Introduction: PALLET SAFETY
I personally love using Pallets for projects. Many people do, but it is very important to know what you are using. Pallets are sometimes treated with very powerful chemicals.
So here I will show you what to look for when getting pallets to make sure they are safe for reuse.
Feel free to link this instructuble to any of your pallet project if you don't to rewrite the info yourself!
If you have any additional information you think would be worth mentioning, please let me know. I think it's really important to share this kind of information, especially as pallets are being used more & more for DIY projects. If possible site sources too !
Step 1: STAMPS OR MARK
Generally pallets are stamped on both sides.
Codes and what they mean.
IPPC: International Plant Protection Convention, this certifies that the wood has been treated by approved mesures. This does not mean no chemicals though. If you can't see an IPPC stamp, it is not recommended for reuse.
HT: Heat Treating, this is what you should look for. It is a treatment where the wood is heated to the minimum core temperature of the specific to the wood type. It is not harmfull to your health so safe to use.
MB: Methyl-Bromide Fumigation, this is a powerful pesticide used to treat the wood. Though a lot of countries have banned the use of bromomethane in the early 2000s, you can still find it in some places. DO NOT USE MB MARKED PALLETS.
European pallets are sometimes only marked with EUR or EPAL. Europe does not allow chemical treatment. If it is only marked EPAL, its A-ok! But EUR is from the old system so you might still want to be careful with it. The best is to find some with the full stamps.
IF ITS NOT ACCEPTABLE FOR PROJECTS, YOU SHOULDN'T BURN THEM EITHER.
Step 2: COLORED PALLETS & STAINS
Colored pallets are not recommended for indoor use. Traces of formaldehyde or other resins can be found on them. Go for the Unpainted ones if you can.
If there are greasy, oily stains on the pallet or unidentified products on it avoid using them.
Step 3: SOURCES & USEFULL LINKS
1001Pallets : Loads of clear info on pallet safety
IPPC : Info on import regulation
TreeHugger : North American pallet safety
ISPM 15 : International Standards For Phytosanitary Measures
Wood Database : Woodworking Dangers
Wood Database : Wood Allergies & Toxicity