Homeowners often use wood that contains creosote, such as sleepers and telegraph poles, in their gardens and yards. Creosote is a preservative, added to some wood to prevent it from rotting. Because the chemical can leach out of wood into the surrounding soil, the Environmental Protection Agency discourages residential gardeners from using creosote-treated wood and advises you to take precautions when working with and disposing of it.
- Skill level:
Things you need
Cut the wood into manageable lengths. Work outdoors, and wear a dust mask and safety goggles to protect yourself while you cut.
Clean up any sawdust that remains to prevent inhaling it.
Bury the wood well away from outdoor plants or place it in ordinary trash collection facilities, such as municipal waste landfills.
Tips and warnings
- Wear long-sleeved shirts, long trousers and gloves when handling treated wood.
- Wash exposed areas thoroughly after working with the wood.
- Never burn creosote-treated wood in an open fire.
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