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Anybody else allergic to Poplar?

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Forum topic by Robert posted 10-19-2020 06:27 PM 427 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Robert

4129 posts in 2392 days


10-19-2020 06:27 PM

It took me quite a while to figure it out, I even thought we had bed bugs because I would wake up in the morning with a rash on my stomach near the belt line.

I finally figured out is was the poplar plywood I was working with. The dust blow back on the table saw was imbedding dust and particles through my shirt.

I found if I keep my shirt blown off (from the inside) and take a hot shower right after I’m done it doesn’t happen.

Till yesterday, when I ripped a bunch of poplar and didn’t take the shower. :-(

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!


15 replies so far

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them700project

272 posts in 1930 days


#1 posted 10-19-2020 06:29 PM

I dont like it that much, but thats not what your asking. An apron would help out with alot of that or at least a shop flannel shirt. and a respirator will prevent breathing it

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Arlin Eastman

4544 posts in 3472 days


#2 posted 10-19-2020 07:52 PM

Stop using it asap and send it all to me. lol

I can only suggest to stop using any of it at all, due to even a shop apron or bib overalls since your arms, hands, and face are not protected either. There are plenty of other great woods to use.

-- It is always the right time, to do the right thing.

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therealSteveN

6616 posts in 1485 days


#3 posted 10-19-2020 08:20 PM

Bummer….

Allergies are no fun, but there are some things they usually do. Once you become sensitized to something, it generally takes less of the allergen, to cause a reaction, and the reactions themselves become more severe. In most cases wood allergies don’t cause anaphylaxis, the reaction where your airway can cut off, killing you from respiratory depression, and following anoxia.

BUT, note the big BUT. If this is a thing, you are pushing it’s buttons by continuing on using it. If it only causes an issue if the dust touches your skin, heavier clothing, and a bib may be all you need.

Now as an intake specialist, Triage Nurse, I am listening to your story, and the thing that I am questioning is, you only talk about your stomach, not your arms, face, chin. Do you get where I’m going with this? Why aren’t those areas also facing the flow of dust coming off the saw a problem?? Are you wearing a dust impervious mask? Because going into your airway directly is a much quicker route to a problem, if you breath it in. That is 2 way, both form an allergen, as well as a fine particle point of view.

Secondly you say Poplar plywood, which actually is a lot more than just Poplar. Do you get the same with just Poplar lumber? I only ask that because the more dangerous thing about diagnosing yourself, is misdiagnosing yourself. If you miss the forest because of one tree, the Poplar.

Statistically you stand a much higher chance of being allergic to glues used in the plywood’s construction, than Poplar alone. Poplar is a ? on the following list of known allergens, and sensitizers. BTW, that is a good read if you think you may have a problem with wood dust.

https://www.wood-database.com/wood-articles/wood-allergies-and-toxicity/

Another good read found below.

https://www.wood-database.com/wood-articles/wood-dust-safety/

-- Think safe, be safe

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therealSteveN

6616 posts in 1485 days


#4 posted 10-19-2020 08:30 PM

After thinking about it a minute I have a few suggestions. First, and from an overall safety aspect, put a freeking guard over the blade, and dust won’t be getting thrown all over you. Really, it won’t.

Second, wear clothes, and then a bib of some type, leather is going to be the best here, and the blowback if you don’t use a guard, won’t be able to get to your skin. For most people with a wood sensitivity this is the actual way they can continue using a wood they may really like. COVER UP.

If it continues, or especially if you get a tightness in your throat, take it to the Doctor/ER, right then, like call 911. If it just continues, take it to the Family Doc, he may or may not pass you on to an Allergist, but hopefully they can tell you if you are actually allergic.

-- Think safe, be safe

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SMP

2852 posts in 817 days


#5 posted 10-19-2020 08:57 PM

No problem with poplar, didn’t even realize that was one of the woods on the list. Worst reaction I have had was I picked up some blanks that looked good at Rockler. Took them home, made a bottle stopper. About 15 minutes later my arms started itching, and it got worse and worse. Felt like poison ivy or something for several hours. I believe this was Bocote.

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therealSteveN

6616 posts in 1485 days


#6 posted 10-19-2020 09:13 PM

Ahhhh yes, those “cote” woods. Leaving you not knowing which of the many other woods you’ve handled you are actually allergic to????

For that reason alone I stay out of their camp. Though I must say Ziricote has a fetching appearance, which sometimes calls to me. I resist.

-- Think safe, be safe

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Robert

4129 posts in 2392 days


#7 posted 10-19-2020 09:24 PM


After thinking about it a minute I have a few suggestions. First, and from an overall safety aspect, put a freeking guard over the blade, and dust won t be getting thrown all over you. Really, it won t.

- therealSteveN

My question was is anyone else allergic.

I thought it was the plywood because it is more than poplar, but this was solid poplar lumber.

I despise guards. If the guard police were in my shop, I’d quit ww’ing.

But you’re welcome anytime!

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

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wildwoodbybrianjohns

2208 posts in 458 days


#8 posted 10-19-2020 09:33 PM

I use alot of exotics, never had a problem with any of them, yet! I might have had a reaction to olivewood the first time I used that, but correlation doesnt equal causation. I just used wenge for the first time in a project, after shying away from it after reading about the dreaded infectious splinters. Didnt get a single splinter, and project came out real purdy too.

-- Wildwood by Brian Johns: The Big Bang: Nothing - exploded into Everything. Thanks to Nothing.

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Knockonit

721 posts in 1113 days


#9 posted 10-19-2020 10:09 PM

I turned some Chakte, and some spalted tamarind i picked up at WS, and have to say for the first time i suffered a little respiratory situation for a few days, mask, and dust collection, it still managed to create a bit of a problem, first time for me in decades, mansonia got me long time ago, whew that was ugly
Rj in az

-- Living the dream

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northwoodsman

412 posts in 4658 days


#10 posted 10-19-2020 11:45 PM

I have the same issue to many exotic woods. I’ve worked with them most of my life and just became allergic in the past 2 years. My ER doctor told me to take a cool or warm shower and not a hot one to wash the dust off. I know that when I’m healing afterwards that the warmer the water the worse the irritation.

-- NorthWoodsMan

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LesB

2662 posts in 4354 days


#11 posted 10-19-2020 11:56 PM

Popular Cotton wood, and their hybrids are cheap fillers in ply wood. And yes I do get an allergy reaction to them. Dust collector and N95 mask helps but I still blow my nose a lot and have watery eyes for a couple of hours after.

-- Les B, Oregon

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ibewjon

2134 posts in 3704 days


#12 posted 10-20-2020 01:19 AM

I still haven’t been able to find out which wood a friend was alergic to, but he knew to avoid it. He was turning and or possibly sanding some last may, had an alergic reaction. He went inside for an inhaler. He got it too late. His wife found him dead from a massive heart attack from the alergic reaction. So different woods bother people differently. And the more you are exposed, the worse it can get. BE CAREFUL!!!

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therealSteveN

6616 posts in 1485 days


#13 posted 10-20-2020 03:30 AM

We talk about the damage fines cause with our respiratory systems all the time when talking about dust collection, adding a sensitized condition to the dust will not improve anything. Like I said before these reactions usually are just irritations to the skin, and then I threw in the BUT. It can be a huge BUT too. Same % of severity exists that drives how someone can use XYZ wood for years, and suddenly is allergic to it, same often happens with Shrimp, and Peanuts. It’s an unknown, until it comes knock on your door. But make no mistake it’s real, and can take your life.

We know well the possibilities of injuries, and of possible respiratory conditions. A cell phone should always make the trip out to the shop with you, having a phone could save your bacon.

-- Think safe, be safe

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Aj2

3490 posts in 2709 days


#14 posted 10-20-2020 03:58 AM

I became allergic to most exotics about 10 years ago.
I’ve had problems with a over active immune system ever since Bubinga coincidence I don’t think so.
The good news there’s plenty of domestic woods that are far cheaper and easier to work with.
Poplar dust doesn’t bother me. I move the air away from me with fans when I cut any wood on my table saw.
Good Luck Robert

-- Aj

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SMP

2852 posts in 817 days


#15 posted 10-20-2020 05:17 AM


We ew in the BUT. It can be a huge BUT too. Same % of severity exists that drives how someone can use XYZ wood for years, and suddenly is allergic to it, same often happens with Shrimp, and Peanuts. It s an unknown, until it comes knock on your door. But make no mistake it s real, and can take your life.

- therealSteveN

Thats a weird phenomenon. I used to watch a show called “Deadly Obsession” about people with potentially dangerous hobbies/animals etc. One kid had a spitting cobra among other venomous snakes. He had anti-venom in his room. Apparently, if you get bit by a spitting cobra you have about 30 minutes or so to live without the antivenom. Well, this kid was cleaning the cages, got bit, parents heard, went in and he died nearly instantly from it, before his parents could administer antivenom. Turns out the investigation showed that over the years and years he had inhaled mist/droplets that spitting cobras “exhale”(i’m making up that term), and built up a super toxicity to it so that when he actually got bit his heart/lungs almost immediately stopped. Crazy.

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