Living in a creosote house

1960 house. Entire floor system (joists and subfloor) treated with creosote. Would you have concerns about moving your family into it? Is the potential chemical hazard only relevant to skin contact?

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I just did a quick Google search, and found this. More than I needed to know about creasote:

:shock:

It’s some pretty bad stuff, but it looks like if the Creasote is only on the bottom of the floor, and no one is having direct daily contact with it, it probably wouldn’t hurt you.

Scrotum cancer? :shock:

You asked…

Yes. I would have serious concerns. My theory is that if you can smell it, you are constantly being exposed.

They used to use coal tar as the active ingredient in dandruff shampoos, but last I heard that was now banned as a use. (Some little detail about skin cancers.)

It’s amazing what uses industry has found for its waste products, which is what this is. That way, they don’t have to pay for hazmat disposal fees, but actually make a profit off disposing of waste.

The power company down the road has stacks of ready-to-use utility poles in their yard and on a warm day when the wind is blowing across the road, the smell is horrible and dizziness as well as an instant upset stomach can often be the result. And that’s just driving past the place.

Interesting when you consider that more than half the power production in the country is from coal-fired plants. I’d bet that’s the ultimate source of coal tars.

I’d shudder at the prospect of living atop that toxic pile.

jmo
Frank

Coal tar is used in products to this day. BTW - there are thousands of chemicals in creosote.

Determining if creosote in the foundation framing is a “material defect” would be difficult for the HI to determine. This condition should pointed this out in the report but the determination of any possible adverse effects should most likely be deferred to a specialist.

This is what I said in my report, much of the text compliments of InspectVue:

"Wooden components within the foundation crawlspace have an odor and brownish tinge which is similar or identical to wood that has been treated with a preservative known as creosote. Creosote is a possible human carcinogen, or a chemical that is capable of causing cancer. However, we do not have the expertise or the authority to identify or comment on chemical carcinogens, or exposure levels and recommend that if this is a concern to you that you consult with an industrial hygienist. More information may be obtained here: http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxprofiles/tp85.html."

Back in the 60’s, Creosote was a common wood preservative, and used mostly for retaining walls comprising of 6"x6" or 8"x8" or the sort. I could not stand the product when it was fresh and in hot temperatures and anyone that would want to smell the product everyday in a Home is got to be out of their minds.

I used to use # 2 diesel fuel for form oil on concrete forms, because we had nothing else to work with, but I will tell you what, combined with 90 degree temperatures it would cook my skin. Another bad improvised product to accomplish what we had to do back then. So I guess modern Technology is not all that bad when you think of it. ha.

Marcel :slight_smile: :slight_smile:
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I like the smell of creasote if it’s not too strong. I’m attracted to women who put a little dab behind each ear (their ear, not mine).

I prefer vanilla extract behind the ears. You’re very strange!

I prefer WD-40 myself

Uh-oh, getting into lubricants here. This thread should end before it crosses the line into bad taste.

got a good laugh out of those last few posts!! good thing I wasn’t eating anything at the time or my monitor would have got blasted.

The question I would ask myself about the presence of creosote in a house is; would I like my kids to live with it. The answer is a very big NO. I studied Industrial Engineering at university in the early 70’s and we were told then that we should recommend its used due to the cancer related illness found in workers with long exposure to the product.

Creosote contains NAPHTHALENE (http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/chan12.htm ) which is a particularly nasty chemical used as in dyes and pesticides. Creosote itself contains solvents that some people can become addicted. :shock: I must be addicted because I also like the smell of it . However, I will not go near it now and would never recommend its use and certainly not live in a house that’s been treated with it wherever it was.
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The question I would ask myself about the presence of creosote in a house is; would I like my kids to live with it. The answer is a very big NO. I studied Industrial Engineering at university in the early 70’s and we were told then that we should not recommend that it not be used due to its cancer related illness found in workers with long exposure to the product.

Creosote contains NAPHTHALENE (http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/chan12.htm ) which is a particularly nasty chemical used as in dyes and pesticides. Creosote itself contains volition products that some people can become addicted. I must be addicted because I also like the smell of it but I will not go near it now and would never recommend its use and certainly not live in a house that’s been treated with it wherever it was.

Just to drive home my point here is the advice given by the British Government to employers regarding NAPHTHALENE which creosote contains.

What should employers do?

You should give priority to preventing your employees being exposed to naphthalene by any route (ie inhalation, ingestion, or contact with the skin).

Where preventing exposure to naphthalene is not reasonably practicable (eg by using a different substance), then you should adequately control exposure by a combination of engineering and process control measures. HSE recommends that, although the legal obligation is to reduce exposure to the OES while it remains in force, it would be prudent for you to control exposure to as low a level as is reasonably practicable below the OES.

Once the OES is withdrawn, your legal obligation under COSHH remains to achieve adequate control. Since a safe level of exposure cannot be determined it remains our recommendation that you should control exposure to as low a level as is reasonably practicable.

In dealing with exposure, whether before or after the OES is withdrawn, the number of people exposed and the duration of their exposure should be minimized as required by good hygiene practice.

You must give all your employees who are, or who may be exposed to naphthalene, sufficient information, instruction and training to understand the potential problems and the precautions they need to take.

You should make sure that employees, safety representatives or representatives of employee safety are aware of this information and consult on any action that you propose to take as a result.

We lived in a home made of creosote treated wood for 6 months. It has horrible health effects. It has stolen my families lives and future. I would seriously advise anyone to run as fast as you can away from anything treated with creosote. www.screamwithme.org a cautionary tale!

Good luck to you and your family Nina. Good info.

Also used for treating railroad tyes ! :D:D:D

Inhalation exposure (particularly napthalene) poses a major carcinogenic risk to residents living in a house with creosote treated joists, girders, piers etc. We have published several works on our studies of a creosote treated house in Los Angeles (this was around 2004 I believe) refer to www.mehler.com/creosote2.html. We measured polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbon in structural wood and indoor residential air and did a risk analysis for cancer based on our results.

Howard Mehler
Howard S Mehler PhD JD & Associates Inc
139 South Beverly Drive Suite 235
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
Tel: (310) 271-0755
FAX: (310) 271-0167
www.mehler.com
hmehler@mehler.com

I had a client die in a house made with foundation and framing coated with creosote. She smoked and had mold in the DUCT work. I wonder what killed her. I was told by the Son she died of cancer.

Creosote was never intended for interior residential applications.
If what you are seeing is actually creosote it is unfortunate for the home seller.