Is treated lumber safe to use for indoor projects?

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Forum topic by jrturtle posted 09-11-2017 07:35 PM 6248 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4 posts in 858 days

09-11-2017 07:35 PM

Topic tags/keywords: pressure treated lumber pressure treated lumber safe

I saw some forums that pressure treated lumber can be bad to use indoors because of the chemicals, but that new lumber is a lot safer. Only problem is, this lumber is over 15 years old. It’s from my deck we recently tore down, and i just found a couple peices that fit the bill and brought them in to build a desktop.

But once i got them in i realized they stink and starting googling it and found stuff on copper green and arsenic poising. If my pressure treated lumber stinks, is it safe to use indoors?

9 replies so far

View MrRon's profile


5807 posts in 3844 days

#1 posted 09-11-2017 07:42 PM

I would not want anything in my house that has a poisonous component in it. Some wood preservatives contain arsenic and any chemical that repels insects can’t be good for humans or animals.

View gargey's profile


1013 posts in 1376 days

#2 posted 09-11-2017 07:45 PM

Even if it didn’t stink, and even if it is safe, it’d still be a lot better to buy some proper hardwood lumber for a desktop.

No brainer.

View jrturtle's profile


4 posts in 858 days

#3 posted 09-11-2017 07:48 PM

Thanks. Ill go pick up a 2 by 8 later. i was just wondering because if it’s free its free.

View jonah's profile


2092 posts in 3899 days

#4 posted 09-11-2017 09:22 PM

PT lumber that old will be treated with CCA, copper chromated arsenic. Arsenic is deadly poison if ingested. Do not build anything that comes into regular contact with living things out of that material.

View mudflap4869's profile


2007 posts in 2060 days

#5 posted 09-11-2017 11:06 PM

And NEVER use it in a vegetable garden.

-- Still trying to master kindling making

View Just_Iain's profile


305 posts in 1017 days

#6 posted 09-12-2017 12:56 AM

Up here in Ontario Canada, use of pressure treated lumber inside your house means the fire department won’t go into your house as it’s too dangerous. A neighbour was idiot enough to throw some into his fireplace and put his two kids into the hospital. Arsenic is not your friend!

-- For those about to die, remember your bicycle helmet!

View Matt Rogers's profile

Matt Rogers

110 posts in 2571 days

#7 posted 09-12-2017 01:15 AM

Pressure treated lumber today is fine for interior framing. Think about a slab on grade foundation – every wall will have a sill plate that must be pressure treated. Same for a finished basement – the exterior wall framing in contact with masonry must be pressure treated. So most houses already have some small amount of PT framing lumber inside. The new PT treatments are mostly copper based and should be fine in any application where they are covered by plywood, sheetrock, or not in direct contact with your skin.

I don’t think that you can find any CCA (chromated copper arsenic) lumber outside of some specialized marine application where they get to use much nastier stuff than anywhere else. Of course, there is old lumber still around, but new stuff should be fine.

-- Matt Rogers, and

View jonah's profile


2092 posts in 3899 days

#8 posted 09-12-2017 01:44 AM

He said right in the original post that the lumber is 15 years old.

View jrturtle's profile


4 posts in 858 days

#9 posted 09-12-2017 11:55 AM

Thanks. I threw it out last night. I’ll stop by Home Depot and pick up a new 2 by 8 tommorrow

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