University of Wollongong  [Printer-friendly version]
October 1, 2006


[Rachel's introduction: A student thesis considers precaution in
relation to copper-chromium-arsenic (CCA) treated wood products. The
thesis argues that precaution needs to be applied not only to future
uses of toxic chemicals, but to problems remaining from previous

By Mary Scott

Now available: Mary Scott, The Precautionary Principle and Residual
Products: CCA as a Case-Study, Honours thesis, University of
Wollongong, 2006 [2 Mbyte PDF]

The goal of the Precautionary Principle is to safeguard the
environment and humans through reducing unnecessary risks and
minimizing harm likely to be generated by industry. A range of
products were introduced before the advent of the Precautionary
Principle. Some of these have since been banned from sale in some
locales because of their potential risks.

It is imperative that the Precautionary Principle be applied to
residual and waste products and not just future applications. Timber
preserved with copper chrome arsenate (CCA) is a residual product
requiring urgent attention. CCA-treated timber provides a good case
study to demonstrate the need for extending the Precautionary
Principle to residual products containing toxic substances.

[Click here to download the thesis (pdf -- 2 MB).]