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Thread: Wood Allergies

  1. #1
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    Wood Allergies

    This topic is obviously one that I am studying and near and dear to me if you are interested here is a link to the toxicity to different woods. Maple is fairly high up there on the list hmmmm
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
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    how do you define this chart as to what it is saying??? i was looking at sassafras and it shows a skull and cross bones??? i have chewed on sassafras sticks since i was a kid and they make tea from the roots of it and rootbeer used to made from it as well???
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    Quote Originally Posted by larry merlau View Post
    i have chewed on sassafras sticks since i was a kid and they make tea from the roots of it and rootbeer used to made from it as well???
    Yeah, we eat rattlesnake and puffer-fish too . Not to make light of physical reactions to certain elements but, the chart, while accurate, can make you fearful. It is important to remember that many of the symptoms are potential reactions. Larry chews sassafras and lives to tell, tool handles are made of boxwood although it is an irritant and sailors have run around barefoot on teak for generations. Milk does a body good but, not for me although I work with walnut . . . a lot . . . without issue. The chart is a set of guidelines and is for informational use.
    Last edited by glenn bradley; 06-17-2012 at 07:14 PM.
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    Glenn is correct not everyone is hypersensitive only a few are that unfortunatly. I worked with walnut for year now oh well.
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  5. #5
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    I found the wood species sneezewood causes violent sneezing named appropiately.

    maybe a new species should be invented....borg wood could be called crapola species, may be harmful to your wallet
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    Quote Originally Posted by larry merlau View Post
    how do you define this chart as to what it is saying??? i was looking at sassafras and it shows a skull and cross bones??? i have chewed on sassafras sticks since i was a kid and they make tea from the roots of it and rootbeer used to made from it as well???
    http://www.livestrong.com/article/48...as-tea-cancer/

    I think it takes some pretty long term use, but here's a summary:

    "Health Risks The ban on safrole is based largely on the results of animal studies conducted in the 1960s. According to the Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine, long-term safrole exposure causes liver cancer in animals. The degree of liver damage is directly proportional to the amount of safrole consumed, making frequent use a serious health concern. In large doses, sassafras can cause acute toxicity in the form of profuse sweating, hallucinations and hypertension, according to the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Other side effects may include tachycardia, nausea and nervousness."
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  7. #7
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    Re sassafras: The amount required to actually be meaningfully carcinogenic is .. pretty large (and interestingly enough its an anti-carcinogen for some types of cancer causing agents). The liver toxicity similarly requires a large dose and both problems require ingestion, not topical application. Personally I still use it to make root beer (it just tastes better so there ) after having spent an inordinate amount of time reviewing the possible risks and the amount I use is ridiculously below the threat level. For using the wood in order to have liver or cancer problems you'd have to inhale enough that you'd have other problems (like plugged lung) way before then. Note I'm not suggesting that anyone do anything rash or not review the data themselves, but the risk here is imho somewhat hyperbolized at reasonable exposure levels (possibly due to some other uses of safrole).

    Charts like this are useful as guidelines but will vary in specifics, which unfortunately really depend on the person... Most types of toxins react in different ways so a universal good/bad is pretty hard to apply (i.e. some may be contact irritants and generally annoying, others may be long term problem causers, others may only be an irritant when inhaled, etc..). A good friend is seriously allergic to urushiol which is not only found in poison oak/ivy but also Mangoes (both fruit sap and wood)!! She LOVES mangoes and can actually eat them - she just can't touch them with her hands or lips; so she has someone cut them for her and then carefully eats them with a toothpick which is fine. I have other friends who can wade through straight poison oak with no apparent problems.

    The bad news on Maple is that ~most of what I can find is that the spalted variety is the most common problem with plain maple rarely being an issue and the effects are usually respiratory in nature (makes sense, mold is bad mmmkay and maple does love to spalt), its not widely reported (on anything I can find anyway...) as a problem on skin contact.

    This chart breaks the reactions down more by type and commonality:
    http://www.hobbywoods.com/wood_toxicity.htm
    As does this to a more limited extent but somewhat different manner:
    http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/wis30.pdf

    Based on what I'm reading here, if you're reacting to Maple that's pretty .. unfortunate. I'd take any other exposure very very cautiously and in very limited amounts until I saw what happened.

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