Did you know you can burn driftwood, especially from the ocean, to get a
fire with blue and lavender flames? The colored fire comes from
excitation of the metal salts that have soaked into the wood. While the
flames are pretty, the smoke given off of the fire is toxic.
Specifically, driftwood releases a lot of dioxin
from combustion of salt-soaked wood. Dioxins are carginogenic, so
burning driftwood from beaches is not recommended. Some coastal
communities have considered burn bans
on driftwood to reduce the levels of pollution from the smoke. All
smoke contains particulates which can cause health problems when the
smoke is inhaled, but you may have been unaware of the additional issue
with burning driftwood.