How To Test Wooden Pallets For Toxins

digitalengagehelp October 4, 2021 0 Comments

If you’re looking to buy new wooden pallets for your business, there are a few things that need to be considered. One thing is the toxicity of the wood used in making them. With more and more people becoming concerned with their health these days (and rightly so), it would make sense to know exactly what type of materials you’re going to be working with.

Luckily, there are a few ways you can test for the toxicity of wood before it’s used on your site. One thing that should not be ignored is checking out what kind of certificates and labeling pallets have been received prior to purchase or shipment (if they were shipped). Wood from Europe and Asia has a high chemical content in it, so you have to watch out. The best way to test for that is by using the odor of wood—the more pungent and offensive the smell, then the higher the chance there could be toxins inside.

What are toxins in pallets?

Pallets are built using wood, and sometimes different types of chemicals to preserve the integrity of that wood. Sometimes this means gluing together other pieces in order to make bigger parts for building a pallet. These could mean plywood boards or chips (or even sawdust) glued onto regular planks—it’s not entirely clear what they were made of before being glued together.

How can you test for toxins in wooden pallets?

The best way to do this is by using a handheld metal detector or doing an X-ray scan. The latter method will more than likely be too expensive for most people’s liking but if you have the money and want to go down that route, then more power to you. The handheld metal detector is a much cheaper option and provides just as accurate results. You can find these at most hardware stores or even online via Amazon for $20 upwards (and less if you shop around). Make sure it’s an industrial-grade one though that doesn’t require batteries—you want to make sure it’s getting a strong signal from the metals in the wood.

How can you test for toxins without using metal detectors?

If you have neither access nor funds to purchase either of these items, there is another way that generally works too—but not 100% percent of the time. The best thing about this method is that it doesn’t require any equipment at all. Just a little time and patience to do the research yourself!

The first thing you need to look for is which country your pallets are coming from, as this will give you an idea of what kind of chemicals they used in making them (if any). A simple Google search can reveal all the information you need. The best countries to look for are Canada and New Zealand as these have some of the lowest chemical content in their wood—and, therefore, pallets they produce too.

Next comes checking out which type of glue was used on those parts that were glued together (if any). This is done by looking at the color of the pallet—the whiter they are, the higher chance that formaldehyde was used.

Finally, you need to check where it’s been shipped from and stored. The longer a pallet has been left in one area or country (especially humid ones like Brazil), then there’s more chance for chemical content to build up.

What are the dangers of working with wooden pallets?

The biggest danger is that you will not be aware of what’s exactly in them, or how toxic they could potentially be—especially if just using a handheld metal detector and no other equipment for testing. This means your workers can come into contact with this type of material, and even the products that you’re selling could be affected.


It can be difficult to test for the toxicity of wooden pallets but using these methods will help you do it as best as possible with what’s available to you. Toxins are harmful to everyone, but especially those that are handling the pallets and using them for their products.

Unaka Forest Products delivers pallets that are free from harmful toxins are a made from the highest quality wood. Get in touch with us today to know more!

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