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Arsenic Found in North Texas Parks

Submitted by jrlaw on Mar 9th, 2009

WFAA has conducted an investigation that has found arsenic in picnic tables around north Texas. Arsenic is a chemical known to cause cancer and other heath problems. It was used for over 30 years to preserve wood. Although consumers can no longer purchase wood treated with arsenic, there still remains old wood in use throughout the Metroplex.

This creates a particular problem for children, who tend to put their fingers and hands in their mouths. This means that the arsenic can end up in their digestive track.

WFAA tested a number of picnic tables and found they had a significant amount of arsenic on the surface of the wood in Cedar Hill State Park and at city parks in Dallas and Duncanville. The cities immediately began replacing the wood once notified. Although the risk of contamination is low, city officials state that it is crucial to reduce or eliminate exposure to hazardous chemicals.

The tables at Cedar Hill State Park showed the highest level of arsenic exposure. Meanwhile, the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife has thousands of picnic table that may contain arsenic.