Creosote is used as a wood preservative and water proof agent in railway sleepers, utility poles, buildings foundations and fences and garden furniture. It is a mixture of over 300 hydrocarbons which include 75% polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, 2-17% phenolic compounds and 10-18% heterocyclic organic compounds. Exposure to creosote may result in several health problems including damage to kidney, liver, eyes and skin. Potential contamination of soil and water exist from creosote treated wood from construction and demolition sites.
Ghaly, A. E., Zhang, B., & Dave, D. (2011). Biodegradation of phenolic compounds in creosote treated wood waste by a composting microbial culture augmented with the fungus thermoascus aurantiacus. American Journal of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, 7(2), 90–103. https://doi.org/10.3844/ajbbsp.2011.90.103