil Contents important as secondary predictors. The relationship between % Base Saturation (or Soil Acidity) and % Cu leached was not linear, however. A negative correlation was observed between Soil Cu Content and the metal leached from wood. The best factor to predict As loss was the Soil Cu Content, with Exchangeable K and % Silt also contributing to give an overall r2 of 72.3%. The % Organic Matter and the Soil As Content were also important as secondary predictors. We conclude that depletion of CCA is extremely complex and that Cu and As depletion appears to be influenced differently by the soil properties. Furthermore, extent of leaching can vary between different wood samples of the same species and even samples cut from the same board; thus, leaching data are not precise. Recommendations are given for a standard laboratory method for ground-contact leaching.

Keywords: CCA-C (Chromated Copper Arsenate-type C), depletion, leaching, soil

Conference: 02-05-12/17 Cardiff, Wales, UK

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