Rivers Laced With Arsenic: Is Lumber The Culprit?

Call it the case of the unexplained arsenic. When James G. Sanders, director of the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences' Benedict Estuarine Research Laboratory in Benedict, Md., tried to account for all the arsenic in Chesapeake Bay waters, he found that only about 10% of the poison came from known sources. Then, looking out his lab window one day, he saw builders driving pilings into the nearby Patuxent River. Could lumber, pressure-treated with a mixture of chromium, copper, and arsenic to prevent rotting, be the culprit?

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