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Burning Treated Wood


Joined: Nov 05, 2011
Posts: 2
I just burned pressure treated wood, and then discovered I was not supposed to do that.  Great!  Now what do i do with the ashes?  They say it contains arsenic.
Hugh Hawk

Joined: Aug 21, 2011
Posts: 225
Location: Adelaide, South Australia (Mediterranean climate)
It might contain arsenic, it depends on the type of treatment (copper chrome arsenate or CCA is the older style, now there are others like ACQ which don't contain arsenic.)

Since the treated wood is sent to landfill I assume that's where the ashes need to go too.  I don't think it requires any special kind of waste management (despite what we know about dumps leaching nasty stuff out years after they are filled and abandoned.)

Please set your climate and location to display

Joined: Jul 10, 2010
Posts: 114
Location: Nashville, Tennessee, USA
Take the ashes to a Home Depot manager.
He should know what to do with them.

We live in Nashville, Tennessee, USA
Larry Pobiak

Joined: Nov 06, 2011
Posts: 1
Here is a bit of interesting info:

"CCA treatment leaves about one ounce of inorganic arsenic in each 12 foot 2 x 6. This is enough arsenic, if released, to kill about 250 adults."  from:

also from same source:

Burning CCA wood releases the chemical bond holding Arsenic in the wood, and just one Tablespoon of ash from a CCA wood fire contains a lethal dose of Arsenic.


Even more astonishing, minute amounts of 'fly ash' from burning CCA pressure treated wood, can have serious health consequences. The Journal of the American Medical Association reported on a family that burned CCA in a wood stove for winter heating. Their hair fell out, all family members suffered severe, recurring nosebleeds, extreme fatigue and debilitating headaches. The parents complained about 'blacking out' for periods of several hours, followed by long periods of extreme disorientation. Both children suffered frequent seizures described as 'grand mal'. The symptoms were finally traced to breathing minute amounts of arsenic laden dust leaking from the furnace as fly ash. The family's houseplants and fish died, too, victims of copper poisoning from the same dust. Peters HA, et al: Seasonal exposure to arsenic from burning CCA wood. JAMA 25112393-96, 1984)

So, please be careful handling that dust!

Hugh Hawk

Joined: Aug 21, 2011
Posts: 225
Location: Adelaide, South Australia (Mediterranean climate)
Wow.  I wouldn't have burnt it anyway, but I had no idea that the consequences could be that dramatic.

Treated pine is a very popular material.  I wonder how the new treatments fare in terms of toxicity.  I don't think they are supposed to be burned still.

Joined: Nov 05, 2011
Posts: 2
Thanks for the responses.
There should be more information available to the customer when making the purchase  --something like "hey dummy, don't burn, eat or smoke this"
For cleanup: I wet the ashes down so they would not be flying about, then once the water was drained off, put the remains in a thrash bag and sent it to the dump. 
But, it makes we wonder how many Americans have this stuff sitting in their yards having no idea of its toxicity.

subject: Burning Treated Wood