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If you have been using wood pellets, or you have been thinking about doing so, you might be wondering if they are safe for you to use. Every product that you use will have its own advantages and disadvantages, and wood pellets are no exception to this rule.
Some of the most common concerns when it comes to barbecuing come down to the fuel source that you are planning on using. It is up to you to decide if the benefits of using wood pellets outweigh the negatives.
In this article, we are going to be taking a closer look at the dangers that may arise when you are using wood pellets, so you can decide if this is something that you want to use or not. We are also going to tell you about the potential toxicity of such products.
Are Wood Pellets Toxic or Dangerous?
When wood pellets are produced, they aren’t really considered to be a threat when it comes to toxicity. The process is designed so that the wood pellets that you are using are as natural as possible, only using the original contents of the natural wood.
When you are purchasing from reliable and reputable companies, you likely don’t have anything to worry about in terms of them being toxic.
However, if you are purchasing cheaper wood pellets from businesses that don’t have the best reputation, then it is hard to know for sure if they are toxic. For some, they could be manufactured using chemical binding agents or additives that would help to lower overall production costs. The same can be said for other fuel sources.
The addition of chemicals can make the pellets themselves toxic, especially when they have been exposed to heat, which is exactly what they are designed for. This is why we typically recommend that you avoid cheaper alternatives, and that you instead spend your money on natural wood pellets that come from trusted brands.
Some manufacturers will even go one step further and add unnecessary chemicals that work as artificial flavors to improve the overall taste of the food that you are cooking. This is something that is not necessary, and when these materials burn, it can get into your food and be very bad for your health.
The only way to avoid this situation would be to stay away from unreliable manufacturers and stick with trusted brands that you can rely on to have your safety as a priority. Unfortunately, not all companies do.
Dangers of Wood Pellets
Something that you should know is that even if you are purchasing from trusted brands, even if the products are not toxic, they could still come with their own set of dangers, which is something to be mindful of.
The first hazard that you should be aware of is the potential of a fire. The same can be said for any heat fuel, which is why you should always be safe and careful when you are using wood pellets.
Something else that could be a potential threat is the emissions that come from your grill. Just like with any other type of wood, pellets will emit carbon monoxide gas when they are burned, and long exposure to this can be harmful to your health.
This is why you should always try to avoid standing directly in front of any smoke emissions that are coming from your grill. If you do this, then you are unlikely to be in any danger. Significant carbon monoxide exposure would require you to be standing in smoke that is burning at a high heat for multiple hours.
Other Wood Pellet Smoker Concerns
Something that you will need to ensure when you have smoke pellets is that you do not create an unnecessary fire hazard. While wood pellets aren’t going to simply catch fire on their own, they should never be kept next to any sources of ignition, just to be on the safe side.
The whole point of these pellets is that they are highly flammable in order to be able to create fire with ease.
Unfortunately, this convenience also means that they can easily catch fire once they have been introduced to a spark. This is why it is so important to store them correctly and in a safe location. The best place to keep your wood pellets is in a cool and dry location where there are no added risks.
You should also be aware of air pollution, as the burning of wood pellets will lead to the production of carbon monoxide, which is well known for causing depletion in the ozone layer. There are some manufacturers that will create their wood pellets in a way that supports clean combustion, which is definitely something that is worth considering.
How to Stay Safe When Using Wood Pellets
To ensure that you are being as safe as possible when you are using wood pellets, you should always take care when it comes to storing and using them. You will also need to choose the brand of wood pellets wisely, as the cheaper option might not always be the safest option. Sometimes, it is worth spending that little bit extra to ensure your safety.
The majority of nameless brands are only in the game in order to make a profit, and they might not be as conscious as they should be about health and safety. The best way to ensure that you are buying legit and tested products is to purchase from a trusted company. If it sounds too good to be true when it comes to the price, it usually is.
It is also always helpful to keep your wood pellets somewhere that isn’t in the house. An outside building like a shed is a great storage space, unless it is being used for any purpose that could cause a safety hazard. You should try to buy only as much as you need, as this will mean that you do not have as much, if any, to store away.