What Are the Dangers of Heat-Treated Wood?


Wood is heat treated to meet ISPM (International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures) regulations and to kill wood pests. However, while there are benefits to heat treating wood materials, there are also drawbacks.

ISPM Regulations

  • Over 133 countries, including the United States, follow ISPM requirements. If a wood package does not meet ISPM standards, it is rejected or destroyed.

The Process

  • Wood package materials, including lumber, panels, crates and pallets, are heated in a special chamber. The materials are heated at 56 degrees C for at least 30 minutes.


  • Wood is heat treated to kill pests, specifically the pinewood nematode and the Asian long-horned beetle. This process protects forests and other crops around the world from being infested with these animals when wood packages are delivered.

Types of Wood Treated

  • According to helium.com, plywood, fiberboard and composite wood are among the types of wood that are heat treated.

Dangers and Side Effects

  • Mold is one of the greatest threats to heat-treated wood, according to kiln-direct.com. Ironically, the chance of mold is increased when wood has been treated with heat. Mold can be combated by using antifungicide chemicals or by properly cooling heat-treated wood.

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