The Safe Playgrounds Project


Texas Defensive Driving Course Online

As it turns out, Sir Isaac Newton had a lot to say about driving or, at least, the driving environment. You remember, the guy who, according to the popular and well known account who “discovered” gravity after an apple fell on his head. As a side note, don’t you think that at least one other person in all of the history before Newton’s breakthrough would have noticed that “what goes up must come down”? But, I digress.

But how, you may ask, did Newton, who was so late in coming to the gravity dance, have anything worth a darn to say about the car? After all, didn’t the car make the scene approximately three hundred years after his death?

Not only did Newton postulate about things going up and down, but also about how things move forward as well. The first of his now famous “Three Laws of Motion” states that “an object in motion tends to stay in motion until acted upon by another force”. This is why one can only throw a baseball so far until another force (gravity) pulls it to the ground. As it turns out, this important principle becomes a life and death (or, at least, serious injury) situation inside of an automobile.

The wood wipe test essentially requires you to pick a wood surface that you would like to test, and tape the provided template to this surface. You will then use the provided wipe to sample the surface three times, folding the wipe as you proceed. This wipe technique is intended to simulate typical hand contact with CCA wood surfaces and will indicate how much arsenic is being released by that particular wood surface. You will then place the wipe in the plastic vial and mail it in the provided return envelope (with the questionnaire) to the Environmental Quality Institute’s laboratory. You should expect to receive test results and an explanation of your results within two to three weeks.

Since there may be different levels of arsenic residue on each wood surface, you may want to focus on testing surfaces that are touched most frequently. If you would like to test more than one surface, you will need more than one test kit. Also, if you are coating or “sealing” a CCA-structure, you may be interested in testing your structure both before and after sealing. (Note that horizontal surfaces can be expected to need recoating most frequently, tilted surfaces next, and vertical surfaces least frequently.)

Note: You will need a take Defensive Driving course which is not included with the kit from here.

There are two basic types of soil tests. You may want to test the soil near where your kids play or where your pets may come into contact with it.

  • Choose a “Hot spot” kit to test soil near or underneath your wood structure. This test can identify high or medium levels of arsenic contamination in soil.
  • Choose a "Detailed" kit to test soil near or underneath your wood structure as well as soil from another location in your yard. This extra sample will help to correct for “background” levels of arsenic contamination in the soil and identify low levels of arsenic in the soil underneath your wood structure. By taking a soil sample in another location of your yard (at least 10 feet away and not downhill from the wood structure), you can identify the “background” level of arsenic that is naturally present in the soil. This will give you an indication of how much arsenic contamination the particular wood structure has contributed to the soil below the structure.

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