fish and wood preservatives

Jo Pitt jopitt at
Wed Feb 23 14:24:15 EST 2000

Hi Fish- and Coral-listers

I have a question regarding the use of chromated copper arsenate (CCA)
pressure treated pine as pilings for marine structures.  A new "eco-resort"
has designed their "environmentally sensitive" tents to stand on pilings of
this material.  5 of these tents will located in 6 feet of water, a further
23 on the foreshore with one or more supports located in the intertidal
zone, and there will be 80 or so similar tents on land using the same
pilings to anchor them in the ground.  There will be walkways connecting
the nearshore tents to the shore, and these will also use the CCA treated

Does anyone know of any studies which have monitored how CCA treated wood
affects marine organisms.  Obviously they don't like it (!) and the point
of using it is that sessile benthos will not settle on it or bore into it.
But do the chemicals leach out of the wood into the water?  And if so, what
does CCA do to fish?  And corals?  Is leaching affected by temperatures or
salinity?  How far might the leachate spread and how conservative is it?  A
pilot tent has already been begun on land, but I have only just learnt of
the use of CCA treated wood and I need info in a hurry in order to
hopefully persuade the developers to use an alternate anchoring method.
10" pvc piping filled with concrete would probably be much more suitable
(for the marine environment at least), but I would also welcome any input
in that area.

Thanks in advance for your help.


Joanna Pitt, Ph.D.
Benthic Ecology Program
Bermuda Biological Station
Ferry Reach

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