To those who said that cherry contains arsenic, would you please provide a source?
I was surprised to read it. Arsenic is a toxic heavy metal. Are they saying that the cherry tree somehow selectively draws arsenic from the soil and then somehow concentrates it in the wood? That does not ring true to me for many reasons. Soil with that much arsenic in it would have its own serious environmental issues.
In addition, we must also say that the tree keeps all traces of arsenic out of its fruit. As a toxic heavy metal, arsenic builds up in the body. We would not be eating cherries if there were almost any measurable level of arsenic in them.
I learned that cherry is popular for wood pipe stems. I doubt that it would be used for that purpose if it contained any measurable arsenic at all. I have seen many cutting boards that include cherry. I am sure that many warnings would have gone out if the cherry cutting boards had a measurable level of arsenic.
By coincidence, the book I am currently reading is "The Encyclopedia of Wood". It is sitting right next to me. I looked at every page that mentioned "cherry" from the index, and found no mention of arsenic.
My web searches did not turn up any research or other reasonable source that associates anything related to cherry with arsenic.
I learned that the seeds (pits) of the cherry fruit contain a substance called amygdalin, which is toxic. The same is true for apple seeds and apricot pits.
Based on what I learned above, coupled with my own experience, I believe that cherry wood does not contain arsenic, at least not at levels above what is in the general environment.
's experience with skin sensitivity could be many things, and it would be helpful to ask a doctor. They would probably test for allergies early on. Since it could be an allergy, it would be best to avoid further exposure until he/she knows more about their reaction to cherry.
If the wood isn't cherry, it could still be an allergen or cause other problems. Regardless of what kind of wood it is, could it have been coated or impregnated with some other substance?