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Forum topic by JCCole posted 03-26-2012 09:45 PM 1773 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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1 post in 3136 days

03-26-2012 09:45 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question alder oak maple sanding refurbishing milling

I worked in a cabinet making factory and I ended up with a fungus in my lungs and severe allergies to Oak, Maple, and Hickory woods. I have some questions and I thought asking people who are familiar with wood trades could help me out. My life has been horrible this last year so Im trying to see if I can find people who have had similar experiences so maybe I can use they’re advice to better my situation. Has anyone ever come across fungus in wood they have worked with? Does anyone know if wet wood can grow fungus/mold even after its been made into sheets to be used? What type of wood did you find it on? Does anyone know if you should sand it off and use it anyway? What kind of Personal Protective Equipment can you use to help with the dust from sanding? I don’t know a whole lot about wood working so if anyone could help me with these questions Id really appreciate it. This fungus I have is spreading and Im trying desperately to help my dr. help me bc he’s not familiar with wood work either and I know you guys have seen it and could tell me if this stuff can grow on wood pretty easy. Especailly wood that is under sprinkler systems. I truly believe that this has come from the wood the company used to make its products. Thank you for your help and if anyone has allergy questions on wood allergies I know a lot about em b/c mine are so severe.

7 replies so far

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5777 posts in 4116 days

#1 posted 03-26-2012 09:54 PM

To answer your questions, you need to read Bill Pentz' work on wood shop dust collection and contro. A fair warning. The guy is an engineer, and writes at that level. Take it slow and easy, and ask questions when you don’t understand a concept. We will be happy to help out where we understand it…

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#2 posted 03-26-2012 10:07 PM

removed my post. I think I misunderstood what the OP was asking

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51458 posts in 4365 days

#3 posted 03-26-2012 10:22 PM

Sorry to hear about the issues you are having. I know a person has to be very careful especially when using woods that have fungus in them such as spalted maple etc. I am sure if wood gets wet fungus and mold could develop which may be in the sawdust when sanded. Treated wood is also dangerous. What type of symptoms are you having? Some people are allergic to certain types of woods such as cedar. Always best to use dust protection and respirators when working with such wood. I also have heard of situations where wood from foreign countries was used and it contained an insecticide which caused problems.

-- Wayne - Plymouth MN

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4032 posts in 3855 days

#4 posted 03-26-2012 10:28 PM

Are you talking about a surface fungus on the skin, or a fungus infection of the lungs? Both are possible.

Can’t believe you worked in a cabinet shop and no one advised you on PPE, personal protective equipment. You should never work around sanding dust without, at the very least, a NIOSH approved N95 mask. Here is a link to NIOSH, National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health.

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2656 posts in 3807 days

#5 posted 03-26-2012 10:56 PM

I worked in a cabinet making factory????? I don’t know a whole lot about wood working ?

What kind of cabinets were they making? What did you do in this factory.
Get a new doctor…yours should be able to refer you to a specialist. Perhaps wood is not the underlying cause.

-- Life is good.

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174 posts in 4271 days

#6 posted 03-26-2012 11:06 PM

according to osha, if you ask for a respirator, your contract must supply you with one.

you can find a lot of info on wood allergies at;

At any rate, if you are experiencing health issues, I advise you consult a doctor, not a woodworking forum.

-- There are many ways to skin a cat...... but, the butter knife is not recommended

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64 posts in 3278 days

#7 posted 03-27-2012 12:49 AM

Mold will grow on anything. If it gets wet,no air movement nd it’s dark it going to grow mold. I suppose it could grow fungus as well. The dry dust from that becomes air borne it is a inhalation hazard. Some spiecies of wood are also inhalation hazards. Ipe is one that I know of. When cutting it the dust can be harmful. I have read and heard about people having allergic reactions to several types of wood. I would say you are on the right trac. This is a real problem that exists. A little different story. I had a friend who scuba dives. Put her regulator away wet in her dive bag. It grew mold inside the regulator. The next time she used it inhaled the mold and got a very severe lung was very serious . I would see a respiratory specialist right away. Good Luck
John m

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