Pierre from St. Lazar, Quebec writes: This morning on CJAD radio you mentioned an article about the environmental issues around Pressure treated wood and that it was on the CJAD web site and also that it was quite safe. I hear all kinds of conflicting info on this and need as much info as possible to help me in making a decision. We are quite concerned about this as our son has Leukemia and wish to keep him away from anything toxic. Can you tell me where I can get this info.
The information that I was talking about is on my own web site, not that of CJAD: 'Is Pressure Treated Wood Safe?'
Remember that all the Health Canada testing is done with respect to children with "normal" immune systems. When you have an exceptionally delicate situation such as Leukemia, and if it were my own son, I would build the structure out of pressure treated wood, but I would make the top deck out of something that was absolutely inert with no possibility of leaching (pressure treated wood does leach a tiny bit, although well within limits set by Health Canada), and even checking for reactions to things that normally are not a problem. Regular white wood is not really a choice because either you have to treat it with strong chemicals to avoid rot, or you expose your son to mould and mildew spores from the rotting wood. The common choice for sensitive people is probably cedar, however many people have negative reactions to the natural oils in cedar. "Trex" (sawdust and re-cycled plastic) may be the most neutral material available that makes good decks. There are also decks boards made of vinyl as well as of fiberglass -- although I find that both of these tend to get quite hot in the sun. Then there is one natural but hard to find alternative that you can check out by following this link: 'Will Larch replace pressure treated wood?'
I hope this information helps you make a decision.