I have purchased a repurposed piece of barn wood (a beam). It was kiln-dried and fumigated by the company that sold it to me. I mentioned the beam to a friend who is experienced with wood work and living in Europe. He said if the wood was fumigated, it was no longer safe for indoor use and a health hazard. I contacted the seller to see what chemicals were used to fumigate the wood but don't know if I will get that information.

I love the beam and will keep it no matter what, but is it safe to use indoors? How can I find that out? What if I cant get an information about the chemicals used, is there any ways to have it tested?

  • They tent homes and fumigate them and they are still used. Not sure why barn wood would be any different it has had time to off gas. – Ed Beal Apr 18 '17 at 13:30
  • I wouldn't lick the wood...otherwise, I'd read the directions on the fumigation container for time to off-gas. (If it doesn't say, then I wouldn't use it indoors.) – Lee Sam Apr 18 '17 at 21:29
  • I don't have the container Lee Sam, since the wood was fumigated before I purchased it. I contacted the seller and learnt that they use a big company, Terminix. They tend the wood beams and fumigate them. I was not able to learn what chemicals are used. I know fumigation is highly regulated but am still concerned. Thanks for your input. – motown Apr 20 '17 at 10:45
  • Call the big company, they'd know exactly what they use (or don't.). I'd far prefer the established company since they would standardize and use regulated and researched processes. – Matthew Wetmore Jun 15 '17 at 0:12

Most likely it was fumigated with Sulfuryl fluoride

In the United States, most experts performing termite fumigation for residential buildings use a gas with the active ingredient sulfuryl fluoride.

After fumigation, the tent over the treatment area is removed, and the fumigant gases diffuse into the air, rapidly leaving your home. Following six hours of ventilation, your pest management professional will use devices that detect trace amounts of sulfuryl fluoride and chloropicrin in the air. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), re-entry is not permitted until sulfuryl fluoride levels are 1 part per million or less. (During the fumigation, concentrations may reach 3,850 parts per million or higher.)

According to Cornell university, it quickly breaks down

Sulfuryl fluoride dissipates quickly in the atmosphere and is broken down through hydrolysis and photodegradation.

If it's been some time since the fumigation, it's likely safe enough to use indoors

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