Burning treated timber ?

Discussion in 'Builders' Talk' started by Moto Slug, Nov 29, 2010.

  1. Moto Slug

    Moto Slug New Member

    Hi all,

    I have been burning the off cuts of timber on our open fire that I have been picking up on site, a lot of this timber is tanalized (treated) rafter ends, floor joist off cuts etc.

    My question is, is it safe to burn treated timber on an open fire, as some of the lads say that it is dangerous and gives off toxic fumes, we have never noticed any problems and I have burnt quite a bit so far.

    Moto Slug
  2. Mr. Handyandy

    Mr. Handyandy Screwfix Select

    Most likely to have problems with flammable soot deposits up chimney!

    Mr. HandyAndy - Really
  3. joiner1959

    joiner1959 Active Member

    Dont know about toxic fumes but burning a lot of softwood/pine in an open fire, not a good idea. Put fire service on speed dial!
  4. timber ninja

    timber ninja Member


    tanalised timber contains three toxic metals-  copper, chromium and arsenic. these are toxic in even small quantities.

    in more enlightened countries they advise using masks and gloves when handling/cutting.

    burning said wood will release these metals molecules into the air,

  5. RKS

    RKS Guest

    bad Idea burning treated wood. It releases the coating of arsenic and a cumulative poision used on it to protect the timber from rot.
  6. AustinPowers

    AustinPowers New Member

    Tanalith 'E' no longer contains arsenic, but does contain Copper and organic bio degradeable biocides.
    Not a good idea to burn on an open fire, but safer on a closed woodburner. However it will still produce pollutants when burnt. It should be disposed of in line with legislation and COSHH advice.
    Whether burning softwoods in quantity on your fire will produce problems with your chimney/flue depends largely on the condition and design of your flue, how dry the timber is and how good you are at controlling the burn rate. Hot smoke in a cold flue condenses as a tar residue that can become a serious fire risk. Have your flue professionally swept and checked to keep your household insurance valid.
    Try to burn seasoned Oak for the best possible open fire!
  7. Moto Slug

    Moto Slug New Member

    Thanks to all of you for your answers, thats very interesting, I will use up the last of the treated timber I have and get some more coal in.
    Thanks again,
    Moto Slug 
  8. diymostthings

    diymostthings Well-Known Member

    I actually did some research into this problem. The vast majority of toxic species remains in the ash.


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