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Forum topic by WoodChuck84 posted 08-31-2012 01:57 AM 1121 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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56 posts in 3076 days

08-31-2012 01:57 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

I am pretty allergic to poison ivy/oak/sumac. I obtained some Chechen turning stock, but I have been told that it was a member of the same family as poison sumac. What are the chances that it will cause an outbreak? I would hate to get that crap in my lungs…poison sumac did a number on my face several years ago. Should I just pass it on to someone else?

-- Hello, my name is Jarrod and I am a woodaholic.

6 replies so far

View PocketsFullOfSawdust's profile


8 posts in 2298 days

#1 posted 08-31-2012 02:27 AM

Always better to be safe than sorry. Check this out:
Sensitizers usually have to build up to cause a reaction. Since you have had a reaction to something similar, I’d say stay away or protect yourself. I’ve heard stories of a guy that has to use a full hazmat suit to work with cocobolo. I know a guy that had such a reaction to a rosewood that he reacted to himself when he sweated. If it was just a lung problem I’d recommend the dust mask “Dust-Bee-Gone”. It’s a lot more than other dust masks but it is washable and you can wear it wet (read cooler). Good luck and stay safe.

-- "I think that if I did not work with wood, my life would be a hollow emptiness." Jonas Wainwright

View alexdom_89's profile


98 posts in 2500 days

#2 posted 08-31-2012 02:45 AM

I had a horrable month with purple heart I threw out all of the left overs and had a hard time removing all of the dust from turning and cutting. It took me a little over a month to be able to get back to the shop!! If in doubt don’t even try it.

View fussy's profile


980 posts in 3254 days

#3 posted 08-31-2012 02:48 AM

Chechen (Metopium brownei) is not in the same family as poison ivy and sumac, but like those and many other plants it contains urushiol, the irritant that causes contact dermatitis. It got its’ common name, black poison wood fromits’ urushiol content. However, it contains the toxin only in the bark. So unless your turning stock still has the bark or is still wet, you’re good to go. You should, however, wear longsleeves, wear eye protection and a good dust mask. The same advice would apply to any wood if you have exhibited previous alergic reactions.

Some people seek out poisin ivy and sumac vines to turn and swear that as long as it’s dry, they have no problem.

Just be aware and use caution. Don’t worry, but take precautions.


-- Steve in KY. 44 years so far with my lovely bride. Think I'll keep her.

View derosa's profile


1577 posts in 3039 days

#4 posted 08-31-2012 04:43 AM

I react badly to ivy, actually had large blisters the last time I touched some, and have always stayed far from poison sumac but had zero reaction to Chechen. Do take some precautions if you’re worried, it really can take a long time to discover all the dust that has been left behind as Alex mentioned and cause new problems every time you discover a new batch of dust.

-- --Rev. Russ in NY-- A posse ad esse

View ErikF's profile


623 posts in 2447 days

#5 posted 09-03-2012 03:08 AM

If you want to do a little experiment then try this. Make a small cut in the wood, pick up some sawdust with tape, make the sawdust damp, put the tape on your arm for a day and see what happens. It may not be the best option but it should work. I am still getting over a terrible allergic reaction to sycamore…it’s not worth it if you think it might mess you up.

-- Power to the people.

View motownjg's profile


24 posts in 2306 days

#6 posted 09-03-2012 03:13 AM

Wow. Talk about information overload. And I thought wood was wood…...

-- John

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