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Did you know that burning driftwood is toxic?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by MountainStoveGuy, Sep 11, 2006.

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  1. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

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    I found this site from the EPA while i was doing some research on supporting my position on burning driftwood in OPEN zc fireplaces in another forum. What in the world could be in driftwood that makes it toxic? I guess you shouldnt not bring your pregnant significant other to a beach bon fire....
    http://www.epa.gov/woodstoves/healthier.html

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  2. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Burning salt releases releases sodium and chlorine ions. They form stuff like dioxins and furans, which are suspected to cause cancer.

    Of course there are about fifty other things in all burned cord wood that have been or are suspected to cause cancer too.
  3. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

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    im taking chemistry right now, maybe i will learn about that. I would imagine that all wood, like you say, releases all kinds of nasty stuff, is driftwood that much worse to make the epa single it out?
  4. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    I think the magic word is "dioxins". Nasty stuff.
  5. saichele

    saichele Minister of Fire

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    What really gets it going is the 'trace' ions absorbed from the seawater - strontium, florine, barium, along with the aforementioned sodium and chloride. Not a big deal to ingest in the quantities we usually talk about, but pretty nasty when free based out into the atmosphere. Lungs aren't nearly as good at dealing with stuff like that as the digestive system is.

    Steve
  6. berlin

    berlin New Member

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    "I think the magic word is “dioxins”. Nasty stuff"

    don't blindly believe all the hype. ever eat ice cream or bake/toast bread? you will likely expose yourself to a fair dose of dioxin from these as well as many other common things. the epa seems to have dug their fingers into this one and is not letting go no matter how much bad science they have to rely on to justify it.
  7. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    I hear that people don't die from falling off the roof either but I avoid it when I can.
  8. Retired_Ted

    Retired_Ted New Member

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    In order to release sodium and cloride ions, would not the salt at least have to melt? Then, maybe there'd be a greater chance that some free ions could be released. Personally, I doubt this could ever happen from a flame found inside a wood stove - the m.p. of NaCl is about 1470 deg F. I agree that the trace elements (heavy metals) could pose a far greater hazard - they'd probably reside in the ashes as metallic oxides when the stove was cleaned. Just my 2 cents.
  9. smirnov3

    smirnov3 Feeling the Heat

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    Slightly off topic, but...

    You wouldn't BELIEVE how much fertilizer there is in sea water. I was making a device to detect DNT contamination in sea water, but whenever I used water collected near the shore, there was so much ammonium phosphate that I couldn't detect anything else.

    (for the technically minded, there was around 100-500 PPM)
  10. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    I don't know. I do know that laser thermo registered 1070 degrees the other day when I aimed it at the little bit of wood I had burning to cook the stove cement I sealed the liner with. Stove surface temp was only 400 degrees at the time and flue collar 710.

    I bet when that sucker is cranking with a full load the embers might be 1400. Don't know. I live 40 miles from the ocean so I won't be endangering anybody with salt emissions. Now the crap from those little stinky ironwood trees might be a different story.
  11. Sandor

    Sandor Minister of Fire

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    Around these Virginia waterways, driftwood is mostly salt/pressure treated wood from peers being taken out by Hurricanes, Tropical Depressions and Nor' Easters.

    And there is a lot of "driftwood" after Ernesto last week. We gather what we can floating around to repair the docks!

    Speaking of Ernesto, the weather people predicted 35mph winds, and we got 55 with gusts to 80 and a BIG tidal surge that created all of the free lumber floating around.
  12. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    I was wondering about ya down there Sandor. Three hurricanes kicking Virginia around in four years. Great huh?
  13. BikeMedic2709

    BikeMedic2709 New Member

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    "Warning! The Surgeon General has found the breathing is hazardous to your health."
    - R. Dangerfield
  14. DriftWood

    DriftWood Minister of Fire

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    The Rouge River in Detroit caught fire in the 1970s it had so many hydrocarbons on and in it. The EPA has helped clean up the Great Lakes and their watersheds. We are spending millions in Port Huron, Mi. to separate the storm water from the sewer system water treatment pipes.

    I burn some fresh water driftwood, guess I’m safe; "Never burn ocean driftwood”. I know what is up stream of my house, just farm land. I do worry about bacteria in wood and bark in the driftwood I use. I will let it sun dry and sit through a few rain storms before I start cutting it up.
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