Remember remember the 5th of November… and don’t throw these items in your bonfire!

Remember remember the 5th of November… and don’t throw these items in your bonfire!

Backyard bonfires are a great way to celebrate Guy Fawkes Night with your friends and family but, as with burning anything, it can come with certain risks.

We’ve put together the top 5 things you should definitely avoid burning at all costs which you may not have thought about before. Keep your family safe and don’t burn:

1.Anything plastic

Anything plastic is a big no-no. When burned, plastic items release toxic chemical fumes into the air that are damaging for both you and the environment such as dioxins (chemically-related compounds that are persistent environmental pollutants), furans (colourless, flammable, highly volatile liquid with a boiling point close to room temperature) and styrene gas (a colourless

oily liquid that evaporates easily and has a sweet smell, although high concentrations have a less pleasant odour).

  1. Accelerants

We know it can be quite frustrating if you have gathered all of your friends and family around to relax and enjoy being in the outdoors with the bonfire – but it’s not quite as roaring as you’d hoped. The temptation to ‘get the fire going’ and apply an accelerant can be strong, but don’t! Flammable liquids are unpredictable and cause explosions. Try adding small amounts of dry kindling instead.

  1. Wooden Pallets

You may think that anything wooden is perfect to throw on a bonfire – but you’d be wrong unfortunately. Some wooden pallets are treated with the chemical methyl bromide (a colourless gas at room temperature with a sweetish odour at high concentrations. Human exposure to high concentrations of methyl bromide can cause central nervous system and respiratory system failures and can harm the lungs, eyes, and skin). Unless you know for sure it hasn’t been treated with chemicals it’s best to use something else!

  1. Painted Wood

We talk a lot about the dangers of lead in paint and this is no exception. When any painted wood is burned it will release toxic fumes that can be both damaging to you and the environment. Lead in paint can occur, in particular, when the wood is old which can be incredibly toxic to all in the surrounding area.

  1. Magazines

Burning everyday items like junk mail, magazines and wrapping paper might seem like a good idea as a way to get rid of them but ink printed on the paper can release toxic fumes into the atmosphere and affect those standing too close. Best to avoid those items and recycle them instead.



If you are concerned about any other items you’re thinking of burning on your bonfire then get in

touch using the form below or calling 01239 287 777

Contact Envirochem now