Wood allergies?

chris_goris

Chris
Senior User
Anyone had any adverse reaction to any particular woods?. I developed a terrible case of hives after working with some leopardwood last weekend. It seems like it is contact like fine dust contacting my skin around my eyes, ears and nostrils. Plenty of dust collection running, but from where it is, I think I had dust/wood oils on my hands and touched my face etc. Not fun!
 

Oka

Casey
Corporate Member
Leopardwood is related to Poison IVY, maybe it is sumac, either way, the dust can cause a similar reaction. I think there is also a type of redheart that causes a similar reaction as well. Should always wear a mask.That explains why some get a reaction If it is really bad a steroid like prednisone and and the antihistimines like Benadryl are usually what a doctor might prescribe. Lots of people are also allergic to some types of Mahogany as well.

Years ago, felling trees in the Pacific Northwest for my family got me constant cases of Poison oak. Some of the topicals back then were things like the calamine, but the one that seemed to work for me was Tecnu. The ingredients for topicals usually contain one of these type compounds :
aluminum acetate (Burow's solution), aluminum sulfate or calcium acetate.

Anyway, treat it like poison ivy, if it is really bad, see a doctor
 

cyclopentadiene

Update your profile with your name
User
This site does a good job at describing allergies.

i have issues with several woods and if there is suspicion I have a Triton (similar to Trend airshield) that I wear just in case.

As a classically trained synthetic organic chemist, i was sensitized to a lot of chemicals in graduate school. Carbonyl compounds trigger a sever allergic reaction (ie cinnamon) due to a severe lacrymator exposure during my masters. One advantage, I worked with sulfur compounds in my PhD research and which desensitized my olfactory senses so skunk odor is pleasant to me.

I am particularly sensitive to aromatic wood species such as Cedar and Eucalyptus.
 

ScottM

Scott
Staff member
Corporate Member
Chris if I remember correctly back 8-10 years ago we had a member, Wood'n Art, had a bad reaction to purple heart and ended up a couple days in the hospital.
 

chris_goris

Chris
Senior User
Chris if I remember correctly back 8-10 years ago we had a member, Wood'n Art, had a bad reaction to purple heart and ended up a couple days in the hospital.
the reaction isnt too bad, I went to the urgent care, got a shot and some pills .Anybody need a 6" x 60" long piece of leopardwood?
 

ScottM

Scott
Staff member
Corporate Member
the reaction isnt too bad, I went to the urgent care, got a shot and some pills .Anybody need a 6" x 60" long piece of leopardwood?
Chris his reaction was serious including flu like symptoms and respiratory distress.
 

beloitdavisja

James
Corporate Member
I had a reaction to Silky Oak from a bowl I turned. Very itchy hives in some uncomfortable places. Trip to the doctor and some steroids helped.
 

wndopdlr

wally
Senior User
I get an asthmatic like reaction if I try to work with cedar. Built two cedar chests and then a cedar gun cabinet and could not walk 30' on flat ground. Wound up at the doctor, got a shot and a bunch of pills and the admonishment from the doctor "it kills bugs you know." I have dust collection, but installed a ceiling air scrubber after that incident. Now I just avoid cutting cedar in any quantity.
 

smallboat

smallboat
Corporate Member
I was doing some light sanding on a cherry burl bowl this afternoon. While cooking dinner I realized my lips are tingly. (No jalapeños in the dinner but that’s the sensation). This has me wondering if I’m reacting to the sanding dust.
 

Douglas Robinson

Doug Robinson
Corporate Member
I am deathly allergic to Marado, a variety of Rosewood. I break out and it goes systemic. I had to be on steroids for 10 days. Luckily other members here came and emptied my dust collector and took away any wood remnants. BTW I was turning pens at the time and the dust got under my wedding ring and watch. I have not worn a watch since.
 

emichael

New User
eric
I would get mild skin rashes from African padauk and walnut dust, and my throat would feel constricted when I worked pau ferro and cerajeira. Except for the walnut I won't use the others anymore.
 

Rwe2156

DrBob
Senior User
Poplar. If I don't wear an apron, the dust that flies back off the table saw makes me break out in a very itchy rash. It took me a WHILE to figure it out b/c the rash didn't appear until the next morning. Honestly I thought we had bed bugs!

When I'm drinking a beer and scratching my belly - let's just say that doesn't go over well with the boss.
 

Keye

Keye
Corporate Member
Years ago I walked into Charlotte Hardwood and they had lacewood stacked near the counter. I could not believe how low the price was and bought all they had. I made two jewelry boxes and did not have any problems. Later I decided to make a large coffee table. I was sanding one day and had to stop because I had a doctors appointment. On the way to the doctors office my throat started to swell and breathing was becoming very difficult. I new immediately it was a reaction to the lacewood. I called the doctors office and asked them to stay on the line with me until I arrived. They were waiting in the parking lot when I arrived. They gave me a shot and the relief was immediate.

Thinking about it latter I realized the boxes were made when the weather was nice and I had windows and door open. The table was made when the weather was cold and everything was shut. I finished sanding the table outside with a fan blowing from behind me.
 

Douglas Robinson

Doug Robinson
Corporate Member
A lot of tropical woods have toxic substances that act as self-defense in their natural habitat, but can be harmful to humans. I have heard that everyone eventually has an allergic reaction to Cocobollo, all that varies is how long it takes before the reaction occurs.
 

Joe Scharle

Joe
Corporate Member
Recognize this guy? He suffers from Grass and Wood allergy that presents like angioedema with severe swelling of face, hands and worst of all the tongue, requiring emergency room hospitalization. Now he can't saw wood, cut grass or even be close to grass cutting or trim his hedges. Every 28 days he has to get an injection of Xolair at the infusion center. All of his woodworking equipment has to go. Lawn care equipment already gone. Ten years ago was advised to stop woodworking and grass/weed exposure. Two years ago was told to stop woodworking and grass/weed exposure. Some people are slow learners!

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Mike Davis

Mike
Corporate Member
I never had any problems until I was prescribed Levequin (Cipro) for pneumonia. The antibiotic gave me a severe reaction and I have had swelling attacks ever since. Mostly random, but rarely I can identify a cause. When I walk through the detergent isle or get near perfume or cigarette smoke my throat gets dry and starts to swell.

I wonder if any of you who get a reaction from wood dust also had Cipro or Levequin antibiotics sometime in the past?
 

chris_goris

Chris
Senior User
I never had any problems until I was prescribed Levequin (Cipro) for pneumonia. The antibiotic gave me a severe reaction and I have had swelling attacks ever since. Mostly random, but rarely I can identify a cause. When I walk through the detergent isle or get near perfume or cigarette smoke my throat gets dry and starts to swell.

I wonder if any of you who get a reaction from wood dust also had Cipro or Levequin antibiotics sometime in the past?
Ive never taken either of those.
 

Pop Golden

Pop
Corporate Member
I have been told that bloodwood was the worst. It's oily so the sawdust sticks to everything (including my saw blade), so when you get it in your lungs it don't come out. Most of the warnings about this wood states that it can cause permeant damage. I have never had a reaction to any wood, but there's always a 1st. time.

Pop
 

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