Wood Dust Sensitization

MSDS Sheets or even stories of something stupid you've done in the workshop.

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Kim
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Wood Dust Sensitization

Post by Kim » Fri Dec 19, 2008 7:28 am

This posted by Steve Courtright over at the OLF, good info that should be taken into consideration when handling wood.

[quote="SteveCourtright"]I am sorry about the length of this reply, (which doesn't answer your question), but thought this information would be useful to have in this forum/archive. Especially, where one develops an allergy to one kind of wood, this should help predict what others woods might cause a similar reaction.

This 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.

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

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 “extractivesâ€

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Post by Craig » Fri Dec 19, 2008 9:11 am

Thanks for posting this Kim.

In Colin's words : " The more I reach for Mahogany " :lol:
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Post by Hippety Hop » Fri Dec 19, 2008 10:39 am

Reading that would only make me paranoid. I would immediately develop all the symptoms mentioned.
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Post by Kim » Fri Dec 19, 2008 2:46 pm

The message here is quite simple, you do not need to avoid using these woods, just don't be a dickhead tis all. Take adequate steps to limit your exposure and then you can avoid allowing yourself to become sensitized.

Read through the list above, if your working with anything that could pose a problem, ensure that you at least have adequate ventilation and wear a dust mask. Better still, cover up to avoid skin contact where possible and then be sure to shower as soon as your done.

If your working with some of the more reactive species such as Pao Ferro, Cocobolo or the Cordia's, be sure to do your sanding outside so you do not contaminate your shop and open yourself up to repeated exposure every time you walk in there.

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Post by Hippety Hop » Sun Jan 18, 2009 1:06 pm

Yesterday I took my dust mask - the one with the two cartridges - Around to Mark's place so I could cut some MOP. Well I left it there.

Then this morning I did some sanding with the drill sanding drum, and I used a clean piece of rag as a "Hoppy" mask - You know the way the bank robbers used to wear their scarves over their face in the westerns.

Now my wrists, hands, toes and head are aching. That's the price I pay for 45 years of smoking. No tolerance to dust or smoke at all any more.

I suppose I'm fortunate. I could have got emphysema or lung cancer first.

Tomorrow I'll be alright.

Cheers Hip.
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Post by John Maddison » Sat Oct 10, 2009 1:26 pm

Further to Steve Courtright's excellent piece above, there is a good 'Wood Toxity Table' compiled by William F. Pentz to be found here. The page also has a bibliography at bottom of page. No mention of A. koa in the table, which is what got me started to look around the web after reading Rick Turner's post to the Tasmanian Blackwood thread, namely:
Rick Turner wrote: ... I wonder if blackwood is any worse than koa or other wattles/acacias.
Don't go clicking anywhere on Pentz's page - you'll be directed to Google for some obscure HTML reason :?:.
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Post by Cam » Sat Oct 10, 2009 2:05 pm

From the link above:
In Australia all wood dust is now classified as carcinogenic (liable to cause cancer)
What!?!?
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Post by John Maddison » Sat Oct 10, 2009 3:31 pm

guitarcam wrote: ... What!?!?
Yep - see the opening paragraph of Appendix 5: WORKPLACE PROFILE FOR WOOD WORKERS AND WOOD DUST EXPOSURE (pp. 38-40) in SafeWork Australia's document titled 'Occupational Cancer in Australia, 2006." IARC cited in the article refers to the WHO's International Agency for Research on Cancer.
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Post by Kim » Sat Oct 10, 2009 3:44 pm

Shit, reading all that stuff made me so nervous i took up smoking again.

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Post by kiwigeo » Mon Oct 12, 2009 4:37 am

"Cough!"

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Post by Hesh1956 » Mon Oct 12, 2009 5:08 am

I still smoke, well I don't but these damn Camels in the pack do.... Where's that banging one's head in the wall emoticon I need about 4 of them for my post here....

One of the most important things in the info that our friend Steve C. originally provided is the 2-5% of the population. Notice that this can and probably should be taken as the general population NOT folks like us who actually work with many of these woods.....

So my point is that I suspect that the percentages of folks who will develop a sensitivity to one or more of these sensitizers for Luthiers is way higher....

I have wanted to build with coco for 5 years now and have some killer coco too but every time I get it out and start dreaming I remind myself that my shop is in my house and if I mess-up (I usually don't say mess-up...) I have just contaminated where I have to live....

Thanks for posting this Kim.

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Re: Wood Dust Sensitization

Post by simonm » Sat Mar 10, 2012 10:52 pm

What might be interesting is to create a list of (relatively) "harmless" woods. I have seen this idea mentioned a few times but I don't recall seeing anything a like a "bottom ten" woods for allergies.

Spruce seems to get good marks. Not heard anything bad about maple (as in European maple). I suspect (but its a guess) that fruit/nut trees are probably ok (apple, pear, walnut). In principle timbers that have been used for millenia which suggests that there might even be regional/genetic element involved. i.e. someone with a mediterranean origin might be less like to become allergic to olive. Chinese and Italians (silk industry) less likely to become allegic to mulbery and so on.

Anyone seen such a list?

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Re:

Post by charangohabsburg » Mon Mar 12, 2012 12:55 pm

Hi Simon,
I think that a "relatively harmless wood" table could be somewhat misleading. Where would one draw the line between relatively harmless and relatively harmful? Bill Pentz's table includes not only the really problematic wood species but also for example spruce (you mentioned it as "relatively harmless" and it appears as such in that table).

I am perfectly fine with this (and any other) alphabetically ordered list that contains all kind of woods.
John Maddison wrote:Further to Steve Courtright's excellent piece above, there is a good 'Wood Toxity Table' compiled by William F. Pentz to be found here. [...]
The URL of Bill Pentz's toxicity table has changed, it is now: http://billpentz.com/woodworking/cyclone/WoodToxicityTable.cfm

Cheers,
Markus

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Re: Wood Dust Sensitization

Post by kiwigeo » Thu Mar 15, 2012 2:13 pm

I drove home today from town with two pieces of Padauk in the back of my car :(
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Re: Wood Dust Sensitization

Post by charangohabsburg » Thu Mar 15, 2012 8:44 pm

kiwigeo wrote:I drove home today from town with two pieces of Padauk in the back of my car :(
Just send them to me, they will look great on top of these future bridgeblank and uke sets :mrgreen: .

Image

For blowing away the dust when resawing and working with that (and other) stuff, yesterday I picked up this item for 8.- swiss pesos:

Image

A few minutes ago I bought a second one for 4 $

Should be enough wind, I hope.

The bad thing with this wood is that we can get Cocobolo - sensitisation for the price of Padauk.
Markus

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It's only the others who suffer.

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Re: Wood Dust Sensitization

Post by Kamusur » Thu Mar 15, 2012 9:09 pm

I keep having a recurring dream where i have developed a BRW allergy but then i always wake up.

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Re: Wood Dust Sensitization

Post by charangohabsburg » Thu Mar 15, 2012 10:25 pm

Steve, what you describe are the symtoms of BRW allergy! :lol:
Markus

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Re: Wood Dust Sensitization

Post by kiwigeo » Tue Jun 19, 2012 6:09 pm

charangohabsburg wrote:Steve, what you describe are the symtoms of BRW allergy! :lol:
An empty wallet :(
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Re: Wood Dust Sensitization

Post by Nick » Tue Jan 22, 2013 7:22 am

Well I've always suffered from Sinus problems that have been managable up until the past two weeks, sore eyes and my sinus cavities have been trying to push out from behind my eyes. I've always used a dust extraction system when machining and thought I was relatively "safe". After two weeks of this sinus problem (and it's not an infection because I know what one of them feels like!) and I've been using a fair bit of Sapele, Walnut & Ebony over the past month! I decided to wear a dust mask from the time I entered the shop until the time I leave. I might look like a dick but boy what a difference! I now don't wake up with a clagged up nose and "popping eyes syndrome" so even though there is Machine focussed dust extraction where I work, there is still enough airbourne dust around that I'm inhaling to cause a problem and one area we don't think about extraction maybe is when hand sanding.
I've never had a problem before with saw/wood dust but obviously it's been accumulating over the years to the stage I'm at now where I will always be wearing a dust mask from now on.
Just a little story I thought I'd share with the group and hopefully it may in turn help somebody.
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Re: Wood Dust Sensitization

Post by demonx » Sat Oct 12, 2013 3:18 pm

I thought this the appropriate forum to post this pic since its about dust.

A while back some of you may have seen my post about buying two large air filters. Just like Nick mentioned above, I also wear a dust mask during all sanding/filing etc, I've also been adding better dust extraction. After a long days work I pretty much always get chest pains and other issues, so I've been taking steps to prevent this.

I find the room Air Filters (large Carbatec ones) to be making a massive difference as to the amount of dust they remove from the air.

The dust filter after carving a few necks. I'm regularly blowing these things out. It's blue if you couldn't tell!

Image

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Re: Wood Dust Sensitization

Post by simso » Sat Mar 29, 2014 9:49 pm

I'm with you mate,

We have 7 of those air purifiers in the shop, one in each work room

You can visually see the dust wafting up to the machine when cutting or grinding wood.

You cannot spend enough to protect yourself

A good friend of mind who I grew up with died from cancer from wood, he worked a sawmill old school at home, he got cancer through all his nasal passages, had that cut away and then through frontal sinus,s and then just died from complications. Not good
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