University of Wollongong, 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 uses.]

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).]