Is pressure treated wood safe to use in the construction of compost containers in the yard?
I read the Cornell ‘Composting to Reduce the Waste Stream’ on your site. I do not like the idea it includes about using ‘pressure treated’ wood to construct compost containers in the yard. I wonder if you agree?
Kate Garland, Horticultural Professional
When the Cornell document was written (1991) pressure treated lumber was made using CCA (Chromated Copper Arsenate). The chromium and copper weren’t really a problem but the arsenic certainly had issues. For years pressure treated wood was not recommended for raised beds because of the arsenic and potential to leach. Plants really don’t absorb arsenic. More commonly gardeners get exposure directly from breathing soil dust and ingestion of soil particles.