More on that another time but one thing that has been popping up all over is stuff made from pallets.
I get it – they are usually FREE and with the skyrocketing cost of wood, they are an alternative to budget friendly building supplies. This is for pallets you “rescue” from the trash, not ones you buy new…
Just look at some of these fun projects:
Here’s the problem: the wood is usually tainted in some form.
It can happen several different ways:
1) They are usually treated with chemicals.
Pallets are usually made of engineered wood and cardboard. They’re oftentimes loaded with formaldehyde (a known carcinogen). I am old enough to remember the treated wooden playground structures that used to be in almost every city park – that were dangerous to children for that reason – they were treated with toxins like arsenic, etc. They are also usually fumigated (see #3). Fumigation is often performed with methyl bromide, a highly toxic, ozone-depleting chemical.
2) How were they used?
A lot of the stuff shipped on the pallets, could include noxious items that off-gas themselves. A pallet can be used, and reused MANY times before being “rescued”, resulting in several different chemicals being involved. They can be shipped in and out of this country several times in their life.
Pallets are usually made of engineered wood and cardboard. Cardboard is one of the favorite things for creepy crawlies like cockroaches. One of those cute little bugs can leave 400 eggs behind.
In your house.
Seriously, if you are thinking about creating furniture out of pallets, just have a chat with an exterminator. (Don’t google it before you had your breakfast, seriously disgusting and you ALWAYS get pictures…)
YES, they are usually heat treated or fumigated (See #1) but that is WHEN THEY ARE MADE or when they are shipped overseas. This may not prevent infestation down the road…as they can be used over and over and over and over….(you get the idea)
Many of these sit outside, on and off, for up to on half of their life. Why feed it by bringing it into your house? I have a friend who almost lost their cabin because mold took it over – it cost their family a LOT of money to clean it up.
That all being said, just look at this toddler bed:
“I sanded and washed the pallets so they’re safe.”
“I know where the pallets came from.”
Just click on his name to read the full article, it’s not that long.
Now, for OUTSIDE stuff? Again, cute pictures:
I’m not so sure I want to eat food out of a garden with newly contaminated soil –
know what I mean?
Bottom line: it’s GREAT to be frugal!!!
We just have to be smart about how we do it.