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Sources of environmental arsenic include smelters, electric power plants using arsenic-rich coal, and soil and water found in certain parts of the world.18

Human poisoning from the burning of CCA-impregnated wood has not been previously reported and represents the probable source of arsenic exposure in this family. Fowler18 warned in 1977 that the burning of CCA-treated wood should be studied as a potential health hazard. Our studies of the kitchen-living area were done in the summer and disclosed notable contamination with CCA-rich ash. In the winter months while the CCA-treated plywood was being burned, we would have anticipated even greater contamination. With the increased popularity of burning wood for household heating purposes, the environmental health hazard of burning CCA-treated wood needs recognition and evaluation. The role of chromium and copper in contributing to these health problems is conjectural. We would suggest that all three elements could be responsible for this kaleidoscopic clinical pattern.

Joy Savides Felker provided advice and secretarial aid and Lee Sjouik, MS, contributed technical assistance.


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