Chemical Speciation and Bioaccessibility of Arsenic and Chromium in Chromated Copper Arsenate-Treated Wood and Soils

This research compares the As and Cr chemistry of dislodgeable residues from chromated copper arsenate (CCA)-treated wood collected by two different techniques (directly from the board surface either by rubbing with a soft bristle brush or by rinsing from human hands after contact with CCA-treated wood) and demonstrates that these materials are equivalent in terms of both the chemical form and bonding of As and Cr and in terms of the As leaching behavior. This finding links the extensive chemical characterization and bioavailability testing that has been done previously on the brush-removed residue to a material that is derived from human skin contact with CCA-treated wood. Additionally, this research characterizes the arsenic present in biological fluids (sweat and simulated gastric fluid) following contact with these residues. The data demonstrate that in biological fluids the arsenic is present primarily as free arsenate ions. Arsenic-containing soils were also extracted into human sweat to evaluate the potential for arsenic dissolution from soils at the skin surface. For soils from field sites, only a small fraction of the total arsenic is soluble in sweat. Based on comparisons to reference materials that have been used for in vivo dermal absorption studies, these findings suggest that the actual relative bioavailability via dermal absorption of As from CCA residues and soil may be well below the current default value of 3% used by U.S. EPA.