Is It Safe to Burn Pressure-Treated Lumber?

I use a woodburning stove and frequently burn scraps from home repair projects. I have a lot of scraps left over from a deck project, but I've heard that you shouldn't burn pressure-treated lumber. Why?

Ian Hyding Salem. OR

O Definitely do not burn pressure-treated lumber—much of which has been treated with arsenic compounds as well as other chemicals. Tests have shown that the arsenic is often released by high temperatures and is absorbed by people who have been exposed to the burning material. Dumping the scrap at a landfill is the only method of disposal approved by the Environmental Protection Agency.

You should also take precautions when working with pressure-treated lumber. Cut the wood outside or in a well-ventila ted area and wear a good dust mask. Be sure to wash before eating, drinking or using tobacco—and launder your work clothes separately from the rest of your wash.

Jerry Winandy USDA Forest Products Lab Madison, W1

Using Driers

None of the commercial Japan driers I've used recommend how much to add to finishes to hasten drying. I've tried adding Japan drier in various amounts to a tung oil/varnish/mineral spirits mix, but it doesn't seem to help. Can you give me some guidelines?

Don Berger Oconomowoc, WI

OThe use of driers (metallic salts) is a complex science. It's difficult to give exact specifications for all possible combinations of finishes. This may be the reason you don't find instructions on the product labels. However, I suspect that you may be using the wrong drier with the wrong oil: Japan driers do next to nothing for tung oil. And they arc only somewhat effective on linsccd-oil-based finishes.

If you want to use an oil/varnish/sol-vent finish. I suggest using linseed oil instead of tung oil, and cobalt drier instead of Japan drier. Cobalt driers, usually sold in a 6 percent mixture in a carrier oil, are available at art supply stores (or by mail order from Pearl

WHERE TO FIND IT V8-in.-wide chisels are available from Garrett Wade Inc., 161 Ave. of the Americas, New York, NY 10013, (800) 221-2942.

Gold leaf supplies are available from Woodworker's Supply, 1108 N. Glenn Rd., Casper, WY 82601, (800) 645-9292.

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