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Author: Subject: Chromated Copper Arsenate Splinter
Hennig Brand
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[*] posted on 9-3-2018 at 12:22
Chromated Copper Arsenate Splinter

If this topic has been covered before, apologies in advance.

I got a splinter a couple of months ago or more and did not remove it for a few hours. The splinter was from very heavily pressure treated CCA (chromated copper arsenate) hemlock lumber. The splinter was between the last knuckle and the end of the finger, it became sore and swollen a week or two after removing the splinter (a bit sore at first as well). Now the location where the splinter was is not sore or swollen but the next section down, between the last knuckle and the next one closer to the hand is swollen and stiff/sore. There may have been a tiny peice of the splinter still in deep, but i did have a hard look and even carefully cut it open in the first couple weeks to have a peek and could see nothing. A new cleaned with alcohol utility knife blade and alcohol for sanitation was used, the microsurgery didn't seem to make it better or worse, just cost a little blood. At this point the upper section is fine but the swellling is gradually travelling as stated, where the splinter and inspection was done now feels fine.

The splinter was thin but long, and it was in for a while since it was tough to get at and I continued doing carpentry work. All or most (?), did come out as stated, but there may have been a tip broken off very far in, also the pressure treated material had some time to leach out into the finger even if all of the splinter was remove.

The pressure treat material, chromated copper arsenate, has arsenic and copper to kill organisms that try to feed on the lumber, the hexavalent chromium is there to bind the copper and arsenic to the wood from what I have read.

I would appreciate any suggestions for having these toxins pass out of my body, or harm reduction idea, rather than getting lodged somewhere, such as my liver, and causing inflammation and/or a related health issue.

Edit: Now that I think about it it may have been a couple days until I got it out, it was one of those hidden ones, past all layers of skin.

Thank you,

One advantage to having a swollen middle finger, you can give someone the finger with EMPHASIS. ;)

[Edited on 9-3-2018 by Hennig Brand]

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[*] posted on 9-3-2018 at 13:36

Sounds more like infection than toxin to me.

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[*] posted on 9-3-2018 at 13:58

Bacterial infection would be my first guess as well. And while most clear up with some cleaning and antiseptics they can dig in and get real nasty.

I recently got an infection in my elbow. After an xray, ultrasound, MRI, half a dozen CRPs, one treatment with antibiotics and two with anti-inflammatory drug they still thought it was bursitis/tendinitis. It took almost 3 months before the infection finally surfaced. Two months later I doubt I have more than 50% strength in that arm, god knows how long it will take before it's completely healed.

My advice? Go see a doctor.

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9-3-2018 at 18:36
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[*] posted on 10-3-2018 at 04:40

More likely a foreign body reaction or infection than heavy metal poisoning.

I too have had slivers from treated wood, the stuff is awful for cracks and splinters due to the way it is first treated in a pressureized waterborne salts bath while green, then too quickly dried. No heavy metal poisoning, sometimes bad abscesses before the last bits came out.

Try soaking the affected finger in the hottest water you can stand for several minutes, repeat 3X/day? Peripheral areas don't have the greatest blood supply, using heat to expand all the capillaries and bring plenty of white blood cells into the fight will help bring a foreign body infection to a head.

If you have been doing heat treatment and it's gone on this long without come to a head, it is probably doctor time.

Infections INSIDE a finger joint are bad for your future mobility, as are infections inside a tendon sheath- The infection can spread inside the sheath and run a long ways quickly, one of my crew had this happen to him from a sliver of glass, ignored it for a couple of days and it went up his hand and arm. He then spent a week in a hospital on IV antibiotics with a surgical drain installed. He lost a lot of that hand's grip and mobility for quite a while.
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