Allergy to wood and/or wood dust - Router Forums
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-21-2014, 03:13 AM Thread Starter
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Default Allergy to wood and/or wood dust

I was wondering if anyone has had or heard of someone that has had a sever reaction to different species of wood, or wood dust? I am experiencing a sever reaction to something and the shop is very suspect at this point, in fact I will be out of the shop for the foreseeable future. The rash goes from my feet to my neck. It was first thought to be psoriasis but now appears to be an allergy, cause unknown. I have visited several websites and see where some specious can cause reactions. I have been seeing a dermatologist for some time now. Tomorrow, well today, I will begin taking Prednisone starting at 60 mg per day and tapering off after 5 days to 40 then 20 then 0. I know for me the side effects pretty much run along the lines if it moves kill it if it does not move eat it. Well if anyone has any knowledge to share I would appreciate it.

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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-21-2014, 04:04 AM
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Hi Jerry,

As i work outdoors, I have not had that problem.

I trust you find a speedy and safe solution.

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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-21-2014, 06:31 AM
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I can't handle purpleheart dust.

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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-21-2014, 06:51 AM
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What species of wood have you been working with, and we can narrow it down to a likely suspect. All fine dusts are not good for your lungs, but quite a few species have dermatological affect - most of the tropical woods are culprits, so take inventory, and let us know what you find out.

Take a look at this:
Wood Allergies and Toxicity | The Wood Database

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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-21-2014, 07:01 AM
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Several years ago a hardwood mill operator became excitedly vocal when I asked him if he could get me some sarsaparilla wood. I have a trivet someone down under made out of it and I love the depth and figure in the wood.

He insisted, "Never! Never! Never again! I couldn't even resaw it. I broke out all over. My skin. My lungs. It was terrible. I thought I was going to die!"

I guess that is another variety that can be toxic.
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-21-2014, 07:51 AM
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Jerry, I have a friend who became extremely ill after working at his families cabinet shop. He was responsible for doing the drawings so they could make a bid after his dad took the measurements. They were a large company that did commercial cabinet work for schools, hospitals, and large businesses. He could not even enter the building and had to work from home. Most of their cabinets used a particle board base and a laminate on both sides. He developed this condition after a few years working in the shop, and that was about 30 years ago. He couldn't get around any wood dust.
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-21-2014, 08:14 AM
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Different woods can cause a reaction and some rather severe. Some woods affect your lungs and some affect the skin. I never go to my shop without a respirator on as I do turn and do a lot of sanding. If I breathe any dust I get bronchitis. Wood dust is definitely not good to inhale. I have a friend that cannot cut turn or even cut rosewoods and another that walnut affects him. I know of several woodworkers that are allergic to different woods. A lot of the exotic woods will get you. I would go back and retrace my steps when this reaction happened. You may very well have a allergic reaction to wood you were working with. Hope you get it figured out.

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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-21-2014, 08:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xplorx4 View Post
I was wondering if anyone has had or heard of someone that has had a sever reaction to different species of wood, or wood dust? I am experiencing a sever reaction to something and the shop is very suspect at this point, in fact I will be out of the shop for the foreseeable future. The rash goes from my feet to my neck. It was first thought to be psoriasis but now appears to be an allergy, cause unknown. I have visited several websites and see where some specious can cause reactions. I have been seeing a dermatologist for some time now. Tomorrow, well today, I will begin taking Prednisone starting at 60 mg per day and tapering off after 5 days to 40 then 20 then 0. I know for me the side effects pretty much run along the lines if it moves kill it if it does not move eat it. Well if anyone has any knowledge to share I would appreciate it.
Hey Jerry....your situation is most unfortunate for a woodworker! I'm not a doctor, but before you settle on what the condition is, think about this: you've said that the rash goes from your feet to your neck, right? If you have yourself covered up with overalls socks, shoes, normal clothes, etc., why would it be the dust? Could it not be your washing powder or liquid? I had a similar experience years ago and that was the result for me. Test your laundry stuff. Also test the soap that you use in the shower...change to a body-wash, or if you use that already, change to pure soap (with out perfume added). Maybe change from wearing man-made fabric to pure cotton. I also had an allergy to cheese....I was off dairy altogether for 2 years plus to rid myself of all the toxins.
I hope that I have been of some help. Having been there, I do not envy your situation. I wish you all the best.
Andrew.
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-21-2014, 08:40 AM
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Jerry,

We both live in the Metro Atlanta area - albeit on opposite sides. My dad had a lot of allergies (over 200 were identified) and I am allergic to quite a few things as well. My main problem is migraine headaches. These once had me hospitalized for 18 months - with one non-stop headache! Doctors from all-over the country tested me. It wasn't fun, but was quite interesting.

Allergies are something that exascerbated my headaches (and often still do) and wood dusts can really bring-on some severe problems. Please save yourself a lot of time and trouble by looking-up Dr. George Gottlieb. Every doctor I know will tell you he is the best in that field. CDC sends people to Dr. Gottlieb, as do many other people, hospitals, etc. for their very serious cases. Dr. Gottlieb is a very fine Christian man.

My wierd allergy was to the airborne residue of rodent urine. You see, I've been keeping and breeding reptiles since 1961. Most of the snakes feed on mice, rats, chicks and rabbits. I had a separate building for the rats and mice to be cared for prior to becoming snake food. Although I kept an immaculate facility, the particulate of dried rodent urine is invisible and was compromising my (asthmatic) lungs. I have a much smaller reptile collection now, and purchase pre-frozen rodents and keep them in a freezer in our basement that contains only food for reptiles. Dr. Gottlieb nailed that (quite wierd) diagnosis on my first visit! Yes - he is that good.

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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 01-21-2014, 11:41 AM
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I don't tolerate mdf dust very well. I had an uncle who was a logger and cut trees into logs with a chainsaw for all his working life. In his early 60s he developed an intolerance to western red cedar that ended his logging career and nearly killed him.I read about some of the bad woods to work with and any oily wood like cedar is bad. Yew is particularly toxic.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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