Chemicals on telephone poles?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Caelma, Nov 20, 2005.

  1. Caelma

    Caelma Well-Known Member

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    What are the chemicals on telephone poles?
    Would this cause soil contamination if there are several buried underground?
    Like being used as a foundation, platform for an out building?
     
  2. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

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    They used to be treated with creosote which is a dangerous carcinogen. My Daddy was a cable splicer for the telephone company and he was in daily contact with creosote. He survived Lymphoma in '91 after 12 months of chemo, but he died this past August after a three year battle with Colon and Lung Cancer. I believe the creosote exposure killed him and I won't allow the stuff on our property.
     

  3. BrahmaMama

    BrahmaMama Well-Known Member

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    In Thunder Bay, Ont. where I grew up, there's a big mill there called Northern Wood Preservers. For many many years they dumped that crap into L. Superior.
    Now everbody and I mean everybody in T.Bay is dieing of cancer, even young folks who never touched a cigarette.
    Nasty business that...

    If you absolutely must use them underground for a foundation, you can wrap them somehow in plastic to DELAY the leaching but it's a petroleum based product (I think) and it will eventually get into the ground water etc.
     
  4. Caelma

    Caelma Well-Known Member

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    What if they have already been there 10 yrs? Under a house too?
    I'm told they can jack up the house, pull them out and pour a cement foundation, but if those telephone polls have been there 10 yrs is it to late?
    And could the chemicals work their way up through floor boards?
    Seep out into the soil further than the house itself?
     
  5. Iddee

    Iddee Well-Known Member

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    It is creasote if they are black. If they are green, they are treated with the new, kinder, gentler chemical.

    After 10 years my guess is any leaching is about finished, and the future would be pretty harmless. Of course, that is just a guess. I'm no expert.
     
  6. BrahmaMama

    BrahmaMama Well-Known Member

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    Ya! I was thinking about that afterwards too. Another thought I had is I think years ago they also just soaked the BOTTOMS of the poles w. creosote.

    Ya know what, I wouldn't worry about it too much unless your planning on planting a garden in THAT soil.
    In my humble opinion unless your inhaling the fumes (and you'd know cause it stinks, or if your ingesting it somehow... I wouldn't worry) besides it's been there this long and you'd have to undertake a very expensive excavation project to remove what is probably a little bit of toxic residue.