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Devonseano

Burning cherry laurel - cyanide?

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Hiya,

 

We're clearing cherry laurel and rhodie and the arisings will be burned on site. I'd like to get some views on the safety of this given that laurel, and I think rhodie, gives of cyanide when burned.

 

Does anyone think this would be a significant problem for the health of operators, given that it will be a large quantity?

 

Would anyone refuse to do it on these grounds?

 

Do you know if its both plants which give cyanide off?

 

Is anyone aware of any official guidance/COSHH assessments out there for this?

 

Extraction for firewood not an option in this case!

 

Many thanks, Devonseano.

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Burn away.

 

The amount of hydrogen cyanide present in the fresh new leaves of laurel is miniscule. Burning it, especially at this time of year will do you no harm whatsoever, unless you stick your head in the fire whilst breathing in copious amounts of smoke, in which case carbon monoxide poisoning and burning could be an issue. :001_tt2::biggrin:

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:lol::lol::lol::lol:

Burn away.

 

The amount of hydrogen cyanide present in the fresh new leaves of laurel is miniscule. Burning it, especially at this time of year will do you no harm whatsoever, unless you stick your head in the fire whilst breathing in copious amounts of smoke, in which case carbon monoxide poisoning and burning could be an issue. :001_tt2::biggrin:

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We burnt 400 ton of the bloomin stuff last year in one heap! (after chipping 600 ton!)

 

Took 3 days with the tractor to keep pushing it up. Needed wind and a good bottom of heat in it. Fair play, it did get bludda hot!

 

No cyanide in rhody, just laurel; proportionally more in leaves than timber.

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How did you start the fire John? A Pirrelli firelighter lol

 

No black smoke without mate :lol::lol::lol: Fire service allowed it which was handy. I won't mention exactly how many michelins, pirrellis, rikens, dunlops, goodyears went in there!

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Bing!   

I remember chipping a few monster Laurels a few years back, hopped into the back of the boxed in lorry to shovel the chips forward, 10 mins later I had a pounding headache that would not shift, I swear it was the laurel.

 

I love the smell of chipped laurel........

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Hiya,

 

We're clearing cherry laurel and rhodie and the arisings will be burned on site. I'd like to get some views on the safety of this given that laurel, and I think rhodie, gives of cyanide when burned.

 

Does anyone think this would be a significant problem for the health of operators, given that it will be a large quantity?

 

Would anyone refuse to do it on these grounds?

 

Do you know if its both plants which give cyanide off?

 

Is anyone aware of any official guidance/COSHH assessments out there for this?

 

Extraction for firewood not an option in this case!

 

Many thanks, Devonseano.

 

I am fairly sure that the cyanide in Laural is not a stable compound. So as long as the wood has been split and seasoned, then the cyanide is no longer present in harmful amounts. It does make good firewood.

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I am fairly sure that the cyanide in Laural is not a stable compound.

 

The corollary is that because it is not stable it's highly reactive and that is what makes it dangerous, I believe it inhibits the chemical that takes oxygen from blood and bungs it in the cells.

 

Butterfly collectors used to use crushed laurel to kill their finds so I am always wary of being in an enclosed space with fresh laurel chip. I wouldn't worry about cyanide surviving a fire.

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