Reactions to wood species

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Forum topic by DanielP posted 03-19-2014 05:17 PM 1072 views 1 time favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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328 posts in 1057 days

03-19-2014 05:17 PM

Negative reactions that is. I’m wondering how many LJ,s out there have experiences similiar to mine on certain woods.

Some from worst to best;

1. Lacewood…. Will never use it again, like having thousands of microscopic spears stabbing inside my throat.
2. Congo Teak… A wood outlet I use has a few boards left of beautiful spalted teak for a very reasonable price, but, I am hesitant to buy it because I was sick with severe stuffed nasal passages for several days after using it last time.
3. Ipe… Similiar reaction as Congo Teak but not as severe.
4. African Mahogany….. cause nasal congestion not as bad as Ipe.
5. Alder….definite reaction probably equal to African Mahogany
6. Bloodwood….Been a while since I used it but I vaguely remember mild reaction.
7. Purple Heart…..Dont’ recollect
8. Bubinga….Don’t recollect
9. Padouk…..Don’t recollect
10. Walnut….
11. Oak…
12. Maple…

-- Never trust an atom, they make up everything. anon

22 replies so far

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

19161 posts in 1503 days

#1 posted 03-19-2014 05:24 PM

Eastern Red Cedar – causes Asthma and Asthma reactions in people
Green heart – Can cause respiratory, cardiac and intestinal problems.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View mds2's profile


289 posts in 1109 days

#2 posted 03-19-2014 05:34 PM

Cocobolo- makes my lungs, eyes, and skin want to die. But its so beautiful.

Walnut – makes me sneeze.

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3590 posts in 1516 days

#3 posted 03-19-2014 05:57 PM

If you are getting those types of reactions you definitely need to use a dust mask. Cocobolo makes my skin blister in that case a dust mask doesn’t help.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View darinS's profile


649 posts in 2032 days

#4 posted 03-19-2014 06:43 PM

I haven’t had much problem with wood, but I haven’t been exposed to a lot of different types either.

Here is some general info on allergens however:

There may be some crossover, I haven’t really tried comparing the two lists.

-- Rule 28: When you need help, ask.

View Jim Finn's profile

Jim Finn

2110 posts in 2086 days

#5 posted 03-20-2014 12:39 AM

just this past week I found that mahogany gives me congestion also. My only reaction to wood… far.

-- "Just my opinion, I may be right"

View Baremeg55's profile


36 posts in 701 days

#6 posted 03-20-2014 04:41 AM

Oak wrecks my sinuses….

Occasionally, I will notice a rash from a few of the exotic woods, but goes away fairly quickly.

If I was allergic to walnut and Cherry I would have serious issues. Love to make stuff from those two woods!!!


View DustyCellist's profile


71 posts in 694 days

#7 posted 03-20-2014 05:16 AM

I just joined to find techniques to minimize exposure to dust for just these reasons!!

For me, the worst is pine. I’m allergic and get a reaction similar to mild-medium nut allergy symptoms (constricted and itchy throat and lungs, swollen mouth, itchy skin, etc)

View bowedcurly's profile


515 posts in 893 days

#8 posted 03-20-2014 01:50 PM

I wear a mask at all time when in the shop, but there is some kind of dust that makes me break out in hives but I can’t remember what it is, but they come up in groves

-- Staining killed the wood<<<<<>>>>>Dyeing gave it life

View Nomad62's profile


726 posts in 2123 days

#9 posted 03-20-2014 03:49 PM

Black walnut gives many people respiratory problems, white oak is abrasive to my nose too.

-- Power tools put us ahead of the monkeys

View Woodendeavor's profile


272 posts in 1771 days

#10 posted 03-20-2014 05:17 PM

Old growth heart pine with all of the pitch and resin in it gets my sinuses. Have to wear a respirator around it

View Hammerthumb's profile


2196 posts in 1140 days

#11 posted 03-20-2014 08:04 PM

Ipe causes me allergic asthma
Wenge makes my nose bleed.

-- Paul, Las Vegas

View LiveEdge's profile


433 posts in 785 days

#12 posted 03-20-2014 09:10 PM

I get a number of contact dermatitis reactions (which is ironic because I’m an allergist). Hemlock is the worst, but I believe Purple Heart did it too. I generally gird for battle when I work with wood and assume I will have a reaction until I prove I won’t. I always use gloves. Always. And I generally wear a respirator 90% of the time I’m in the garage working with wood.

Alder has been good. Just made a whole table and I’m pretty sure I didn’t have a reaction. I like adding woods to the good list. :)

View coachmancuso's profile


259 posts in 1096 days

#13 posted 03-20-2014 10:17 PM

Silky oak had my eyes swollen for 4 days and I had hives from my elbows to my fingertips for 2 1/2 weeks. Will walk far away from it when I see it for sale

-- Coach Mancuso

View Bogeyguy's profile


549 posts in 1232 days

#14 posted 03-20-2014 10:24 PM

I get a major headache from ash when the Mrs. presents it upside my head in the form of a ball bat!!

-- Art, Pittsburgh.

View SWCPres's profile


29 posts in 694 days

#15 posted 03-20-2014 10:30 PM

Cocobolo is like hot pepper dust to me.
Fraser Fir went burnt produces a Poison Ivy type reaction on skin.
European Oak can cause some issues, but it varies from individual trees.
Walnut only causes slight respiratory irritations and only in significant quantity.
Most of the others listed either do not bother me or I haven’t been in contact with sufficient enough dust to know.

-- Reinventing the "Wheel", one 800mg Ibuprofen at a time.....

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