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Thread: Question on wood allergies.

  1. #1
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    Question on wood allergies.

    I have been doing lots of turning lately (that is the good part)... the bad part is that I have this rash on my eyelids that won't go away. I have no other allergy symptoms, which is strange and I wear a facemask/respirator. I was wondering if anybody has ever had some similar allergy and if it was related to wood!
    Isaiah 55:6-7

  2. #2
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    Both my father and I get the same rash on our eyelids from time to time. It goes away on its own but he went to a Dr once to find out what it was. Dr said it was an "atopic skin disease" and gave him some cream that got rid of it quicker. IMO stress levels have something to do with it. From the definition it sounds like anything that could cause an allergic reaction could cause the rash.

    a·top·ic
    adj. Of, relating to, or caused by a hereditary predisposition toward developing certain hypersensitivity reactions, such as hay fever, asthma, or chronic urticaria, upon exposure to specific antigens: atopic dermatitis.

  3. #3
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    What kind of cream was it... and is it over the counter stuff???
    Isaiah 55:6-7

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Iquitos, Peru
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    Allergies

    Jonathan: There are probably more people allergic to their wife than wood.
    Here is some interesting info for you. As it says maybe 2% to 5% of people may be allergic to "a" wood.

    Health Concerns
    Wood jewelry is one of the most comfortable and grounding materials we have available to us. With the ever increasing amount of suppliers trying to break into the wood jewelry market, it has become a necessity to supply the industry with this helpful guide to safer wood products. While most of the research available to woodworkers is a good starting point, it was not designed as a guide to wearable woods. The problem being is that the research is specific to wood dust and not the actual skin contact with wood. Wood dust produces an extremely large amount of surface area, which has the potential produce much more extreme reactions than exposure to the amount of surface area that is in contact with the skin in the case of wearable wood.

    Only 2% to 5% of the population will develop an allergic sensitivity to one or more compounds found in wood. Contact dermatitis from timbers is usually attributable to contamination of the skin during machining. Handling of solid wood rarely induces dermatitis, however any species that contains quinones, especially Dalbergia species, may do so. (Calnan 1972). 1
    After lengthy research we have put together this guide to help educate both you the wearer and hopefully some of the manufacturers producing potentially dangerous products.
    Interestingly, most research seems to be reported based on only a few case studies, many of which go back up to 100 years and these results are not obtained by clinical studies with large sample groups. However, these isolated cases should not be dismissed; they are very interesting in showing patterns of cross-sensitivities, and many have been accompanied by positive patch tests from extracts of the offending compounds.
    “The structural components of wood are cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin, but it is the accessory substances or “extractives” found mainly in the heartwood that are responsible for most toxic effects. Vorreiter (1949/1958 ) classifies these as follows: (1) fats, resins, oils, and waxes ; (2) proteins, gums, latex, mucus, starch, and sugers ; (3) alkaloids, bitter principles, dyes, tannins, glycosides, camphor, perfumes, etc.; (4) inorganic and organic acids and salts ; (5) minerals.” 1
    “Some of these act as food reserves for latent growth periods, some as hardening agents, and others protect against mechanical injuries or attack by bacteria, fungi, insects and larger animals (Dietrichs, 1958). Some are metabolic by-products or end-products of no apparent use to the tree.” 1


    Toxic Substances

    Quinones
    The culprit behind these allergies is a group of chemicals called quinones, naturally occurring compounds, often used to make dyes. The quinones are produced as defensive agents against fungal and predator attacks (including me, the woodworker and you, the collector). Quinones play a major role in allergic contact dermatitis caused by plants.

    The primary allergens are benzoquinones or naphthoquinones but also compounds, such as catechols, coumarins, and other phenolic or flavonoid compounds, which are bioconverted into ortho-quinones or para-quinones. Catechol is a main constituent of urushiol, which is the allergen in poison ivy. 2
    It is possible that once sensitized to one of these quinones that cross reactions to similar quinones and/or structures can develop. Included at the bottom of this page is a list of some of the more popular woods that are not suitable to wear.




    Other compounds
    Some of the other compounds that are known to cause harmful responses include: alkaloids and glycosides (systemic effects, pharmacological rather than allergic), saponins (effective through broken skin only), phenols (the strongest skin-sensitizers, especially the catechols of the poison-ivy family), stilbenes (which occur in allergenic woods, but only chlorophorin and coniferyl benzoate are known to sensitize), terpenes (including delta-3-carene from turpentine, sesquiterpene lactones and other sensitizing liverworts found on bark, and euphorbol and other complex terpenes on uncertain toxicity found in the latex of Euphorbiaceae), furocoumarins (photosensitizing and may be partly responsible for skin reactions but has yet to be proved), and dalbergiones (severe skin irritants).


    Toxicity

    The hazardous forms that may give rise to health risks are:
    “The main effect is irritation. An irritant is something that can cause inflammation or irritation. This can be caused by skin contact with the wood, its dust, its bark, its sap, or even lichens growing on the bark. Irritation can, in some species of wood, lead to nettle rashes or irritant dermatitis. These effects tend to appear on the forearm, backs of the hands, the face (particularly eyelids) neck, scalp and the genitals. On average, they take 15 days to develop, but have been known to occur in a few hours to many months. Symptoms usually only persist as long as the affected skin site remains in contact with the source of irritation. Symptoms subside when contact with the irritant is removed.
    Sensitization dermatitis is more problematic and is usually caused by skin exposure to fine wood dust of certain species. Sensitization is an allergic reaction to a substance which is usually irreversible. Resulting in hypersensitivity and susceptibity to being overly responsive. This is also referred to as allergic contact dermatitis and results in similar skin effects to those produced by skin irritants. Once sensitized, the body sets up an allergic reaction, and the skin may react severely if subsequently exposed to very small amounts of the wood dust. Cross-sensitization may develop where other woods or even non-wood materials produce a similar response.” 3
    Allergic Contact Dermatitis
    An allergy is basically the negative health effects which result from the stimulation of specific immune responses. Allergic contact dermatitis is a form of delayed-type hypersensitivity reaction which is dependant upon cell-mediated immune function and the activity of T lymphocytes. The most frequent form of allergic reaction is to small molecular weight materials such as chemicals and proteins. These reactions are better known as contact hypersensitivity, skin sensitization, and allergic contact dermatitis.
    This occurs in 2 stages:
    Stage I (Induction Phase): Initial contact may result in the allergen penetrating the stratified squamous epithelial cells of the skin and binding to large dendritic (branched) white blood cells in the epidermis called Langerhans cells. The Langerhans cell (with the allergen on its membrane) migrates to a nearby lymph node where special white blood cells, called effector T-cells, are programmed to recognize the allergen. There are literally millions of effector T-cells roaming throughout the blood and lymphatic system, each with special receptor molecules on their membranes for a particular allergenic chemical. T-cells patrol our circulatory system looking for invading cells and viruses. 2
    Stage II (Elicitation Phase): If you come in contact with the offending allergen during a subsequent encounter, an effector T-cell may encounter it bound to a Langerhans cell and attach to it by a complicated and specific recognition system. The effector T-cell then produces multiple clones and releases special proteins called lymphokines which attract a legion of different white blood cells, including macrophages and cytotoxic ("killer") T-cells. The new army of white blood cells releases cytokines or proteins which destroy everything in the vicinity including other skin cells, thus producing a blistering rash. 2
    Milder effects range from redness (vasodilation) and itching (nerve injury) to small blisters (vesicles and bullae). Stronger effects can result in Anaphylaxis, which can occur in response to any allergen, while Anaphylaxis occurs infrequently; it is life-threatening and can occur at any time. Risks include prior history of any type of allergic reaction.
    Here is a small list of popular woods that should be avoided.
    We will continue to expand this list as we further our research.
    Most of this information is taken from
    Botanical Dermatology: Plants and Plant Products Injurious to the Skin. 4

    Dalbergia spp (Rosewoods) With “the discovery of sensitizing quinones in other woods such as teak…led Schulz and Dietrichs (1962) to look for similar substances in Dalbergia nigra and Dalbergia retusa. They found three quinones which they called Dalbergia quinones A, B and C, and demonstrated by patch tests on patients that these were the sensitizers, the strongest being R-3,4-dimethoxydalbergione… They have now been found in most other Dalbergia spp.” 4
    Dalbergia retusa (Cocobolo) contains S-4'-hydroxy-4-methoxy dalbergione, R-4-methoxy dalbergione and other quinones and phenols. 4
    Dalbergia cultrate (Burmese Rosewood) contains a dalbergione. 4
    Dalbergia nigra (Brazilian Rosewood) contains R-4-methoxydalbergione and other quinones. 4
    Dalbergia latifolia (East Indian Rosewood, Sonokoling) contain R-4-methoxydalbergione and other quinones. 4
    Dalbergia cochinchinensis (Laos Rosewood, Thai Rosewood, Cochin Rosewood) contain R-4-methoxydalbergione and other quinones. 4
    Dalbergia stevensonii (Honduran Rosewood, Nagaed Wood, Palissandre Honduras) contains a dalbergione. 4
    Dalbergia decipularis (Tulipwood) contains a dalbergione. 4
    Dalbergia frutescens (Tulipwood) contains a dalbergione. 4
    Dalbergia. melanoxylon (African Blackwood) contains several quinones including S-4'-hydroxy-4-methoxydalbergione and S-4-methoxydalbergione. 4
    Dalbergia cearensis (Kingwood, de Violette, Violet Wood, Violetta) contains a dalbergione, described as a very severe skin irritant, often leading to persistent ulceration.4
    Dalbergia congestiflora (Mexican Kingwood) contains a dalbergione. 4
    Dalbergia maritime (Madagascar Rosewood, Bois de Rose) contains a dalbergione. 4
    Cordia dodecandra (Zericote, Ziricote) Cross reactions are possible with this species once sensitivity to R-3,4-dimethoxydalbergione (found in pao ferro and Dalbergia species), obtusaquinone (found in cocobolo), and macassar quinone (found in macassar ebony) have developed. 4
    Cordia elaeagnoides (Bocote, Becote) Cross reactions are possible with this species once sensitivity to R-3,4-dimethoxydalbergione (found in pao ferro and Dalbergia species), obtusaquinone (found in cocobolo), and macassar quinone (found in macassar ebony) have developed. 4
    Peltogyne densiflora (Purpleheart) “Dalbergiones have been isolated from the wood.” 4
    Tetraclinis articulata (Thuya Burl) The heartwood of this species is known to contain several dermatologically active compounds including thymoquinone, carvacrol, and ß- and ?-thujaplicins. 4
    Tectona grandis (Teak) The “dermatic compounds” (sensitizers) lapachol (aka tecomin, a quinone), desoxylapachol, and lapachonole (aka lapachonone) where found in Tectona wood. Lapachol has been called “a known elicitor of contact dermatitis” and a “sensitizing agent.” “Deoxylapachol and lapachenole…are potent contact allergens.” “Local races of teak and even individual trees vary greatly in desoxylapachol content.” “Lapachenole has been shown to be both irritant and sensitizing” by Sandermann & Barghoorn (1955). “Indonesian natives have long distinguished three grades of the wood, the poorest (Djati sempoerna) being liable to cause skin irritation”4
    Pterocarpus soyauxii (Padauk) can cause irritation of the skin, dermatitis, and sensitizer. Can have naphthoquinones. Cross-sensitivity may occur with use of Bocote when sensitivity has been developed to related quinones. 5
    Machaerium scleroxylon (Pau Ferro) has dalbergiones. It can cause dermatitis, itching, swelling, redness of face, scrotum, and hands. 4
    Guibourtia tessmannii (Bubinga) “Dermatitis, possibly caused by sensitizing quinones.” 6
    Diospyros celebica (Macassar Ebony) contains macassar II, a ß-naphthol “derivative that may become oxidised in vivo to macassar quinone. This compound has been shown to have sensitizing properties in guinea pigs. Cross-sensitivity to other naphthoquinones” three found in zericote, pao ferro, cocobolo, becote, and padauk are possible. “Later testing confirmed sensitivity to R-3,4-dimethoxydalbergione (found in pao ferro), obtusaquinone (found in cocobolo), and macassar quinone (found in macassar ebony).” Wood of this specie is one of the only ones that these substances have been proven to be found in. “The yellow naphthoquinone pigment, plumbagin (methyl juglone) occurs in a colourless combined form and is liberated from root tissue by acid treatment. (Harborne 1966)… Plumbagin is also found in some species of the families Droseraceae, Ebenaceae, and Euphorbiaceae (Thomson 1971)…. Plumbagin has an irritating odor and causes sneezing; it stains the skin to a purple color and has a vesicant action.” 4
    Cinnamomum camphora (Camphorwood) The wood contains camphor and borneol. Following cases of serious toxicity and even death in children, products containing more than trace quantities of camphor have now largely been withdrawn from the market (Reynolds 1996). “Can cause dermatitis and shortness of breath” and camphor causes mild heart stimulant activity. Topically applied, it can penetrate the skin. 4
    Milletia laurentii (Wenge) can have central nervous system effects, give dermatitis, irritate skin, is listed as a sensitizer, and is oily. 5
    Acer saccharum (Sugar Maple) “This species has been found to contain 2,6-dimethoxy-1,4-benzoquinone which is a known contact allergen” 5
    Salix spp (Willow) contains salicin, a phenolic glucoside, and is a precursor of aspirin, also has saligenin, a known contact allergen. Willow is also listed as a sensitizer. 5
    Betula spp (Birch) contain salicylates such as methyl salicylate, Cross-sensitivities could occur in those with aspirin allergies. Birch also listed as sensitizer. 5
    Dymondwood is a manufactured wood product consisting of layers of birch veneer which have been dyed with aniline dye and then compressed under heat and pressure with acrylic resins into a dense, durable, highly polished material. Aniline dyes have been proven to be carcinogenic as well as sensitizing agents causing allergic contact dermatitis.
    Aniline Dye (in Dymondwood)
    Warning: this dye is also commonly used overseas to dye wood to make it appear as black ebony. Unfortunately, this practice is more common then you would believe. 7

    Skin Contact: May be absorbed through skin. Symptoms of skin absorption parallel those from inhalation exposure. May cause skin irritation. Local contact may cause dermatitis. 7
    Chronic Exposure: Aniline is a blood toxin, causing hemoglobin to convert to methemoglobin, resulting in cyanosis. Lengthy or repeated exposures may result in decreased appetite, anemia, weight loss, nervous system affects, and kidney, liver and bone marrow damage. Any exposure may cause an allergic skin reaction. 7
    Skin Protection: Wear impervious protective clothing, including boots, gloves, lab coat, apron or coveralls, as appropriate, to prevent skin contact. 7
    Environmental Toxicity: This material is expected to be very toxic to terrestrial life and to aquatic life.7

    It is possible that once sensitized to one of these quinones that cross reactions to similar quinones and/or structures
    can develop. Included at the bottom of this page is a list of some of the more popular woods that are not suitable to
    wear due to these risks. There are other hardwoods that are notorious for causing dangerous reactions (which may
    include surprisingly strong reactions such as cardiac and nervous system effects, cancer, and genotoxicity), such as:
    afromosia (Periocopsis elata), Australian blackwood (Acacia melanoxylon), greenheart (Chlorocardium rodiei),


    Page 3


    mansonia (Mansonia altissima), sassafras (Sassafras albidum), and satinwood (Chloroxylon swietenia), as well as
    various softwoods such as: cedar (Thuja spp.), hemlock (Tsuga spp.), pine (Pinus spp.), and yew (Taxus spp.);
    however, these are not discussed here because we have fortunately not seen their attempted use in body jewelry.
    Other compounds
    Some of the other compounds that are known to cause harmful responses include: alkaloids and glycosides
    (systemic effects, pharmacological rather than allergic), saponins (effective through broken skin only), phenols (the
    strongest skin-sensitizers, especially the catechols of the poison-ivy family), stilbenes (which occur in allergenic
    woods, but only chlorophorin and coniferyl benzoate are known to sensitize), terpenes (including delta-3-carene from
    turpentine, sesquiterpene lactones and other sensitizing liverworts found on bark, and euphorbol and other complex
    terpenes on uncertain toxicity found in the latex of Euphorbiaceae), coumarins and furocoumarins (photosensitizing
    and may be partly responsible for skin reactions but has yet to be proven), and dalbergiones (severe skin irritants).
    List of popular woods that should be avoided to minimize the risk of adverse effects
    Most of this information is taken from: Botanical Dermatology: Plants and Plant Products Injurious to the Skin.
    4
    We will continue to expand this list as we further our research. Note that we are listing research specific to the
    heartwood of trees; toxins can be found in a species that is not found in its wood. For example, cyanide is found in
    apple seeds, but the fruit is edible, even though it is in close proximity to this toxin. “Toxic activity is specific to a
    wood species. Knowing the exact species is important in establishing what the potential toxic effects may be.
    Individual wood species… are very easily confused. For example, ‘rosewood’ may be used for up to 30 different
    species; and an individual species may have up to ten different trade names (Hausen 1981). An additional difficulty
    is that trees vary within a species. One specimen may contain low levels of its toxic agent and the next contain much
    higher levels. So experience may not be a reliable guide.”
    5


    Page 4


    Dalbergia spp: (Rosewoods) “The discovery of sensitizing quinones in other woods such as teak…led Schulz and
    Dietrichs (1962) to look for similar substances in Dalbergia nigra and Dalbergia retusa. They found three quinones
    which they called Dalbergia quinones A, B and C, and demonstrated by patch tests on patients that these were the
    sensitizers, the strongest being R-3,4-dimethoxydalbergione… They have now been found in most other Dalbergia
    spp.”
    4
    Dalbergia cearensis: (Kingwood, de Violette, Violet Wood, Violetta) contains a dalbergione, described as a very
    severe skin irritant, often leading to persistent ulceration.
    4
    Dalbergia cochinchinensis: (Laos Rosewood, Thai Rosewood, Cochin Rosewood) contain R-4-
    methoxydalbergione and other quinones.
    4
    Dalbergia congestiflora: (Mexican Kingwood) contains a dalbergione.
    4
    Dalbergia cultrate: (Burmese Rosewood) contains a dalbergione.
    4
    Dalbergia decipularis and Dalbergia frutescens: (Tulipwood) contains a dalbergione.
    4
    Dalbergia latifolia: (East Indian Rosewood, Sonokoling) contain R-4-methoxydalbergione and other quinones.
    4
    Dalbergia maritime: (Madagascar Rosewood, Bois de Rose) contains a dalbergione.
    4
    Dalbergia melanoxylon: (African Blackwood) contains several quinones including S-4'-hydroxy-4-
    methoxydalbergione and S-4-methoxydalbergione.
    4
    Dalbergia nigra: (Brazilian Rosewood) contains R-4-methoxydalbergione and other quinones.
    4
    Also endangered.
    Dalbergia retusa: (Cocobolo) contains S-4'-hydroxy-4-methoxydalbergione, R-4-methoxydalbergione,
    obtusaquinone, and other quinones and phenols.
    4
    Dalbergia stevensonii: (Honduran Rosewood, Nagaed Wood, Palissandre Honduras) contains a dalbergione.
    4
    Acer saccharum: (Sugar Maple) “This species has been found to contain 2,6-dimethoxy-1,4-benzoquinone which is a
    known contact allergen.”
    4, 7
    Betula spp: (Birch) contains salicylates such as methyl salicylate. Cross-sensitivities could occur in those with
    aspirin allergies. Birch is also listed as sensitizer.
    5
    Cinnamomum camphora: (Camphorwood) The wood contains camphor and borneol. Following cases of serious
    toxicity and even death in children, products conta ining more than trace quantities of camphor have now largely been
    withdrawn from the market (Reynolds 1996). “Can cause dermatitis and shortness of breath” and camphor causes
    mild heart stimulant activity. Topically applied, it can penetrate the skin.
    4
    Cordia dodecandra: (Zericote, Ziricote) Cross reactions are possible with this species once sensitivity to R-3,4-
    dimethoxydalbergione (found in pao ferro and Dalbergia species), obtusaquinone (found in cocobolo), and macassar
    quinone (found in macassar ebony) have developed.
    4
    Cordia elaeagnoides: (Bocote, Becote) Cross reactions are possible with this species once sensitivity to R-3,4-
    dimethoxydalbergione (found in pao ferro and Dalbergia species), obtusaquinone (found in cocobolo), and macassar
    quinone (found in macassar ebony) have developed.
    4
    Diospyros celebica: (Macassar Ebony) contains macassar II, a ß-naphthol “derivative that may become oxidised in
    vivo to macassar quinone. This compound has been shown to have sensitizing properties in guinea pigs. Cross-
    sensitivity to other naphthoquinones” (three found in zericote, pao ferro, cocobolo, becote, and padauk) are possible.
    “Later testing confirmed sensitivity to R-3,4-dimethoxydalbergione (found in pao ferro), obtusaquinone (found in
    cocobolo), and macassar quinone (found in macassar ebony).” Wood of this specie is one of the only ones that these
    substances have been proven to occur in. “The yellow naphthoquinone pigment, plumbagin (methyl juglone) occurs
    in a colourless combined form and is liberated from root tissue by acid treatment. (Harborne 1966)… Plumbagin is


    Page 5


    also found in some species of the families Droseraceae, Ebenaceae, and Euphorbiaceae (Thomson 1971)….
    Plumbagin has an irritating odor and causes sneezing; it stains the skin to a purple color and has a vesicant action.”
    4
    Guibourtia tessmannii: (Bubinga) “Dermatitis, possibly caused by sensitizing quinones.”
    6
    Machaerium scleroxylon: (Pau Ferro) has R-3,4-dimethoxydalbergione
    7
    , a strong sensitizer and irritant. It can
    cause dermatitis, itching, swelling, redness of face, scrotum, and hands.
    4
    Milletia laurentii: (Wenge) can have central nervous system effects, give dermatitis, irritate skin, is listed as a
    sensitizer, and is oily.
    5
    Wenge contains 2.6-dimethoxybenzoquinone.
    7
    Peltogyne densiflora: (Purpleheart) “Dalbergiones have been isolated from the wood.”
    4
    Pterocarpus soyauxii: (Padauk) can cause irritation of the skin, dermatitis, and sensitization. It can have
    naphthoquinones. Cross-sensitivity may occur with use of bocote when sensitivity has been developed to related
    quinones.
    5
    Salix spp: (Willow) contains salicin, a phenolic glucoside, and is a precursor of aspirin; also has saligenin, a known
    contact allergen. Willow is also listed as a sensitizer.
    5
    Tectona grandis: (Teak) The “dermatic compounds” (sensitizers) lapachol (aka tecomin, a quinone), desoxylapachol,
    and lapachonole (aka lapachonone) where found in Tectona wood. Lapachol has been called “a known elicitor of
    contact dermatitis” and a “sensitizing agent.” “Deoxylapachol and lapachenole…are potent contact allergens.” “Local
    races of teak and even individual trees vary greatly in desoxylapachol content.” “Lapachenole has been shown to be
    both irritant and sensitizing” by Sandermann & Barghoorn (1955). “Indonesian natives have long distinguished three
    grades of the wood, the poorest (Djati sempoerna) being liable to cause skin irritation.”
    4
    Tetraclinis articulata: (Thuya Burl) The heartwood of this species is known to contain several dermatologically active
    compounds including thymoquinone, carvacrol, and ß- and ă-thujaplicins.
    4
    Other wood related products
    Dymondwood® is a manufactured plywood product consisting of laminated layers of hardwood (likely birch) veneer
    which have been colored with mono-azo acid dyes and then compressed under intense heat and pressure with
    phenol formaldehyde resin into a dense, durable, highly polished material. Interestingly, Bakelite, a type of early
    thermoset synthetic resin, is a polymer of phenol with formaldehyde. Many Dymondwood® varieties go by cute trade
    names, but it can usually be identified by it's appearance as a brightly colored wood product with consistently spaced
    stripes in contrasting colors not normally appearing in untreated wood. Besides cropping up periodically in the body
    piercing world as earplugs, it is common to find it utilized in other products such as pipes and bracelets.
    Phenol, also known as carbolic acid or hydroxybenzene, is toxic and corrosive. The dangers posed by formaldehyde,
    including it’s role as a carcinogen, are also substantial. According to the MSDS for Dymondwood®, "Phenol and
    formaldehyde may be released in small quantities from product under normal conditions." “Some people may
    develop dermatitis from repeated and prolonged exposure to unfinished product.” “Laboratory data indicates that
    certain acid dyes may be mutagenic in animals.”
    8
    The azo dyes (azo is a chemical compound containing one pair
    nitrogen atoms with a double bond between them) may release aromatic amines if the azo linkages are broken down
    via enzymes, or poss ibly via heat and photochemical reactions, though intact azo dyes are unlikely to be absorbed by
    the skin. However, these aromatic amines have been linked to serious long-term health effects, including links to
    cancer in humans, so the possibility of their presence is of grave concern. Incidently, azo dyes are sometimes used
    as pigments in tattoo ink.
    Unfortunately, dyes are also commonly used overseas to make lighter woods appear as black ebony. These
    commonly include aniline or PPD. Aniline is a blood toxin that is easily absorbed through the skin, which may cause
    allergic skin reactions and irritation, contact dermatitis, sensitization, is a possible carcinogen, and is considered very
    toxic to terrestrial and aquatic life.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Lakebay/Gig Harbor, WA
    Posts
    85

    Hello

    Hello
    Seems to be a bit of talk about wood alergies today. I posted on another thread a little about my illness that causes anyphylactic shock, yes a severe reaction for sure, however I do feel that if certain woods bother you then consult a Doctor. Thanks Jim for your post and I'll sure tell ya that being one of the 2-5 percent is really no fun and limits my woodturing and flat woodwork. I just believe that anyone that has any kind of senstivity whether its really bad or so so, should consult a Doc. I have to carry an epipen and steroids with me at all times thats the far end of the spectrum. I read of a man that never had a reaction to any kind of wood and had used cocobolo many times and yet the last time he used it, he went into anaphylactic shock. I do not wish to scare the heck out of any one, but it is better to be safe then sorry, particularly when it's pretty easy to make a Doc appt. or avoid using what bothers ya just in case.
    Please play it safe and er on the side of caution.
    Happy Turning
    Tony
    OK I'll play too. I am 1,962 miles away from Steve Schlumpf

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Iquitos, Peru
    Posts
    796

    Alergic reactions

    Tony: I can fully understand the feeling of being allergic to something. I have spent a good share of my life in Tropical Africa and the Amazon. For many years, infact until recently I was allergic to many insect bites to the point where my shot kit was never out of reach. Just about suffocated several times and then without any reason I was allergic to nothing. The doctors here attribute it to me having a more than an adequate supply of Malaria (26 times) and Denge twice. The body simply adapted to what it could handle. On the other side of the coin I have worked with hundreds of species of woods and never a problem.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    1,833
    Good info Jim! Does it mention walnut in your book or your other resources? I'd like to know what is the active allergen in walnut. If those that are allergic to walnut knew the active ingredient, they could avoid those exotics with the same ingredient, etc.

    TIA,
    Dick

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Iquitos, Peru
    Posts
    796
    Notes on poisoning: black walnut

    General poisoning notes:


    Black walnut (Juglans nigra) is native to southwestern Ontario and has been planted as a cultivated tree. The shavings of wood from this tree have caused laminitis in horses in the United States. Black walnut shavings are less likely to be used as bedding in Canada because the tree is not common here. However, if bedding is obtained from a hardwood mill or furniture manufacturing plant, sufficient black black walnut shavings may be present to cause problems. Reforestation of black walnut has been attempted in southern Ontario by leaving nuts for squirrels to gather in the autumn. The squirrel bury them for the winter, allowing many black walnut trees to germinate by this method. Pollen of black walnut has been implicated in causing laminitis in horses (MacDaniels 1983, Minnick et al. 1987). References:


    Galey, F. D., Whiteley, H. E., Goetz, T. E., Kuenstler, A. R., Davis, C. A., Beasley, V. R. 1991. Black walnut (Juglans nigra) Toxicosis: a model for equine laminitis. J. Comp. Pathol., 104: 313-326.
    MacDaniels, L. H. 1983. Perspective on the black walnut toxicity problem - apparent allergies to man and horse. Cornell Vet., 73: 204-207.
    Minnick, P. D., Brown, C. M., Braselton, W. E., Meerdink, G. L., Slanker, M. R. 1987. The induction of equine laminitis with an aqueous extract of the heartwood of black walnut (Juglans nigra). Vet. Hum. Toxicol., 29: 230-233.
    True, R. G., Lowe, J. E. 1980. Induced juglone toxicosis in ponies and horses. Am. J. Vet. Res., 41: 944-945. Nomenclature:



    Scientific Name: Juglans nigra L.

    Vernacular name(s): black walnut
    Scientific family name: Juglandaceae
    Vernacular family name: walnut Go to ITIS*ca for more taxonomic information on: Juglans nigra

    Notes on Poisonous plant parts:


    Wood shavings of black walnut have caused symptoms in horses. The chemical juglone has not been found in appreciable amounts in the wood. Other chemicals are probably involved in causing symptoms in horses from wood shavings (Minnick et al. 1987). Toxic parts:


    bark
    mature fruit
    wood
    References:



    Minnick, P. D., Brown, C. M., Braselton, W. E., Meerdink, G. L., Slanker, M. R. 1987. The induction of equine laminitis with an aqueous extract of the heartwood of black walnut (Juglans nigra). Vet. Hum. Toxicol., 29: 230-233. Notes on Toxic plant chemicals:


    Juglone, a naphthoquinone, has been found in the bark, nuts, and roots of black walnut. Pure juglone is less potent than a crude extract of the plant in inducing toxic effects. Additional compounds seem to be involved in causing more severe cases. Two ponies given 1 g of pure juglone orally developed mild laminitis that disappeared within 24 h (Minnick et al. 1987). Toxic plant chemicals:


    juglone
    References:


    Minnick, P. D., Brown, C. M., Braselton, W. E., Meerdink, G. L., Slanker, M. R. 1987. The induction of equine laminitis with an aqueous extract of the heartwood of black walnut (Juglans nigra). Vet. Hum. Toxicol., 29: 230-233.
    True, R. G., Lowe, J. E. 1980. Induced juglone toxicosis in ponies and horses. Am. J. Vet. Res., 41: 944-945. Animals/Human Poisoning:


    Note: When an animal is listed without additional information, the literature (as of 1993) contained no detailed explanation. Horses

    General symptoms of poisoning:

    ataxia
    breathing, rapid
    depression
    laminitis
    lethargy
    recumbency

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Long Island
    Posts
    225
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim King
    Jonathan: There are probably more people allergic to their wife than wood.
    Here is some interesting info for you. As it says maybe 2% to 5% of people may be allergic to "a" wood.
    You say that as if it's rare. In the US alone, there's roughtly 300 million people. 2-5% would still be 6-15 Million People.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Iquitos, Peru
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    Allergies

    Your right, thats a lot of people but I still think the wife part is probably correct. Jim

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    At my house, near Chicago.
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    32

    Interesting thread.

    A few weeks ago I thought I might have had a mild stroke- scared me half to death.. My vision was blurred, my face swelled, eyelids swelled shut, I turned bright red and my face was burning/itching. I took several hot showers, which provided temporary relief, but once I was dressed things were worse each time. I looked like I had gained 20 years overnight.
    I went to a dermatologist (first time ever) who said it was some form of contact dermatitis. She couldn't say what its cause was, possibly fine dust- as I let her know that I build guitars. By the time I got in to see her, the rash had spread over my entire face, neck, chest, belly, scrotum, and inner thighs. This happened over the course of two days. It had begun to blister in the earlier affected areas, especially my eyelids, bck of the ears, lips, and anywhere on my face where I shave. I could feel every hair follicle on my face, and could not stand to have anything touch my skin- clothing hurt.

    To make a long story longer, I had been working on a prototype guitar using MDF and mahogany, and we figured it was probably something in the MDF dust. (I made several templates from an old piece I had picked up somewhere). That stuff, as most of you know, creates tons of very fine dust. I had been using a router and spindle sander without dust collection all day on Saturday. By Monday, I was ready to go to the doctor...

    Anyhow, the doctor put me on steroids and salve, told me to not bathe for three days (yuck), and see how things went. The steroids kept me awake for about a week, and muddled my thinking. Not a pleasant high, but I was speeding for the duration of those meds (Prednisone). The rash cleared up, and things started to go back to normal. My son (who is my partner) went on his honeymoon, and I left the prototype with him. I didn't touch any mahogany for almost two weeks while he was away.

    Yesterday I was back working with the same wood (different guitar, but made from the same batch of mahogany). I routed the truss rod channel first thing in the morning, hot hide glued the fingerboard on, belt sanded the rough shape for the neck, and scraped/hand sanded for about five hours. I then showered, and went off to my evening job (I teach private guitar lessons 4 days/week). By the time I reached the studio, I noticed that my hands were really sore. This isn't unusual after a full day of 60 grit wood shaping, but they were worse than usual. A couple of fingertips were on the verge of bleeding, but only a couple of fingers. I also noticed that I was itchy and coughing quite a bit. By the time I got home, my eyelids felt dried out, and the edges of my ears were rough, dry, and sensitive. My nuts were really itchy. I started noticing the insides of my arms were itching.

    I took another shower, and decided to go to sleep (I had just finished working from 3am until 9 pm.. (S.O.P., I work non-stop, 7 days/week)

    Well, I was up every hour on the hour, going from bed to La-Z-Boy to couch.. itching like mad. The redness has returned, and I'm swelling up as I type this. I have never been allergic to anything that I'm aware of, and this is intolerable. I'm waiting now for the dermatologist's office to open. I work with most of the exotics on a regular basis. Looks to me like it must be the mahogany.. Bad news for a luthier...
    "Now, go back there and get your mom..."

    Actually, I build guitars when I'm not talking to fish.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Harvey, Michigan
    Posts
    20,297
    Rich - sounds like you are in misery! Hope the Doc can fix you up and you can get back to feeling normal real soon!
    Steve

    “You never know what you got til it's gone!”
    Please don’t let that happen!
    Become a financial Contributor today!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    At my house, near Chicago.
    Posts
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    Thanks Steve. I just talked to them, and they are short on doctors this week- they told me to try my primary care physician... I don't even remember his name.

    If nothing else, this thread gave me some great information. I plan on printing it out to drag along to whomever I can find...

    Great forum!
    "Now, go back there and get your mom..."

    Actually, I build guitars when I'm not talking to fish.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Eau claire, Wisconsin
    Posts
    3,084

    Wow!!

    Am I ever glad that I have not had a bad reaction to any wood yet! I used to get weird swelled fingers after sawing a bunch of wet wood on the Woodmizer but never could determine if it was the wood or the moisture and sap etc. Never did it every time but enough for concern. It has not happened in a while so maybe my body has become immune th what ever it was. Rich I hope all goes well and you figure out the rash, itching really sucks!

    Good luck to all and I hope everyone stays rash free!

    Jeff
    To turn or not to turn that is the question: ........Of course the answer is...........TURN ,TURN,TURN!!!!
    Anyone "Fool" can know, The important thing is to Understand................Albert Einstein
    To follow blindly, is to never become a leader............................................ .....Unknown

  15. #15
    Tyvek full body coveralls are for sale. I wonder if that plus a trend airshield plus gloves would help with the allergies. I think I've seen them in regular woodworking catalogs as well. Another thought is stopping periodically and vacuuming yourself down.

    Tyvek coveralls:

    "It's a tough, disposable coverall that keeps wet and dry particulate matter away from the skin, giving the wearer full protective coverage in a flexible, comfortable material."

    http://www.disposable-garments.com/tyvek_coveralls.html
    Tage Frid: The easiest thing in the world is to make mistakes.

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