Treated wood is regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a treated article. Treated articles do not have to be registered as a pesticide with the EPA if the treatment is only intended to protect the item or material from microorganisms or mold (fungi). This means that the U.S. EPA registers the treatment chemicals used on the wood as pesticides but does not require registration of the wood once it is treated.
In 2004, the wood-preserving industry voluntarily stopped selling wood treated with CCA to homeowners. The EPA was concerned about risks to workers in wood-treatment facilities and residues on the skin. For more information, see our FAQ about Chromated Copper Arsenate (CCA).
Reuse and disposal of treated wood is not regulated by the EPA. However, reusing old treated wood may put you at risk of exposure to wood preservatives that are not considered safe for use in or around the home. Reused or recycled treated wood often lacks the end tag that identifies the preservative used. It can be very difficult to identify what was applied to the wood based on its appearance alone.
State and local governments may have specific instructions, rules, or guidance for disposal. If you have treated wood to dispose of:
If you have questions about this, or any pesticide-related topic, please call NPIC at 800-858-7378 (8:00am - 12:00pm PST), or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.