Changes in the physico-chemical and microbial nature of wetlands from the leaching of chromated copper arsenate (CCA)-treated wood

Mercer, Theresa and Lillie, M.C. and Smith, R.J. (2012) Changes in the physico-chemical and microbial nature of wetlands from the leaching of chromated copper arsenate (CCA)-treated wood. Conservation and Management of Archaeological Sites, 14 (1-4). pp. 99-114. ISSN 1350-5033

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.1179/1350503312Z.0000000009

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Abstract

Microbial activities are responsible for reducing the harmful effects of pollutants in different burial environments. Within wetlands in particular, microorganisms play an important role in the transformation of heavy metals and metalloids via direct or indirect oxidation/reduction. In turn, these microbial transformations can lead to the detoxification of pollutant elements such as copper, chromium and arsenic that comprise CCA-treated wood.

CCA was the most commonly used wood preservative in the UK (up until its partial ban in 2004). CCA prolongs the service life of wood by making it resistant to microbiological attack. As such, it has been regularly used in the construction of platforms and boardwalks in wetlands. However, recent concerns over the impact of the chemical constituents of this treatment on both the environment and human health have prompted the introduction of legislation in order to ensure that this type of treated wood is disposed of in accordance with the relevant health and safety guidelines.

In light of this information, it is important to assess changes in the physico-chemical and microbial nature of wetlands associated with the leaching of CCA from wooden structures. The results will not only provide a greater scope for understanding the implications associated with the in situ preservation of the archaeological resource contained within these environments, but also highlight the potential ramifications for wetland ecosystem dynamics.

Keywords:chromated copper arsenate, microbial activity, wetlands, leaching, heavy metal pollution
Subjects:F Physical Sciences > F850 Environmental Sciences
Divisions:College of Science > School of Geography
ID Code:34050
Deposited On:23 Nov 2018 10:41

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