I am curious about your views of using treated lumber for a raised bed. My...

Asked March 26, 2019, 2:22 PM EDT

I am curious about your views of using treated lumber for a raised bed. My research shows that current treated lumber is safe for edible beds and that the copper that is used is actually locked in the soil if it leeches into it. Just wondering your thoughts, or research. Thanks!

Butler County Ohio raised bed material treated lumber for raised beds

1 Response

There are several excellent sources of information on the use of treated lumber in a vegetable garden. The EPA considers treated wood safe since the elimination of arsenic in pressure treated wood. You, however, may be especially sensitive or have a more conservative approach. Precautions you might take can be found in the links below. https://web.extension.illinois.edu/dmp/eb284/entry_9875/ An excerpt: "The toxicity concerns regarding pressure treated wood have been primarily focused on the toxic effects of arsenic in CCA-treated lumber. Studies have shown that, although most of the elements used in CCA are fixed in the wood, some amount of arsenic, chromium, and copper can be dislodged from the lumber as a result of exposure to rain, deck washes, containing brighteners, and irrigation water. Good news is that On February 12, 2002, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a voluntary decision by the wood preserving industry to phase out the use of wood preservatives that contain arsenic for any wood products destined for consumer use. That means that CCA treated-treated wood is no longer available to the public and no longer an issue for gardeners unless using older wood purchased before 2003." https://extension.oregonstate.edu/gardening/techniques/raised-bed-lumber-pressure-treated-safe http://npic.orst.edu/ingred/ptype/treatwood/gardenuse.html