Issued By
North Yorkshire
County Council


HOUSEHOLDERS in North Yorkshire are being warned of a ban on the sale of creosote, following years of concern about the safety of its use.

A ban on the sale and use of creosote came into force at the end of June. The ban extends to creosote-treated products, such as old railway sleepers, intended for use in gardens.

Over the last decade there have been measures to reduce the amount of the carcinogen, benzo-a-pyrene, which is a constituent of creosote. It has now been decided that these measures were not sufficient to completely remove the risk of people becoming ill after being splashed with creosote or breathing it.

The new regulations will allow creosote to be used professionally, but even then it can only be used in places where it will not come into contact with people, plants or animals.

Councillor Carl Les, North Yorkshire County Council's executive member for business and community services, said: “There has been extensive research into the safety of creosote and this has shown that the product is unsafe even when precautions are taken. It is now being banned across Europe.

"There have been discussions about banning creosote for some time and we believe that very few retailers will still have any in stock as new products have been on the market for some time. Any retailers still holding stock could face a fine of £5,000 if they sell it to members of the public.

"The new regulations prohibit householders from using any creosote they still have. Householders needing to dispose of any creosote safely should contact the county council's waste management business unit on 01609-532512 for advice.”


Contact: David Sayer, trading standards, 01609-768619

Executive member: Councillor Carl Les (Con) 01677-423702 Mob: 07860-639600

Group spokespeople: Councillor Steve Shaw-Wright (Lab) 01757-708849; Councillor Mrs Caroline Seymour (Lib-Dem) 01642-710382