Ethylenediaminetetracetic acid (EDTA) is one of the most common chelators used to bind the metal ions in extremely stable complexes in heavy metal contaminated soils and thus to remediate such substrates. EDTA forms water soluble complexes with many metal ions and it is used to release the various metals. In this study, EDTA extraction of copper, chromium, and arsenic from chromated copper arsenate (CCA-C) treated wood was evaluated using batch leaching experiments. CCA-treated wood samples were extracted with eight different concentrations of EDTA for 4, 8, 18, and 24 h at room temperature. Exposing CCA-treated chips and sawdust to EDTA extraction enhanced removal of CCA components compared with extraction by deionized water. Grinding CCA-treated wood chips into 40-mesh sawdust provided greater access to and removal of CCA components. Extraction with 1% EDTA solution for 24 h removed 60% copper, 13% chromium, and 25% arsenic from treated chips. EDTA extraction of treated sawdust samples resulted in 93% copper, 36% chromium, and 38% arsenic removal. CCA leaching from treated wood blocks was also evaluated according to modified AWPA E11-99 standard test method of determining the leachability of wood preservatives. Leaching of CCA components from treated wood blocks with 1% EDTA solution for 14 days caused more copper leaching compared to leaching with deionized water. Leaching with 1% EDTA for 14 days removed 53 % copper from the blocks whereas 14% copper was leached from the blocks with deionized water. The results suggest that EDTA extraction removes significant quantities of copper from CCA-treated wood. Thus, EDTA could be important in the remediation of wood waste treated with the newest formulations of organometatic copper compounds and other water-borne wood preservatives containing copper. (C) 2002 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.