EU bans arsenic in wood preservatives

The European Commission yesterday announced a ban on the use of arsenic in wood preservatives, except for a restricted number of industrial applications. The ban, to be in place by 30 June 2004, will also apply to treated wood. Arsenic is the latest substance to be added to a list regulated under the EU's 1976 chemicals' marketing and use directive (EED 06/01/03). The Commission proposed the ban in 2001 after scientists recommended tougher restrictions on wood preservatives containing arsenic because of its genotoxic and carcinogenic nature (EED 11/12/01). See directive text.

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