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Do pallets contain pressure treated wood?

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Do pallets contain pressure treated wood?

Post  sfg4uKim on 3/29/2012, 9:14 am

There was a question on the SFG Facebook page. A woman wanted to make a pallet compost bin and said that she's heard that pallets contain pressure-treated wood.

I know there is such a thing as "HT" (heat treated) which does not use chemicals and it's posted on the pallet.

I searched "pallet danger" and "pallet chemical" on the Forum & didn't see anything. Did I miss the info, or can someone help with this issue?

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re: pallet made with pressure treated

Post  minervalong on 3/29/2012, 9:26 am

good morning kim,

i work for the worlds largest retailer and as you can imagine keeping a 200k square foot store stocked requires pallets loads of things every night. i've never seen any that came through our store that had the appearance of pressure treated, just rough cut pine these days. some places make pallets out of a harder wood because of the weight of the items shipped, so you might see some of oak. i don't know why anyone would use pt, it increases the expense and the lifespan of them is determined by how many times they are hit with a pallet jack not being in the weather.


Last edited by minervalong on 3/29/2012, 9:27 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : left out dimensions)

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Re: Do pallets contain pressure treated wood?

Post  yolos on 3/29/2012, 9:55 am

I work for a pallet manufacturing company on the Southside of Atlanta, Ga. Very rarely we have a customer who may want a pallet made from pressure treated wood (but not very often and we do not stock pressure treated wood because it is used so seldom). The majority of our pallets are made from oak. Kiln dried pine is also used.

The one problem with pallets would be if they were treated with a chemical (Methal Bromide) to kill any insects which may be inside the wood. If the pallets are being sent out of (or into) the USA, they have to be treated for wood boring insects. Most pallet companies that I am familiar with heat treat the pallets to kill the insects rather than using a chemical. If the pallets are heat treated, they are stamped with a symbol and the initials HT. If the pallets are treated with Methal Bromide they are stamped with a symbol and the initials MB.

Another possible problem with pallets are chemicals used by the pallet companies to retard mold. We occasionally have a customer who will ask to have the pallets treated for mold because they will be shipping the pallets overseas in containers (or for other reasons) and they may want them treated for mold. We use freshly cut lumber so there is a great deal of moisture still in the wood which will lead to mold in humid conditions. There are no stamps or other indications on the pallets showing they have been treated for mold. We use a brand name chemical called X-mold. I do not know what chemicals other companies use. If the pallet is made from pine, they will not be treated with this chemical because the pine is all kiln dried.

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Re: Do pallets contain pressure treated wood?

Post  sfg4uKim on 3/29/2012, 10:19 am

THANK YOU! I didn't want to give out wrong information.

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Re: Do pallets contain pressure treated wood?

Post  llama momma on 3/29/2012, 10:21 am

Yolos
Enjoyed your excellent lesson on wooden pallets.

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re: pallet made with pressure treated

Post  minervalong on 3/29/2012, 10:23 am

Thanks yolo, I was just going on what I saw at work. It continually amazes me the depth of professions, experience and knowledge of the folks on this forum who are all so generous with their expertise.

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Re: Do pallets contain pressure treated wood?

Post  yolos on 3/29/2012, 10:30 am

One small change to the information I posted earlier. I was incorrect, not all pine is kiln dried so it is possible that it has been treated with Methal Bromide but it will be stamped with the initials MB.

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Re: Do pallets contain pressure treated wood?

Post  camprn on 3/29/2012, 10:31 am

Bravo for the good info! Thank you!
I use any oak pallets I can lay my hands on!!!! Very Happy

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I need an 8ft oak pallet insect treated

Post  walshevak on 3/29/2012, 3:22 pm

Where should I look to find an insect treated oak pallet. I am shipping a very heavy piece of resturant equipment to the Philippines. I'm trying to make a crate myself. Have the plans.

Kay

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Re: Do pallets contain pressure treated wood?

Post  yolos on 3/29/2012, 3:38 pm

I do not know which countries now require a pallet/crate be treated before allowing the pallet/crate into the country. So you should first start by finding out whether the Phillipines require it to be treated.

Then if required, if it were me, I would call a local pallet company who may be able to help you out. Our company periodically heat treats a pallet/crate for someone who does not want to buy a pallet but just wants something heat treated. As far as I know, there is no requirement that it be an oak pallet. The pallet/crate must have a stamp on it (designating that it has been treated) to be allowed into many countries. Only companies who have been certified are allowed to treat the pallets. The companies are inspected every month to make sure they are in compliance with all the rules. Therefore, they are going to charge for the treatment. Our company charges between .50 and $3.00 depending on the size and thickness of the wood.

Therefore, if the Phillipines require treatment, and if you want to build your own pallet/crate and can find a company to treat it, you are good to go.

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Re: Do pallets contain pressure treated wood?

Post  llama momma on 3/29/2012, 3:42 pm

One of my pallets had HT(yay) on it but I found others with different lettering. HP and the other TP. Wonder what that is? Maybe pallet company abbreviations?

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Re: Do pallets contain pressure treated wood?

Post  yolos on 3/29/2012, 4:09 pm

I just went and looked at our heat treatment stamps. There is a HT (meaning heat treated) and TP (stands for the company that inspects us - Timber Products Co.). Both of these sets of initials are on each stamp. I do not know what HP stands for.

If you are shipping overseas, you must have a new stamp on the pallets. The port authorities do not know whether you used an old pallet that has a stamp on it and then replaced one board that was broken that may not have been heat treated. This one board may harbor bad insects. Therefore, it must be newly stamped. I don't know how they tell whether it is an old or new stamp though.

But this designation only affects shipping into other countries. The majority of the pallets in our country are not heat treated or treated with Methal Bromide.

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Re: Do pallets contain pressure treated wood?

Post  llama momma on 3/29/2012, 4:55 pm

OK and Thanks!

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Re: Do pallets contain pressure treated wood?

Post  Daniel9999 on 3/31/2012, 2:18 am

walshevak wrote:Where should I look to find an insect treated oak pallet. I am shipping a very heavy piece of resturant equipment to the Philippines. I'm trying to make a crate myself. Have the plans.

Kay

You might wanna look into plastic export pallets. There less of a headache to ship overseas as you don't have to worry about insect infestation issues with plastic and are exempt from ISPM-15 regulations.

The company I work for uses plastic export pallets made by Nelson.

http://www.nelsoncompany.com/prodplasticpallets.cfm

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Re: Do pallets contain pressure treated wood?

Post  BrianDorry55 on 10/9/2013, 12:29 pm

Thanks for the information minervalong and yolos!

I am about to make two "pallet gardens" and it is nice to know that I shouldn't have to worry about any chemicals leeching into my veggies from the wood.

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