In Vivo Percutaneous Absorption of Arsenic from Water and CCA-Treated Wood Residue

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This study was conducted to evaluate the dermal absorption of arsenic from residues present on the surface of wood preserved with chromated copper arsenate (CCA). The research reported herein used methods parallel to those of earlier research on the dermal absorption of radiolabeled arsenic (R. C. Wester et al., 1993, Fund. Appl. Toxicol. 20, 336–340), with modifications to allow use of environmental matrices that are not radiolabeled. These modifications include the surface area of application and dietary intake of arsenic, thus maximizing the potential for detection of dermally absorbed arsenic in exposed animals above diet-associated background levels of exposure. Two forms of arsenic were administered in this work. The first, arsenic in solution, was applied to the skin of monkeys to calibrate the model against prior absorption research and to serve as the basis of comparison for absorption of arsenic from CCA-treated wood residues. The second substrate was residue that resides on the surface of CCA-treated wood. Results from this research indicate that this study methodology can be used to evaluate dermally absorbed arsenic without the use of a radiolabel. Urinary excretion of arsenic above background levels can be measured following application of soluble arsenic, and absorption rates (0.6–4.4% absorption) are consistent with prior research using the more sensitive, radiolabeled technique. Additionally, the results show that arsenic is poorly absorbed from CCA-treated wood residues (i.e., does not result in urinary arsenic excretion above background levels).

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