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Kazzi says:

I bought berry tine croecote substitute last year to put on all wood work around house , have rather a lot including decking which had 2 coats, it looked really good everywhere but a year later there is hardly any left on it as has gone back to the colour it was before I did all that hard work, it was expensive and a total waste of time so didn't even really last a year, am never using that again what a con and waste of money. The EU keep stopping everything that actually works , I'm sick of them! I really have not got the time to be doing woodwork every year and is costly, they probably made this rule so we all had to spend more money and work ten times harder! (Same with Henry hovers they only allowed a slower engine now because Poxy EU regulations ) I bet they have gardeners cleaners etc so they don't have to do jobs them selves :( fed up that I now again this year will have to do it all again another 2 weeks of my time ! I don't want to use anything that flakes off I want something like the old original creosote that lasted around ten hrs before re doing it all.. My advise I'd DO NOT BUY THE SUBSTITUTE BARRESTINE CREOCOTE AS IT IS A WAY BELOW and very poor STANDARD SUBSTITUTE! So unless you are prepared to apend all that money and redo it every year do not buy! 

See original post

 Creosote has been banned in Australia on health grounds for years and years ...  that'll be because of the EU then will it ? 

And as for working ten times harder -  if we go for Brexit and the British Workers lose the protection of the EU Working Time Directive you'll see who actually wants us to work even harder 

And here comes the devil from left field.

If Creosote and its derivatives are by design, applied to kill stuff and inhibit further growth of living organisms, then how can any of these products be environmentally friendly? I do believe they are all oil based by some association so why not use diluted oil in the first place? Does the same job and first point recycled.

Interesting read this thread, but a simple search online brings the following up

The European Union 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.

so yes the EU did ban traditional Creosote for use by the general public.

in response to the OP I really hope he's got his fence finished by now ;-D

Do wash all the green slime off the post and fences. I find brushing is best and least wasteful. For posts I always paint the bases with Bitumen, up to 2 inches above where they appear above the ground, the air exposure area boundary is where they get attacked and fail. This one trick adds years to the post's life.

It is getting increasingly difficult to get products that work as well as they formerly did due to health and safety and environmental issues. Not long ago I purchased pressure treated fence posts and the vendor warned me that due to a change in regulation the treatment would not behave as well as it had previously. He was right they are currently sporting a fine Honey Fungus growth. Now nobody wants Arsenic floating around in a dangerous way but how many people ever suffered from Arsenic poisoning apart from avid fence post chewers? Anyway I thought Creosote would work but that too, as we see in the posting, has been reduced in its abilities. How dangerous was it? Well it was used in medicine and dentistry but decide for yourself.

The IARC has determined that coal tar creosote is probably carcinogenic to humans. The animal testing relied the continuous application of creosote to the shaved skin of rats. After weeks of exposure,  the animals developed cancerous skin lesions and in one test, lesions of the lung.

A 2005 mortality study of creosote workers found no evidence supporting an increased risk of cancer death, as a result of exposure to creosote. Based on the findings of the largest mortality study to date of workers employed in creosote wood treating plants, there is no evidence that employment at creosote wood-treating plants or exposure to creosote-based preservatives was associated with any significant mortality increase from either site-specific cancers or non-malignant diseases. The study consisted of 2,179 employees.

The largest health effect of creosote is deaths caused by residential chimney fires due to chimney tar (creosote) build-up. This is entirely unconnected with its industrial production or use.

So I would recommend not chewing the posts or fences. But these changes mean one has to use multiple other products over shorter time periods, replace  posts and panels more often and all these need to be treated. I think a short sighted environmentalism takes place because it is someone's job to find a problem, then this has to be regulated, not taking into account the bigger picture. I wouldn't recommend using old oil as a home made remedy just from a fire hazard point of view - it will eventually be consumed by bacteria but the original formulas seem to have worked for the last 100 years without massive problems.


So Arthur - it would appear that you have a bee in your bonnet about creosote - perhaps it's your preservative of choice for your particular hobbyhorse - why else would you trawl up two very old threads - this one dates from 2013 - in order to give us the benefit of your opinion?

Tobacco was used for years "without massive problems" until someone spotted the high incidence between smoking and lung disease and cancer and did the research.  


Mine Hunter

My Father, built a shed 70 Years ago from Recycled 100 year old Bog Oak planks which came from the Old Railway Booking Office in Ipswich, it was coated in "Pickle" 10x more stronger than the stuff now about. It lasted over 50 years in various forms befor eventually succumbing to old age, Three boys with airguns (Pickle turned the wood even more bulet proof), and being driven into by my older brother. It was never re creosoted. I doubt todays coatings will last as long. Yes I know of the said carcinogenic property's but don't we all use Old used railway sleepers (not those new soft pine things at B&Q and other well known stores). I'm not dead yet, my father died in 1990 from prostate cnacer (Not caused by the "Pickle) and my Brothers and Sisters are still here. It is the way things are used that causes problems. With the proper kit, using the minimum amount, Creosote can be safer than other coatings, which just run off your brush. I have never had any problems, I am also an ex-Railwayman, the railway yards were full of creosoted Pickled Sleepers, with no know problems apart from being daft enough to be an allotment holder!

Last edited: 10 June 2017 19:37:21


Old thread dredged up again by a first time poster.  There's a reason these products get removed from sale. I'll stick with my water based paints thanks  

Fairygirl says:

Old thread dredged up again by a first time poster.  There's a reason these products get removed from sale. I'll stick with my water based paints thanks  

See original post

 Maybe I'm getting old and cynical, but I'm waiting the the follow up post with a link to some obscure product or company.

Kitty 2

Maybe I'm not cynical enough, but I think Brian is a genuine poster.  A long descriptive post from experience, in a similar way (to me) to of some of Frank's post's.  I think Brian is an old school gardener, let's give him the benefit of the doubt and welcome him to the forum 

Hello Brian 🙋,  from a cheeky young upstart 

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