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Timber report PR dressed in store-bought lab coat

Timber report "PR dressed up in a store-bought lab coat"

A report issued by the timber industry in an attempt to clear the use of arsenic in timber treatment has been described as "PR dressed up in a store-bought lab coat" by Green MP Sue Kedgley.

"It is standard practice for industries to expend considerable resources on studies products in an attempt to cast doubt on scientific evidence that calls for a ban on one of their products", said Ms Kedgley, Green Health Spokesperson.

The New Zealand Timber Industry Federation released the report that said that the use of copper chromium arsenic (CCA) as a timber treatment has a "true risk of close to zero."

Kedgley disputed the timber industry report saying that CCA is being banned in many overseas countries because exposure to it was linked to increased risk of cancer, especially amongst children.

"New Zealand needs to take a precautionary approach, follow the example of the rest of the world, and phase out the use of CCA on exposed timber and remove it from environments such as playgrounds."

Australia, Europe and the United States are all phasing the use of CCA on exposed timber. "CCA timber is proven to be dangerous, and there are now safe and cost-competitive alternatives. So exactly why is the timber industry dragging its' feet?

"Instead of mounting this desperate rearguard action it should put the interests of the health of New Zealanders ahead of its own quest for profits."

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