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  • WOOD TOXICITY

    I want to urge extreme caution when sanding or cutting wood in general, and specifically, 'exotic hardwoods'. Yesterday, I was cutting and sanding some Bolivian Rosewood. I was working in my garage with the door open and was wearing an approved wood-dust mask. This morning my arms, neck, and chest are red and painfull, like I had a sunburn. The skin around my mouth is blistered. The store where I purchased this material posted no warnings about potential skin burns and the dust mask appears to have made the situation worse. While this is an extreme situation, I would bet that almost any wood dust could be dangerous if you happen to be allergic to it. Wear long sleeved shirts, use the best mask you can find, and keep the dust contained! :'(

  • #2

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    • #3
      Re: WOOD TOXICITY

      Where can I find a list of these toxic woods?

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      • #5
        Re: WOOD TOXICITY

        I understand that western red cedar is quite bad for you too. I never knew that for years and I carved on western cedar posts for a long time. Maybe that is why I weigh so much. It has built up in my system. Ha.
        Jim McKinney

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        • #6
          Re: WOOD TOXICITY

          > Chapter three of the Wood Toxicity topic. Finally got an e-mail from WoodCraft, Houston Store. They said they were really sorry I got sick. They guess I didn't the three signs they had posted! Three? And I missed them all? Were they on the ceiling? Printed in Chinese? Moral of the story: Don't rely on the store help to warn you! Don't rely on signs to warn you! ASK! And then, wear appropriate protection.

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          • #7
            Re: WOOD TOXICITY

            This problem is kind of a rare one in our modern, regulated world. We make and sell steel industrial products, and have to provide an 'MSDS' to all of our customers, and we have to keep them on file and posted for our employees. We do all of this because the zinc coating on our steel contains trace amounts of cadmium, lead and arsenic. It's next to impossible to contaminate youself with steel, even if you chew on it, but just because those elements are there, we have to tell the world.

            We're surrounded by the same steel, in our automobiles, and by much worse materials such as plastics and textiles, but do we get an MSDS when we buy a car? We seem to spend all of our safety dollars on industry, which is already tuned in to the problems, and little on consumers, who have no reason to know of potential problems.

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            • #8
              Re: WOOD TOXICITY

              In the resturant trade there are msds for dish soap,cooking oil and probably water.Nothing is safe if you don't use it right.

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              • #9
                Re: WOOD TOXICITY

                : Very True, Don. However allergic reactions vary from person to person and what eats me alive may have no affect on another person. Some woods are more prone to trigger these reactions than others. I guess we all need to find out which woods pose the greatest threat and deal with them accordingly.

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                • #10
                  Re: WOOD TOXICITY

                  hello,
                  we have a five month old who loves to eat everything he can get his hands on. we'd like to use wooden toys, especially make our own. what wood is best for that purpose? how should we prepare the wood to make it safe for his mouth?

                  also... off this subject... we posted a question about drum carving if you have any suggestions...

                  thanks for any advice

                  a&a

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                  • #11
                    Re: WOOD TOXICITY

                    A&A, I would not feel qualified to make any specific recommendations about wood that is safe for a baby. I would suggest you verify anything you read here with a doctor. Having thus dodged the old tort bullet, I will say that softer woods like basswood are fairly benign. Exotic hardwoods from the rainforests seem to be the real bad actors. They all seem, to one degree or another, to defend themselves from insects by being toxic. If you are making wood toys, I would think that a finish used for wooden salad bowls, spoons, etc, would be ok for a toy. However, I would be more concerned about splinters! Check out the websites listed in previous posts for more information.

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                    • #12
                      Re: WOOD TOXICITY

                      A&A,

                      As the good Captain says I would stay away from the exotics and any woods that tend to be oily. I have seen toys made from oak and pine.

                      Cherry Tree is a company that has been in business for a number of years and they sell finishes for toys and I bet they could answer questions about woods to use as well.



                      Good luck and congrats on making it 5 months already

                      Dave

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                      • #13
                        Re: WOOD TOXICITY

                        Thank you both for your input!

                        Blessings and Peace,
                        a&a

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                        • #14
                          Re: WOOD TOXICITY

                          Just learned my lesson xxx I have never ever had a problem with any kind of wood in over 50 years of woodworking until yesterday. I decided I was going to do some scroll saw work on a cedar 1 x 6. Never having a problem with wood toxicity of any kind I decided who needs a dust mask and proceeded. About an hour later my nostrils were all inflamed, head felt like I'd been on a three day binge. Took the rest of the day and last night and part of today for it to clear up. To make it worse, there's two dust masks hanging on the shop wall. There gonna hang on my face from here on in. Moral ... just cause you haven't yet don't mean you won't.

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                          • #15
                            Re: WOOD TOXICITY

                            Had to put in my two cents worth. (it's all I've got)
                            I read somewhere (Chip Chats?) that wood dust is one of the things that COULD be responsible for causing CANCEROUS tumors inside your nasel passage. It seems that people who are constantly exposed to WOOD-DUST seem to have a higher percentage of nose cancer.
                            I don't know how true this is but it makes sense to me.
                            grumpy560

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