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Burned old decking in my fire pit Saturday, how long til I die? (1 Viewer)

Joe Schmo

Footballguy
Weather was perfect for a burn this weekend so I cleared out a bunch of underbrush and fallen branches then decided to toss in some old pressure treated decking I pulled up a few weeks back. Didn't think twice about it until a buddy stopped by and told me I was crazy as there was all kinds of toxic chemicals in the smoke from the deck material that I was breathing in. Looked it up and yep, copper and arsenic. So, how badly did I shorten my lifespan and should I update my estate plan stat? Was burning the stuff for about two hours while drinking beer and eating nachos, if that makes a difference.
 
When was the deck put in? Arsenic was phased out of outdoor lumber in 2003.

Breathing it in isn’t great. The OSHA permissible exposure limit is 10 micrograms per cubic meter as an 8-hour time weighted average. For conceptual purposes, if you divide a grain of sugar into 1000 equal pieces, each piece would be 1 microgram. A standard metal old school blue US mail box is about 1 cubic meter in size. So 10 of those 1000 pieces of that grain of sugar inside one US postal box is when OSHA says you need to start using respiratory protection.

Not really sure what your exposure level actually was, but being that it was outdoors, unless you were standing right in the smoke, the health effects probably aren’t too awful. If you didn’t experience any acute symptoms (vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea), I wouldn’t worry too much.
 
I got a burn barrel recently and burned a bunch of yard waste (limbs, logs, etc) on Sunday a week ago. Thursday I dumped the ashes into a metal trashcan and noted there was still some heat there. Didn't really think too much about it and set the can in the garage. Not too much later I go into the garage and it was full of smoke. :cautious:

Sorry about your impending death though.
 
The deck was put in some time around 2005 so there's a chance the lumber still had arsenic but now I'm hopeful it didn't. (y) As for the breathing in, yeah I stayed mostly out of the line of smoke with only a few inhales but no effects felt. I'm definitely not burning the rest of the pile, I'll run it to the dump one of these days.

Nachos came out good and honestly I think the deck smoke enhanced the flavor profile a touch so I'll chalk it up to once in a lifetime culinary experience.
 
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I got a burn barrel recently and burned a bunch of yard waste (limbs, logs, etc) on Sunday a week ago. Thursday I dumped the ashes into a metal trashcan and noted there was still some heat there. Didn't really think too much about it and set the can in the garage. Not too much later I go into the garage and it was full of smoke. :cautious:

Sorry about your impending death though.
But your house/garage is still standing? Call that a win!(y)
 
I got a burn barrel recently and burned a bunch of yard waste (limbs, logs, etc) on Sunday a week ago. Thursday I dumped the ashes into a metal trashcan and noted there was still some heat there. Didn't really think too much about it and set the can in the garage. Not too much later I go into the garage and it was full of smoke. :cautious:

Sorry about your impending death though.
But your house/garage is still standing? Call that a win!(y)
Yeah, just some smoke. Drove our Jeep Friday (garage parked) and it had a nicely smoked smell inside.
 
Your friend is about 10% right and 90% ninny.

Exposure to treated wood increases the likelihood of cancer but at a level akin to a lab rat drinking a single diet soda.
 
Ok guess I gotta pick up some tights while I'm at Walmart replenishing my nacho fixin's. I need a logo and a color scheme and do I go for a simple mask or a full on cowl?? Perhaps a balaclava to combine the two...
 
Weather was perfect for a burn this weekend so I cleared out a bunch of underbrush and fallen branches then decided to toss in some old pressure treated decking I pulled up a few weeks back. Didn't think twice about it until a buddy stopped by and told me I was crazy as there was all kinds of toxic chemicals in the smoke from the deck material that I was breathing in. Looked it up and yep, copper and arsenic. So, how badly did I shorten my lifespan and should I update my estate plan stat? Was burning the stuff for about two hours while drinking beer and eating nachos, if that makes a difference.
72 hours +/- 24 hours
 
Ok guess I gotta pick up some tights while I'm at Walmart replenishing my nacho fixin's. I need a logo and a color scheme and do I go for a simple mask or a full on cowl?? Perhaps a balaclava to combine the two...
 
When was the deck put in? Arsenic was phased out of outdoor lumber in 2003.

Breathing it in isn’t great. The OSHA permissible exposure limit is 10 micrograms per cubic meter as an 8-hour time weighted average. For conceptual purposes, if you divide a grain of sugar into 1000 equal pieces, each piece would be 1 microgram. A standard metal old school blue US mail box is about 1 cubic meter in size. So 10 of those 1000 pieces of that grain of sugar inside one US postal box is when OSHA says you need to start using respiratory protection.

Not really sure what your exposure level actually was, but being that it was outdoors, unless you were standing right in the smoke, the health effects probably aren’t too awful. If you didn’t experience any acute symptoms (vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea), I wouldn’t worry too much.

I have parts from an old swing set I need to burn.

But I think in terms of bread box size not mail box size, can you re run the calculations and re present them in terms of bread box size?
 
You presumably won’t burn that material again. You presumably will drink beer and eat nachos again. I’d be more worried about the beer and nachos.
 
Meh, I've done it before. I doubt you were standing right over the fire sucking in the smoke. I assume the much bigger risk that people don't talk about is inhaling sawdust when cutting these boards on new decks/fences.
 
When was the deck put in? Arsenic was phased out of outdoor lumber in 2003.

Breathing it in isn’t great. The OSHA permissible exposure limit is 10 micrograms per cubic meter as an 8-hour time weighted average. For conceptual purposes, if you divide a grain of sugar into 1000 equal pieces, each piece would be 1 microgram. A standard metal old school blue US mail box is about 1 cubic meter in size. So 10 of those 1000 pieces of that grain of sugar inside one US postal box is when OSHA says you need to start using respiratory protection.

Not really sure what your exposure level actually was, but being that it was outdoors, unless you were standing right in the smoke, the health effects probably aren’t too awful. If you didn’t experience any acute symptoms (vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea), I wouldn’t worry too much.

I have parts from an old swing set I need to burn.

But I think in terms of bread box size not mail box size, can you re run the calculations and re present them in terms of bread box size?

Doing the math: divide one of those 1/1000 pieces of a grain of sugar into 10 pieces and it’s about 2 of those pieces in a break box amount of air.

So basically 2 ten thousands of a grain of sugar per bread box.
 
Bunch of terrible, uninformed, unscientific advice in here. The answer, as any learned, sane person knows is Wednesday.
 
Ok guess I gotta pick up some tights while I'm at Walmart replenishing my nacho fixin's. I need a logo and a color scheme and do I go for a simple mask or a full on cowl?? Perhaps a balaclava to combine the two...
Can you be one of those funny superheros with lots of sexual puns, sarcasm, and sassy comebacks, who sometimes looks right into the camera and talks to the viewers?
Those are the best kind.
 
Ok guess I gotta pick up some tights while I'm at Walmart replenishing my nacho fixin's. I need a logo and a color scheme and do I go for a simple mask or a full on cowl?? Perhaps a balaclava to combine the two...
Can you be one of those funny superheros with lots of sexual puns, sarcasm, and sassy comebacks, who sometimes looks right into the camera and talks to the viewers?
Those are the best kind.
Already in the works, Deadpool contacted my people yesterday and I made him aware that in order for me to slather my cheese on his buns in any MCU properties he'd have to fork over the cold hard ones pretty quick or I'm done. Senor Nacho needs his chips and doesn't have time for white crackers who keep him waiting.
 

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