What Are the Dangers of Having Creosote-Treated Wood in Your Home or Workplace?

People have been incorporating old railroad ties and utility poles into the construction of their log cabins and rustic waterfront homes for many years. Some do it as a novelty, others to reduce building costs or out of a conscientious effort to recycle natural resources. However, the wood in these former outdoor fixtures may pose hidden dangers if it was treated with the common chemical preservative known as creosote. In fact, wood that has been treated with creosote can give off toxic fumes for decades.

The pungent odor of creosote, often described as similar to mothballs, is usually the first clue that these vapors are present in a home or workplace. However, the awful smell is hardly the property owner’s biggest problem. The U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry (ATSDR) lists several potential dangers of using creosote-treated wood in buildings occupied by humans. The health risks include:

  • Respiratory illnesses
  • Skin damage, including rashes, blistering, and peeling
  • Eye damage, including increased sensitivity to light

Not only that, but both the International Agency for Research on Cancer and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have determined that creosote exposure can potentially cause cancer in humans.

What Can Be Done to Get Rid of Creosote Emissions in Your Home or Workplace?

It used to be that the only remedy available to property owners who discovered creosote-treated wood in their homes or commercial buildings was a tedious, labor-intensive process involving scraping, sanding, and refinishing the tainted wood. Even after all that work, creosote emissions often continued, making human occupation of the affected building unpleasant at best and, at worst, a health hazard.

Fortunately, there’s a far more effective and convenient way to tackle harmful creosote emissions: CreoShield®. This innovative coating, available exclusively from EnviroShield, can encapsulate the creosote fumes, thus eliminating the odor and reducing the emissions to levels that are safe for human exposure. The preparation needed is minimal – a simple power wash will do.

To learn more about the many advantages of using CreoShield® to remove creosote odors and address the dangers of creosote-treated wood in your home or business, contact EnviroShield today.