Toxic wood?

Hello all,
Since I haven't seen any posts for almost a month, I thought I'd test post with a somewhat-woodworking-related post.
In building a small hobby box, I was routing a narrow rabbet in what I thought was small cut-off of clear fir from a previous project. Some of the sawdust blew into my face. Within seconds it felt like my mustache was on fire, where the dust mixed with sweat. I cleaned it out well but the burning sensation took over an hour to fade. Over the next few days I had blistered like chemical burns I have had before, but just in the middle of my mustache.
The wood itself appears very light in color with hardly any grain visible. It is very soft, a little harder than spruce, but it holds an edge as well as maple. It has no discernable odor (or my sniffer is shot).
I cannot find any other scraps with this appearance and I am stumped on where it came from and what it is. I have some mahogany, eucalytus, cedar, fir, SYP, maple, and brazilian rosewood in the shop, but again it does not look exactly like any of these. And I've been covered in sawdust from all of it at some point, without any similar reaction.
Has anyone else had any skin reactions to particular woods? Did I get a piece of chemically treated wood?
Thanks! Scott
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Odd that you did not have burns anywhere else. I would be looking as something you may have eaten.
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Might it be sweat/water on the lip? I'd think there would be nasal problems, too, but perhaps the shavings were too coarse.
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ScottWW wrote:

What was the source of the irritation when they occurred earlier? If it was already a sensitive area, you may have experienced a reaction to yeast, which can provide the somewhat immediate "firey" sensation along with "chemical burns".

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On 09/16/2015 7:50 AM, ScottWW wrote: ...

...
It's certainly possible altho actual blistering is unusual.
As for what it was/is, the most likely candidates would be some salvaged material from a foreign source such as shipping crates or pallets or somesuch--there's no telling what may get used for such purposes and with so much imported it could have come from almost anywhere on earth. I'm unaware there's anything _particularly_ prone to being reactive in NA.
I'd think it not likely it was preservative treated; suppose it's always possible if it was salvaged somebody had used it for some specific purpose and it did have something applied...
--


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On 2015-09-16 12:50:55 +0000, ScottWW said:

There are toxic woods. One of the most is Golden Chain (Laburnum), and it is the color you discribe. But I would be very surprized if that is the wood, it tends to be avoided.
Another highly toxic wood is Yew. It's sap wood is as you describe. But the heart tends to be darker.
There are a number of woods in the Rosewood family and some of them are the color you mention. Your reactions are also consistent with a Rosewood reaction.
My guess is Rosewood family
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There have been a multitude of posts over the past month, so something appears to have been wrong with whatever source you get Usenet from. Which quite likely means you won't see this or anyone else's replies :-(

Sounds like an allergic reaction, similar to how some people respond to poison ivy. I haven't ever heard of that happening with wood, but I could easily imagine some tropical species having sap with similar properties.
John
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On 9/16/2015 11:42 AM, John McCoy wrote:

I find it strange that he did not have the reaction on any other parts of his body, leading me to believe that it was not just the wood dust mixed with possibly sweat.
If you have ever worked with Ipe you probably have noticed that the fine green dust turns blood red when mixed with sweat. The first time I worked with it I thought I had severely cut myself somewhere. ;~)
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"John McCoy" wrote in message

Thank you everyone for your responses. Indeed, when my post(s) didn't show up, I deleted my news account and recreated it.
I am among the 1/3 of people allergic to Rus oils from poison ivy, oak and sumac. But that has an definite itch for me. This was like an alkaline burn from chem class in my teens, or the steam burn in my sideburns from a burst radiator hose from my 20s, or even shingles from my 30s.
Thankfully I do not suffer from cedar fever, as I love the smell. Working at the lumber yard, restocking the cedar was my favorite duty.
I am suspecting Rosewood, as was mentioned by Ralph and Martin. I do have a few pieces stashed away in the attic, and now that I think of it, some are almost all white-wood. I'll have to be more careful when I work with it.
Scott
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On 9/17/2015 12:39 PM, ScottWW wrote:

My first guess was going to be shingles. Since you have already had shingles, I suspect it even more. I wouldn't think wood allergies would act like this? Since you had them, you may have more anti-bodies or what ever to them, which could give a rather mild case like this.
My second guess would be some sort of poison ivy thing was growing on the tree and you got some of the oil trapped in the stash. I've never been allergic to anything, and I'm not a doctor, so you are in the right place to ask about this medical condition.
--
Jack
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There are some woods that are just flat toxic. That means everyone. Satin wood, rosewoods yew, spalted wood. To a lesser amount which is nice is Opepe and Padauk are low end but wide possible. Wide means many forms of problems but to a low level.
Reference: 1. _Woods Toxic to Man_, author unknown 2. Woods, B., Calnan, C.D., "Toxic Woods." _Br. Journal of Dermatology_ 1976 3. _ILO Encyclopedia of Occupational Health and Safety_ 1983 4. Lame, K., McAnn, M., _AMA Handbook of Poisonous and Injurious Plants_, AMA 1985 5. _Poisondex_, Micromedix Inc. 1990
Martin
On 9/21/2015 10:20 AM, Jack wrote:

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On Mon, 21 Sep 2015 20:39:54 -0500

most plants have a defense mechanism of some kind trees have many strategies including chemical
some just out grow and take all the sunlight
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On Monday, September 21, 2015 at 8:40:00 PM UTC-5, Martin Eastburn wrote:

976

Saw your post on another thread close to this one, and you couldn't be more right. I remember when I started turning wood when it became the rage som ewhere in the mid/late 90s and all kinds of little odds and ends were being traded around between me and the boys to make pens, letter openers, brushe s, round boxes, etc. I was lucky that I wasn't allergic to most of them, b ut some of the guys had a terrible time when exposed to the dust and shavin gs and had to give up turning for months after exposure to some of the "exo tics".
I had some red wood of some type that I traded for one time that gave me hi ves when I made a pen with it. I only had a few small sticks (for pens) bu t traded or tossed the rest of it. It wasn't worth the reaction I had.
Robert
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