LumberJocks

I had another allergic reaction

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by Blake posted 1759 days ago 4640 reads 0 times favorited 30 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I haven’t been spending too much time in the shop ever since i finished the Jellyfish Table.

I actually moved about 10 miles away from my shop so it is not as easy to “casually” do woodworking after work, after dinner, here and there on weekends, etc. My shop is on family property, so its not going anywhere. It takes me about 25 minutes to get there from where we are staying now. So I mostly go on a weekend day here and there.

I have been up to the shop a few times to finish some random projects that I started a long time ago. But three days ago I decided to make a small box out of some scraps of Maple and Lacewood. I spent about 10 minutes shaping a piece of lacewood on my stationary disk sander. That machine doesn’t have dust collection so I wore a respirator. But I am pretty sure that oily, exotic wood in the form of a microscopic dust particle PLUME is what set me off.

I have been paying for it ever since. I am itchy and rashy and puffy EVERYWHERE. The allergy seems to be evolving. I’ve worked with lacewood before without problems. But ever since the BLOODWOOD INCIDENT I seem to be getting more and more sensitive. Its not just Bloodwood anymore.

.

.

My puffy face after the bloodwood incident (it wasn’t quite as bad this time)...

.

I just have to be even more careful. I can’t do anything that puts fine dust into the air. I don’t have the power to run a dust collector, much less the money to afford a system anyway. Someday I plan to have a shop with machines that are vacuum SEALED for dust collection, and an OVERKILL central dust collection system.

But for now I just need to limit the use of exotic woods, increase my use of hand tools, and be hyper aware of every operation in the shop.

A woodworker who is allergic to saw dust. Freakin’ lame, man.

-- Happy woodworking! http://www.openarmsphotography.com



30 comments so far

View woodworm's profile

woodworm

14124 posts in 2189 days


#1 posted 1759 days ago

Do woodworking frequently and you will be immuned, I think.

-- masrol, kuala lumpur, MY.

View stefang's profile

stefang

12571 posts in 1932 days


#2 posted 1759 days ago

Life is always throwing curve balls at us. It can be pretty frustrating sometimes. It’s always good to have alternative plans. Your idea to work more with hand tools is one good idea. It might also change what kind of projects you will want to do. I’m sorry you are having this problem Blake, but I’m sure you will find a work around. Get well soon.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Betsy's profile

Betsy

2913 posts in 2494 days


#3 posted 1759 days ago

Sorry to hear about this Blake. It may be that you’ll have to start wearing long sleeves, along with the respirator. What about using a shopvac outfitted with a dust hood?

-- Like a bad penny, I keep coming back!

View patron's profile

patron

12955 posts in 1939 days


#4 posted 1759 days ago

i bet you could rig a box with a glass lid , with gloves ,
like those sandblasting cases ?
a vacuum hookup and an air blaster .

and wear a carbon mask just in case .

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View TraumaJacques's profile

TraumaJacques

433 posts in 2098 days


#5 posted 1759 days ago

Here are a few good articles on this subject.

http://www.scif.com/safety/safetymeeting/Article.asp?ArticleID=125

http://www.thewoodbox.com/data/wood/toxicityinfo.htm

http://www.woodweb.com/knowledge_base/Allergic_Reactions_to_Wood.html

The best way to prevent allergies is reduce exposure. I went to pick up my kids from school after working with Walnut and a kid with severe allergies started to cough and her eyes were puffy within seconds. i now make sure I change prior to going to school. Keep a log of the wood you react to and clear your shop of all scraps and dust from those species. Good luck.

-- All bleeding will eventually stop.

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 2759 days


#6 posted 1759 days ago

oh dear :(
Once the allergies have taken hold …. not good .
You might have to start doing outside woodworking, with the wind to your back.

Take care!!!!!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View jcees's profile

jcees

946 posts in 2397 days


#7 posted 1759 days ago

Sorry about that, bro. Many woods are high in alkaloids that can lead many of us to allergic reactions such as the kind you NOW have. Years ago I gained a sensitivity to Dektol, a high alkali print developer. I was trained to keep one hand dry so I used my right hand ALL THE TIME. Eventually my cuticles broke open and tiny little blisters erupted on the ends of my fingers. I now have contact dermatitis in my right hand and if I get anywhere near a tray of Dektol with it, viola! However, I can process all day long with my left.

Well, my skin doc sez, “Keep it up, bright boy and you’ll “develop” the same with that one too.” So now I use rubber dishwashing gloves and I feel so pretty.

The moral of the story is, take care and beware.

always,
J.C.

-- When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world. -- John Muir

View SPalm's profile

SPalm

4753 posts in 2480 days


#8 posted 1759 days ago

Take care sir. Health comes first.

Sorry,
Steve

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View Jimthecarver's profile

Jimthecarver

1121 posts in 2383 days


#9 posted 1758 days ago

Blake I know the feeling,
I have become so much more careful since my reaction. Although I noticed I have become allergic to more wood dust than before the first out break. I use a cheap vac on my sanders and other tools to keep down the dust, so far all has been fine.
Here’s to a fast reaction recovery.

-- Can't never could do anything, to try is to advance.

View Billp's profile

Billp

784 posts in 2798 days


#10 posted 1758 days ago

Blake, I hope you get well soon.

-- Billp

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 2897 days


#11 posted 1758 days ago

Sorry to hear about you allergies. You may be developing multi-chemical allergies.

Barb has this problem, there’s hardly no escaping them. Perfumes are a menace to her.

She’s only gone into our Lowes, which has been in our town for 3 years now 3 times, just to use the restroom, & got allergic reactions each time.

Maybe you might want to try using an organic mask like they use for painting.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN. http://www.woodcarvingillustrated.com/gallery/member.php?uid=3627&protype=1

View NBeener's profile

NBeener

4806 posts in 1772 days


#12 posted 1758 days ago

I think I can appreciate what you’re going through … and … it has to suck.

Hope it clears up fast, and that you’re back at it—symptom free—before long.

-- -- Neil

View GMman's profile

GMman

3902 posts in 2295 days


#13 posted 1758 days ago

Sorry hope you get better real soon.

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8715 posts in 2697 days


#14 posted 1758 days ago

Man that is tough. I am really sorry to hear that.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana, http://americancraftsmanworkshop.com

View SteviePete's profile

SteviePete

224 posts in 1901 days


#15 posted 1758 days ago

Respiratory and skin reactions are nothing to fool around with. The only person with your health as their only concern is your personal physician—- working only for your health. Try to see the Doc when you have symptoms. Bring samples, internet information and various recommendations and folk remedies you may hear or get from well meaning LJs like us when you see the Doc. As far as generic protection use the following controls: 1. Eliminate the hazard – don’t sand, scrape. One species of wood causes problems—-don’t use it select different species.
2. Engineer out the problem—Use dust collection both household types and commercial woodworking types. At the point of operation—collect the most dust possible. Air cleaners for your shop area—-dust that gets a way from the dust collection system is filtered out of the ambient air of your shop. Make housekeeping easy. Use the best brooms, dust pans, garbage cans and have a regular routing of sweeping, and dusting all surfaces in your shop area.
3. Administrative controls—stay out of the dusty areas when you don’t need to be there. Like leave the shop to eat lunch, make phone calls, receive guidance from SWMBO, etc.
4. Use personal protective equipment (PPE)—- For respiratory hazards, information is available from many sources. If you have a workplace exposure to respiratory hazards in an OSHA covered workplace you are well aware of a respiratory protection plan and the provisions found in 1910.134. This is the type of training/safe practices we should all be using when working with wood. The respiratory hazards are particulates and hazardous chemicals (like cedar oil, methanol and formaldehyde). The respirator you select must address the hazard. Simply stated: It must remove the hazardous air contaminant, it must fit, you must be physically able to wear one (it makes breathing in and out more difficult) and you must be able to clean and maintain your respirator.

Sermonnette: (my personal opinion place no credibility to it) If you are using anything for respiratory protection that is not rated by NIOSH as a respirator you are only pretending to be protecting yourself. Take RP seriously or start watching more cable TV. Thus endeth the gospel.

If you are reactive to wood dusts, oils or other constituents in wood other PPE should be considered. My personal choices include the following costume for woodworking: Steel toed shoes, long pants, belt and suspenders and duct tape to keep the pants up, longsleeve shirt buttoned at the collar and sleeves and tucked in, gloves that provide the correct level of protection and dexterity (sometimes double gloving leather with latex is necessary), safety glasses with side shields or splash proof goggles or both, face shield and goggles or safety glasses if using rotating tools, hat, balaclava to cover as much skin as possible if you suffer from contact dermatitis. I am trained and fitted for several types of respiratory protection and will use particle masks—only N95 (NIOSH rating) or better, half-face respirator and full-face respirator with two cartridges—organic vapor/acid gas/HEPA multi purpose cartridges. These cartridges are somewhat fitzall in many woodworking circumstances but if you are sensitive to a particular chemical make sure you select the proper chemical. Yes this is probably more information and alarm than most folks want for their hobbies. These exposures can cause serious illness and injury and must be understood to prevent longterm disability. I hope all this bla bla helps someone. spj

-- Steve, 'Sconie Great White North

showing 1 through 15 of 30 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase