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I posted this in a thread a few weeks ago regarding metal banding in charcoal.......along the same lines, so I'll just cut and paste it.
Do not worry about these bands. They are part of the kiln process. All the scraps are banded together, then loaded in the kilns. After 7-10 days of heat, or when the loader pulls the charcoal out, these straps often snap. 99% of the time they are pulled out of the load like a ribbon, but sometimes they break into smaller peices.. No big deal, just throw it away.
Charcoal comes from trees, and all kinds of objects get lodged, nailed, or grown into 50+ y/o trees. Barb wire fencing, chicken wire, nails, bullets, arrowheads, rocks, etc. The tree often forms a knot around object, so that's not a desirable piece for lumber--thus it goes in the kiln. You wouldn't believe the amount of metal that gets sorted out in the bagging process. Some of it is still inside of the charcoal chunks though--you'll see it in the ash.
None of this gets eaten, so don't worry about it. Now, if you start finding floor scrap, molding scrap, plastic, dead mice, cigarette butts--it's cause for concern. There shouldn't be anything like that in the bag after the kilning process, and there shouldn't be anything that will give off fumes. A rock or some metal wire/banding does not give off fumes, nor hurt the BGE. Just throw it away and hope for an arrowhead next time.
Some of the "prizes" do not get sorted out in the bagging process because they are still in the charcoal......you discover them in the ash. When a tree has a foreign object lodged in it, it "walls" off that area and you get a knot. Lumber is graded by the number of knots, so a really "knotty" piece is usually discarded and ends up in the kiln.
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