Pallets are very popular in the garden or on the patio because of their rustic look, and they are their wood is used to make cheap vertical planters, raised garden beds, and many other types of planters. But one thing people usually overlook or probably don’t even think about, is where those pallets were used. Do they have toxic chemicals that can leach into your soil? Depending on where you got your pallets from, or where they may have been used, they can be quite toxic and dangerous chemicals can leach into your soil and vegetables or herbs.
If your pallets were used by manufacturing businesses or for industrial uses, then fertilizers, chemicals, paints, etc could very well have spilled or contaminated them. If you’re not sure where they have been used, then check to see if there is a label somewhere on the pallet. Pallets in the United States are commonly treated with methyl bromide, which is a dangerous insecticide that can cause really bad adverse effects in people. Pallets that have been treated with methyl bromide are supposed to have an MB label. Pallets are also supposed to have a label showing where it was made and how it was used.
If your pallet has a MB stamp (for methyl bromide), the best thing is to discard it and not use it at all. Even if you use if for furniture it can come into contact with skin or the fumes dissipate into the air you breathe. It’s better to be safe and use pallets that have not been treated. Two codes you should know are HTv, meaning they were treated with heat, and DB, which stands for debarked. HTv pallets are safe to use but DB doesn’t indicate safety. If there is no stamp at all, then assume the worst and don’t use it.
Be careful of what comes into contact with the soil you’re growing your vegetables and herbs in, so that no poisons leach into your food. That includes pallets or any other wood or building materials you may be using. Also watch for any staining on the wood or anything that looks like something might have spilled on it.
Image Source: Natural News