Burning treated wood in an indoor stove.

broccoli

Registered User
Messages
8
Hi,
Not sure if this is the correct place to post this query – apologies if not.
I am wondering if anybody has had any experience in dealing with neighbours who use treated wood as a fuel source. Their stove is used to heat water, and therefore they light a fire almost every day of the year including right through the summer. They work in the building trade, and take/receive off-cuts and leftovers from building sites, saw it up to size at home, and burn it in their stove. Their house is slightly elevated relative to ours (and to the houses on the estate backing onto ours), and depending on the weather conditions, our back garden can be out of bounds due to the smoke. There is often a chemical smell from the smoke, and I am concerned about the health implications for my family. They have young children, but don’t seem to be concerned – as in it doesn’t stop them from burning the fuel.
I am not sure how to proceed with this. I am afraid to broach it with them, as if we pursue it with the authorities afterwards then they will know it was us who complained. Also, I am not really sure how to pursue it.
Thanks in advance for any advice.
 

Leo

Moderator
Messages
10,650
Details from the US EPA here in relation to CCA treated wood.

The EPA may be best placed to advise.
 

Guns N Roses

Frequent Poster
Messages
546
Don't take risks with the health of your family.

An anonymous call to the EPA should be enough to alert them to the problem.
 

Leo

Moderator
Messages
10,650
Oh, I should point out that a lot of wood used in the building industry is not treated, and so is perfectly fine to burn.
 

Guns N Roses

Frequent Poster
Messages
546
Oh, I should point out that a lot of wood used in the building industry is not treated, and so is perfectly fine to burn.
That shouldn't reassure the OP that everything is fine. There neighbours are likely to be using a mix of treated and untreated wood unless they're being very selective about which type of wood there are accepting.

The amount of people I see using unsuitable fuels in their stoves is alarming.
I was visiting a friend some months ago and was shocked to learn that they having been burning all their children's nappies in their sitting room stove for years.

Not only will they shorten the life of their stove and flue, unsuitable fuels such as treated timber and nappies emit toxic fumes unless they are burned at extremely high temperature far exceeding anything a domestic stove can produce.
 

broccoli

Registered User
Messages
8
Thanks for the replies.

I do think that they are burning a mixture of fuels. Some days the smoke is like a normal fire, other days it is very heavy and often there is a very definite chemical smell to it. They built a block shed to store the fuel, and they filled it! A few days ago, they were sawing what looked to me to be laminate flooring, in their garden. I don't have proof that this ends up in their fire, and not sure how I would go about proving it - I guess this is where the EPA would advise, so I will read what it says on the website. I was just wondering if anybody reading this had any experience of something like this.

thanks.
 
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