|Forum topic by reggiek||posted 09-14-2011 06:58 PM||6528 views||0 times favorited||20 replies|
09-14-2011 06:58 PM
After all these years of woodworking, I have never reacted to a wood in this way. Last week I was dry turning (I usually turn green) a couple of cocobolo spindles and the next day found a horribly itching red rash on the inside of my arms and around my neck (I usually wear a long sleeved smock when I turn but that day the temperature was 102 degrees outside and about 90 in the shop – so I opted for a short sleeve and an apron). Luckily, I always wear my Triton respirator when I turn or I am sure my face would also have suffered from the same. It has taken almost a week of cortizone to get rid of the itch and rash.
I spoke to a good friend of mine and he recommended I try a Tyvek coverall with a hood. I do not really like a hood but I do need a good seal around the neck. I have ordered a pair and will see how well they perform when I clean out the DC’s filters (full of cocobolo dust).
I have seen several folks listing this malady here on LJ’s and was curious whether they found a solution or did they just quit using this wood? My understanding is that once you react to cocobolo, you can have similar reactions to woods in its species – like rosewoods. I have used alot of both woods…and have probably built up quite a sensitivity now (the wood is known as a sensitizer and continued exposure will have a compounding effect rather then the opposite with most allergens). My reaction certainly proves that continued exposure could cause a reaction as I have turned and worked with ALOT of this wood.
I do not want to discontinue using these woods, but nothing is worth the horrible discomfort (I have heard folks compare this to poison ivy or poison oak – I have never had any problem with these plants – but I guess now I know what it is like).
If you are using these woods – and you have not had any reaction – I would recommend that you still wear protective clothing and do not contact the dust unless protected – that way you should reduce the possiblity of building up a reaction later down the road.
-- Woodworking.....My small slice of heaven!