Toxic woods? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 Old 11-13-2010, 10:19 PM Thread Starter
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Toxic woods?

Hi Guys! I'm new to both this Forum and Woodturning. I'm going to buy my first lathe in a few days.A friend of mine told me that some of the more exotic hardwoods can be pretty toxic, is this true? Are there any that I should avoid altogether? Can a good dust collection system usually minimise the danger? Thanx in advance for all the expertise!

-Tony
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post #2 of 6 Old 11-13-2010, 10:27 PM
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I guess it would depend on how sensitive you are.

I have very low sensitivity to allergens in general, so the wood dust doesn't do much to me - other than the dust in the lungs part, but a good DC and shop air filter helps to take care of that.

That being said, there are a few that make my nose burn a little: yellowheart, padauk, bloodwood.

Before I had a dust collector, I'd put a box fan behind me while turning. That helped to keep the majority of the dust out of my face (and hopefully lungs), but it had to go somewhere. In my case, it went out the garage door, otherwise, it'd just swirl around the shop for a while.

Welcome to the forum!
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post #3 of 6 Old 11-13-2010, 10:55 PM
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google wood toxicity! walnut is very bad for you to breath in. cocobolo can kill you if you are allergic. some of the woods out there are very very bad to breath in! i never thought walnut would be that bad for you!
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post #4 of 6 Old 11-13-2010, 11:41 PM
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here is a good site i refer to:
http://www.wood-database.com/wood-ar...-and-toxicity/

Jeff,

"Just because your not bleeding, don't mean your turning safely"..
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post #5 of 6 Old 11-14-2010, 12:00 AM
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Here's another link from an earlier thread I posted.
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post #6 of 6 Old 11-14-2010, 04:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dainironfoot View Post
Hi Guys! I'm new to both this Forum and Woodturning. I'm going to buy my first lathe in a few days.A friend of mine told me that some of the more exotic hardwoods can be pretty toxic, is this true? Are there any that I should avoid altogether? Can a good dust collection system usually minimise the danger? Thanx in advance for all the expertise!

-Tony

WELCOME TO THE FORUM

Your friend is right. Not only is it possible for some exotic woods, but it could be any wood. If you are allergic to a certain wood, it may not be the dust from that wood. IOW, sensitivity to a wood can be from just touching.

If you have any reaction to a certain wood, it will not diminish with time, but can get worse the next time. You should check the related or unrelated species to any of the suspect woods. They may or may not be toxic to you. For example, if you find a reaction to Red Oak, don't group it in the "Oak family" thinking that all Oaks are to be avoided.

Toxic exposure to woods can be very similar to chemical exposure in that there can be a reaction to the inhaling of the vapors, and/or direct skin exposure. You may find that you could be sensitive to one and not the other method, or both.

Protection and avoidance may be one way to work safely. Just because you don't sense a reaction to a certain wood or chemical doesn't mean there couldn't be a long term hazard. Most solvents are hazardous to your health, whether there is a reaction or not.










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