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Arsenic

According to Florida Department of Health (DOH) environmental specialists, regulatory levels of exposure to arsenic are based on cancer risk. Exposure to around 10 ppm in soil is not expected to result in an increased risk of cancer in usual circumstances. Although the Department of Environmental Protection has set a soil clean-up target level of 0.8, the risk of cancer when soil is contaminated at 10 ppm is unlikely to be increased. This is because the time a child would spend playing on CCA treated wood or in the arsenic contaminated soil is too short to produce cancer, even if the child played at a contaminated site every day of their childhood.

In exceptional circumstances, a risk to human health may exist. These include:

  • When the arsenic concentration is much higher than 10 ppm.

  • If a child consumes large amounts of soil.

  • Improper handling of CCA treated wood (inhalation of sawdust or smoke from burning wood or direct skin contact with freshly treated wood).

When an increased risk of adverse health effects from environmental chemicals such as arsenic is found, the Florida Department of Health makes recommendations to the public and other state agencies on measures that can reduce the risk.

Note: The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) soil cleanup target level is currently 0.8 ppm. Soil concentrations of 10 ppm are referenced here only in response to recent public concerns about finding concentrations 5 - 10 ppm in playgrounds. The 10 ppm concentration is not intended to be a standard or guideline.

This is a scaled down version
of our main environmental health site. For more detailed information please visit our main site at http://www.doh.state.fl.us/chd/volusia/EH/index.html