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Juc

creosote and rail spikes

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I just contacted one of the local railways around here asking if I could buy some of the old spikes they leave as litter all over the place and they were telling me due to all the creosote on them they're treated as hazardous waste. (they should probably make sure to collect them all if that's the case imo)
I'm pretty sure they were confusing ties with spikes, but it made me wonder, do you guys figure there's any validity to railway spikes picking up creosote and thus becoming less than harmless chunks of steel?
I don't really know much about it aside from it's supposed to be pretty cancerous.

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If there was any creosote on the spike it would burn off in the forge. Don't inhale the fumes. I do not think there would be much on them. Unless you can see the gunk on the spikes. If so, use a solvent to dissolve the substance or use other spikes.

SLAG.

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I agree with SLAG above there shouldn't be any measurable level of creosote on spikes.  I still ponder the whole creosote subject.  We grew up using gallons and gallons of creosote on the farm, inside barns, outside of buildings and fences, not a week went by where we were not assigned a creosote slobbering job somewhere.  Side effects none I've seen so far.   

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The RR guys are referring to environmental laws not practical reality, environmentalist folk are making it harder to use creosote all the time here, heck broken or rotomilled asphalt pavement has to be treated as a hazmat. It doesn't matter that it gets laid on the roads and stays there safely and happily  for decades, as soon as it's removed it's a hazmat and has to be disposed of . . . properly?

Frosty The Lucky.

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Maybe because everyone is so Suit Happy....companies are trying to cover themselves from openly offering anything directly that could in any way shape or form cause harm or leave them open for lawsuit.

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Frosty,

You pointed out a real problem in materials disposal, and its potential to cause environmental havoc. But newly reported discoveries may help lessen this particular problem. Recent chemical and technical developments have been made to treat and allow the reuse of ground up asphalt as a major constituent of reconstituted paving material. (that is new asphalt). Much of the removed asphalt will, shortly, not be disposed of, but reused.

The current spent oxidized material has the potential to contaminate ground water after it is disposed of. Many of the hydrocarbon chemicals leaching from that asphalt residue are carcinogenic. (i.e. cancer causing) when they get into the ground water and people drink that water or come into physical contact with it.

Hence today's disposal problems and cost in treating the material. Which is a headache and an expensive nuisance.

. Hopefully, these new developments will divert the sludge back into the new pavement. ( where the asphalt is functionally and essentially chemically inert).

SLAG.

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