someone we hired brush painted carbolineum onto wooden structures in our basement below the house. The (wooden) roof of the basement is the floor of the kitchen. The entire house smells horrendous and, reading up on the product, we have discovered its toxic too. Its been about 48 hours and we are now concerned about our health - is it ok to use carbolineum in such an area? Can we remove it from the wood and if so how? A response would be much appreciated. Thanks.

  • 2
    Where are you? Is this on so thick that any of it can be scraped off? Before using any solvents you might try to scrape it off. Solvents might carry it deeper into the wood. After removing as much as you can by scraping, then using a solvent (maybe orange oil), with repeated wiping then maybe sanding, and finally sealing. How many of the members that this was applied can be replaced? – Jim Stewart Dec 12 '16 at 12:52

This seems to be something that penetrates into the wood and will be very difficult to remove.

I would find the manufacturer from the empty cans and phone their customer support number for advice.

I'm no expert but I suspect your choices include

  • Paint over it with a "bituminous aluminum system" and hope for the best.
  • Replace the affected wood.
  • Move out and ventilate continuously until the smell has fallen to an acceptable level

Here is a description from one maker of carbolineum


  • Suitable as supplied for application by brush, spray or dip.
  • Apply copiously in one or more coats until wood is saturated. Where poles are to be set in the ground it is advisable to stand ends in CARBOLINEUM WOOD PRESERVER for several days to ensure maximum impregnation.
  • Wash equipment with MINERAL TURPENTINE (AZH 1) immediately after use.


  • Do not apply to surfaces that come into direct contact with food or feedstuffs.
  • Store away from food and feedstuffs.
  • CARBOLINEUM WOOD PRESERVER has a strong, long-lasting smell and is extremely dark in colour.
  • Even after prolonged drying, decorative paints or varnish must not be used over CARBOLINEUM WOOD PRESERVER. Only a bituminous aluminium system may be applied.
  • Do not use on seats, benches or tables as staining of clothing is likely.
  • Toxic to birds and fish.

Safety Precautions

  • Avoid inhalation of fumes and excessive or prolonged skin contact. Use suitable respirator and gloves. Wash with soap and water after use.
  • If eyes are contaminated, flush with clear water for 15 minutes.
  • Ensure adequate ventilation whilst applying.
  • Prevent contamination of eating utensils, water, rivers, etc. with CARBOLINEUM WOOD PRESERVER or mineral turpentine used for cleaning equipment.
  • Destroy empty container and do not re-use for any other purpose.
  • Keep out of reach of children.
  • Refer to Material Safety Data Sheet for complete information.

(my emphasis)

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