I received an email recently from a contact and they wanted me to share some urgent information regarding the most commonly used shipping item, wood pallets. We see wood pallets everywhere - Costco, behind buildings, wherever. It never dawned on me until I got this email just how dangerous (and gross) they are.
Read this email I received and I know that it will get you thinking, as it did me!
Recently CBS news reported on how unhealthy wood pallets are. Wood pallets are used to transport our food and medications. You may remember that in February, as reported by the media, Tylenol products were contaminated with a chemical used to treat wooden pallets. Not only is this chemical still in use by wood pallet companies, these companies continue to deny any responsibility for the huge medical risk they put you, the consumers, in. Plus wooden pallets are FILTHY from repeated use. They are often tossed outside in the rain – left to literally rot on loading docks and behind stores and later reused again for shipping! I am not a fan of plastic items but this is a case where plastic pallets should be the norm! You can clean them- bugs don’t infest them, and they do not harbor deadly diseases like wooden pallets.Scary isn't it? I completely agree that for public safety plastic pallets that can be recycled are the way to go. Plastic can be sanitized in ways that wood simply can't. As a consumer it is horrifying to think that these pallets could be contaminating food and medicines that I can readily purchase at my local grocery store.
Please read the following and please tell your readers not to touch or try to reuse wooden pallets for home projects ESPECIALLY FOR THE BABY’S ROOM!
Used wood pallets are a highly sought-after commodity of hobbyists, do-it-yourselfers and woodworking enthusiasts. A simple Google search of “recycled wood pallets + woodworking” reveals scores of websites and blogs offering consumers ideas and plans for reusing wood pallets – everything from cutting boards, baby cribs, and toy wood blocks, to futons, chairs and coffee tables. It’s a huge cottage industry, with a significant presence in New England, which is blithely unaware of the serious dangers posed by wood pallets.
Wood pallets harbor deadly food poisoning bacteria that threaten our nation’s food supply, and invasive foreign pests that ravage our farms and forests. Recent tests from an independent consumer watchdog group, the National Consumers League have found Salmonella, E. coli, Listeria and extremely high bacteria counts on scores of wood pallets pulled at random from pallet depots in Washington, DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia and Portland, ME. The test results are consistent with similar findings by USDA and FDA.
Wood pallets pose other dangerous risks. Contamination from chemicals used to treat wood pallets was cited in the recent voluntary recall of TYLENOL Arthritis pain reliever. The chemical contamination caused nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and stomach pain in consumers. Wood pallets made with “engineered wood” components contain urea formaldehyde – a known carcinogen – which may come into contact with food under a variety of scenarios when it is stored and shipped on wooden pallets. Formaldehyde is also released into the air when it off-gases from pallets in storage and transportation compartments, posing a risk to the health of workers and consumers. Wood pallets are susceptible to insect infestation and require heat treatment or fumigation before they can be moved cross-border. Fumigation is often performed with methyl bromide, a highly toxic, ozone-depleting chemical.
Consumers must be made aware of the serious dangers presented by wood pallets, particularly when reusing wood pallets to make children’s toys. Imagine what might happen if a child chewed on a toy or furniture made from pest-infected, bacteria- and chemical-laden wood pallets?
In addition, I urge to take a few moments and participate in the Food Safety Petition http://www.petition2congress.com/2/3092/tell-congress-to-pass-food-safety-legislation/
Here is a list of sites that suggest making items form used wood pallets
DIY Dining Table Made from Wood Pallets ReadyMade | Apartment ...
By Jess Watson
Wood pallets are an unfortunate innocent bystander of our shipping needs. Often found discarded behind grocery stores and shopping malls, I'm sure (if they had feelings) they would long for a greater meaning to their one use lives. ...
Apartment Therapy Main - http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/
The Appraiser's Wife: I've got a thing for wooden pallets
By Ashley J Houck
So when I decided to have my first furniture sale I called her and told her "I need you to make a few signs for the sale" She didn't have money to buy wood so I started collecting pallets for her. She pulled them apart and made some ...
The Appraiser's Wife - http://rahouck.blogspot.com/
pure and noble: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Reclaimed Wood
It's hard to believe that so much beauty can be made from reclaimed wood and old wood pallets. I did a little dumpster diving for a pallet that was later broken apart to create a wall tree turned coat rack for a friend's little girl. ...
pure and noble - http://pureandnoble.blogspot.com/
Kara's Korner: Pallet Shelves
I saw these plans from Ana's at Knock-Off Wood's website for shelves made from a pallet of wood, and I knew I wanted to make some. So I looked on craigslist, at my local stores, EVERYWHERE, and couldn't find any pallets. Seriously? ...
Kara's Korner - http://mekhart.blogspot.com/
EDGE ® Design and Innovation launches 'Slayer' shredder « Edge ...
Waste wood /Pallets / Mixed wood / Railroad ties /Telephone poles / Root stems / Green waste / MSW / Industrial waste / Bulky furniture / Mattresses / C&D / Paper / cardboard / Industrial paper rolls, etc. ...
Edge Innovate - http://www.edgeinnovate.com/news/
Here's a little tid bit, from an article found at SupplyChainBrain.com, sharing what the National Consumers League found when they tested some of these wood pallets:
The NCL tested pallets for E. coli and listeria. The findings found that 10 percent of the wood pallets tested had E. coli present. In addition, 2.9 percent of the wood pallets tested positive for listeria, and half of these, when further tested, contained listeria monocytogenes, one of the most virulent food-borne pathogens.
For me, this article was eye-0pening! E. coli and listeria? Why hasn't the FDA, congress or somebody done anything about this? Putting public safety at risk to save a few dollars in my opinion morally and ethically wrong. What is it going to take to stop things like this from happening?
So please take a few moments and participate in the Food Safety Petition.
Be safe friends.