Tuesday, September 21, 2010


I've just spent most of today creosoting the fences around my house so currently I'm sitting here blogging in a bit of a miasma of coal tar fumes so I don't know exactly where I'm going here. I only managed half of the fencing but as I've ran out of the creosote substitute that I've been using it was as good an excuse as any to call a halt and try and clean myself up. I think I managed, though it's difficult to tell, the smell is everywhere and whilst I look clean enough, I suspect there is an aroma of T-Gel anti dandruff shampoo on or about my person.
I was forced to use a creosote substitute for some reason or other, apparently the local DIY superstores no longer are allowed to sell or keep the real deal and being the curious type I wondered why this was. Apparently it's to do with the EU (surprise surprise) because there is a chance of it being a carcinogen.
The European Union has had concerns over the carcinogenic potential of creosote and coal tar creosote for some time. In 1994, to control the specification of the creosote in amateur products, they restricted the levels of one of the chemicals in amateur creosote products, benzo-alpha-pyrene, to less than 0.005 % by mass, and this was implemented in Great Britain via restrictions on the specification of products approved under The Control of Pesticides Regulations.

However, since then a recent study has led a EU scientific committee (the CSTEE) to conclude that creosote has a greater potential to cause cancer than previously thought, and that the level of the risk gives them reasons for concern.

To protect human health and the environment the European Commission have therefore taken action to prohibit amateur use of creosote products and to restrict the use of creosote treated wood.

The action being taken across the EU to ban the amateur use of creosote is a precautionary measure. Any risk of cancer to members of the public is likely to be extremely small.
So, an extremely small risk, but the usual heavy handed ban it all response. Still whatever it is I'm using (Creocote) seems to be doing the job ok, looks like creosote, smells like creosote, but not as harmful (apparently)
Do wish they'd been able to do something about the smell though.

4 annotations:

cornyborny said...

Aw, I love the smell of creosote [in the morning]! Always have. And petrol fumes. Personal taste is a funny thing :-)

James Higham said...

Evil stuff- I used to use it myself and it made a mess of the grass.

Fascist Hippy said...

I still use the original, nothing is as good, most farm suppliers have it available.

Anonymous said...

I love the smell. I used to have a shed when I was a teenager. It was my escape place. And either me or my dad useed to creasote it once a year. i don't know whether it was the real stuff or a substitute. But for days after being inside it smelled great, made me dizzy. I still remember that fondly.

Mr Cameron is going to sweep away all these silly H+S regulations, or at least he says he is. But he was going to sweep away all the cameras, and now he's only going to licence them, so it will cost money.

Of course his mouth is a good deal larger than his brain. So I'll not hold my breath.