Lacewood/ Wood ALLERGIES

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Forum topic by kwcraft17 posted 11-30-2017 01:52 PM 1268 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4 posts in 958 days

11-30-2017 01:52 PM

Topic tags/keywords: lacewood wood allergies

I made my own Lacewood veneer for 6 cabinet doors with an MDF core. Needless to say, it was messy work milling all of the wood. I had a strong allergic reaction to the wood and am now on steroids to combat the rash. I still have sanding to do and bout a tyvek suit with hood, and goggles, etc. I am still nervous about handling the wood, but I need to finish the project. My question is whether or not I should alert the clients to my reaction. My understanding is that after the wood has been finished, and with a protective oil, it should be pretty benign. Thoughts?

12 replies so far

View johnstoneb's profile


3145 posts in 2951 days

#1 posted 11-30-2017 02:19 PM

All wood has the potential to cause an allergic reaction in a specific person. The dust is how the allergens are carried. The finish will stop any contamination. I would not say anything to the customer unless they ask a specific question.
You might want to find out which actual lacewood you have as other woods in that family might cause an allergic reaction.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View Dautterguy's profile


51 posts in 4540 days

#2 posted 11-30-2017 02:20 PM

-All comes down to THREE WORDS, ETHICS, SELL, KEEP. The choice is yours. As they say, The Ball is in your court.

View Richard Lee's profile

Richard Lee

298 posts in 1553 days

#3 posted 11-30-2017 02:30 PM

I agree that once finished its fine and safe,you are sensitive to it others are not as with many other allergies.
Once you have had a reaction to it the next time may be alot worse so be careful.

View Redoak49's profile


4754 posts in 2767 days

#4 posted 11-30-2017 04:04 PM

I would be really worried about the sanding. If you had a bad reaction to the wood you are likely to have more problems. I would wear a respirator and have someone checking on me. You also need to figure out how you will get the Tyvek suit off and not get the dust on you. Also consider that you will be getting dust everywhere even with good dust collection

Allergic reactions can be very dangerous. Maybe, I am over cautious but I had one bad allergic reaction to a prescription and would not wish that on anyone.

View wuddoc's profile


359 posts in 4496 days

#5 posted 11-30-2017 04:33 PM

LJ Richard Lee gave you the info on Lacewood but here is the wood-database chart for many species which may help you in the future. The chart has symbols representing skin, respiratory, or eye irritation

-- Wuddoc

View LiveEdge's profile


600 posts in 2399 days

#6 posted 12-01-2017 06:39 PM

I am an allergist/immunologist and I can say that generally speaking a sensitive individual will need a fair amount of contact with a wood to have a contact dermatitis. Sanding is a perfect example, but an allergic individual could easily get a rash with a wooden ring or possibly from an unfinished desk (if their forearms regularly rested on it).

If the ethical answer was to warn clients you would need to do it for all woods for all clients because you don’t know who is sensitive to what. Just because you are sensitive doesn’t actually raise the chances someone else is. I have a number of sensitivities (purpleheart for example) but I’ve worked with lacewood without trouble.

Just my 0.02.

View Gilley23's profile


489 posts in 1160 days

#7 posted 12-01-2017 07:17 PM

This is bunk. We’re talking about an allergy, not a known, definitive carcinogen. Different people have different reactions to everything, you can’t warn everyone about everything they may or may not be allergic to. Everyone knowingly takes that’s risk upon themselves when they walk out of their front door every single morning

-All comes down to THREE WORDS, ETHICS, SELL, KEEP. The choice is yours. As they say, The Ball is in your court.

- Dautterguy

View Redoak49's profile


4754 posts in 2767 days

#8 posted 12-01-2017 07:47 PM

My comment was not about clients but only about the OP. If it were me and I had a rash bad enough to need steroids from sawing, I would be more worried about sanding. Maybe we will hear from the OP on how it worked out.

View Aj2's profile


3100 posts in 2576 days

#9 posted 12-01-2017 08:44 PM

I’m also very allergic to lace wood. But my kryptonite is bubinga holy moly that stuff messed me up. I’ve had to accept that most of the excotics are out of question its just too risky for me.
But theirs plenty of good domestic woods that have plenty to offer.
I doubt your customer will be affected in any way. It’s not like poisen sumac

-- Aj

View Knockonit's profile


675 posts in 980 days

#10 posted 12-01-2017 09:29 PM

I learned a valuable lesson in the early 90’s, had a cabinet shop here in phoenix, and built a lot of things out of mansonia, (vendor called it african walnut), myself and several of the boys in shop came down ugly sick, took the dr a couple weeks to determine issue. Cant say how fast it took me to rid myself of the crap, and clean shop down, every try to absolutely dust down a 3k size shop, boy howdy, but we did, and since , have been extremely careful on the exotics, nothing but dust/respirators since.

I have a home shop now, and once in a while i’ll take in a little too much dust and it’ll cause issues. Silly me for not taking the precautions ALL the time.
be safe, mask up, and vent as much as possible

-- Living the dream

View CampD's profile


1817 posts in 4264 days

#11 posted 12-01-2017 10:11 PM

I feel your pain. Awhile back I bought a piece of lacewood to cut into veneer for boxes. End of day, I cut a 1’ piece to slice up the next morning, well had the proverbial nose itch and rubbed under my eye, with-in an hour my eye was swelled-up. Needless to say I haven’t sliced that wood or touched it since.

-- Doug...

View kwcraft17's profile


4 posts in 958 days

#12 posted 12-02-2017 05:23 PM

Thanks for all of your input. I will re-engage the lacewood this week. Typically I do not sand, but burnish plane. I will try this approach outside with a fan to my back, skin completely covered, respirator and goggles.

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