|Pallet shelving (Love!) via Remodelista|
|This is actually wine crates, but same principle... and cooler IMO... via itsdesigned.|
|Pallet pieces cut and placed in a herringbone pattern. Photo from a welltraveledwoman.com|
|Headboard via desire to inspire|
Having kids meant that I started asking questions I would maybe not have otherwise. One year when I was looking for wood for a project, I hauled some pallets to my parent's place to use my stepfather's saws. He asked me if I was aware of the amount of toxins that were sprayed on the pallets before they were shipped overseas to keep any bugs or spores or what-have-you from traveling with them. Enter very, very BAD scenario. The things I was making were intended for the kids room, so I did some research, and what I found was not very happy.
Painting them out seemed like a good option. I really liked the wood look and feel though. And I am still unclear as to how bad the toxins are if they are painted over. Does it seal them in? Or are we taking chemical reaction on instead? Ugh. I am not here to scare the bejeezus out of anyone, but as I am seeing these everywhere (and loving the look) I thought somebody might want to bring it up. So far I haven't seen the subject of toxins raised anyplace else on the design blog front.
Like any worthy question, this one raises more questions... we all know that many of the furniture and finishing products in our houses conventionally are filled with toxins already, so if we are the type to just go and buy a whatever sofa, then wouldn't it be fine to jump on this trend? Absolutely. Many of the chemical treatments are the same (formaldehyde etc.) as a sofa from Target or Crate & Barrel or wherever, and this is far better for the environment in the sense that it is keeping these pallets out of a landfill. Could you varnish or somehow seal the wood first? Sure, if the woman down at "Colour Your World" is correct, any treatment of that type will seal in the toxins and you don't have to worry.
There is also the option of the greener pallet. They do exist, and if you are using pallets that were used to ship domestically (within your own country) there is a much greater chance that toxins were not used. There are also companies that use a heating process to treat their pallets instead of toxins. If you take the time to ask a few questions, not only will you find (hopefully) some answers, but you will have the added benefit of raising awareness with the companies using toxic shipping meathods. The demand for less toxins and environmentally damaging processes in the world from a consumer perspective always starts with asking questions!
|Coffee table from upcycled pallet via Tina's Apt.|