When the weather is cool, it’s nice to light up a fire to keep warm. Often we throw any log or wood that is handy into the fire. Be careful though, that you don’t throw pressure treated wood on the fire. Burning pressure treated wood in your fireplace, or even outside in your fire pit, can release toxic chemicals that are dangerous to your health.
Pressure treated wood contains wood preservatives, which are pesticides that are used to extend the product life of wood. These chemicals help to reduce rot, wood-eating insects, and weathering.
Burning treated wood concentrates and releases these preservative chemicals in the ash and smoke of a fire, which can pose both health and environmental risks.
What you should do
You should never burn treated wood. You should be able to easily determine if your wood is treated as it usually contains dyes or stains in various shades of brown or green. Chromated Copper Arsenate (CCA) treated wood is no longer sold for use in residential settings, but may still be available in older structures; it has a light green colour and should not be burned either.
Report health and safety concerns
If you have been exposed to burning treated wood for prolonged periods, and feel ill, you should seek medical attention immediately.
(SOURCE: Health Canada)