Ok, so this past weekend I had several folks come up to me and want to talk about re working the wooden pallets they have. I feel like I need to post this because when I answered the way I did, it turns out many of them did not know this.... MANY pallets are treated with very harsh chemicals and pesticides. They are very susceptible to critters (re:roaches) and mold. I have heard about termites hiding in much of the wood. I don't use pallets and never have.
For my clients well-being and I, it is not for me.
I am not telling you not to reuse pallets in your own designs. But please reconsider using them IN your home and especially for your children. I recently saw a child's bed made out of pallet wood and it worried me to pieces. And this can be true of all reloved items. I have to tell you this is a concern of mine. I thoroughly clean my pieces and if I suspect any infestation... the piece is G-O-N-E. Yes, this can happen in any reloved item, but the percentages I have read and heard about with pallets is VERY HIGH. Unlike the occasional piece of furniture.
If you research it, you will find that there are stamps put on pallets that are free from treatment, although that still wouldn't stop the roach, termite (or eggs) and mold from being on them. If you are selling items made out of pallets, I think you need to disclose the info to the buyers. Even if it is saying that it is "Certified free of chemicals" (Plus it would be a great selling point!) This is my personal opinion, and I am sure there are many special circumstances. There are ways of knowing where your pallets comes from and where its been and I am sure there are some safe ones out there. I am not denying others of pallet use for their art, but I do want to bring awareness. If you have a good clean and safe source, but all means REDUCE REUSE AND RECYCLE!
Just get out there and create!!!