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Much of our marquetry material, in particular the veneers, can have hidden health hazards which we should all be aware of. The table on this page describes many commonly used woods and their possible affects on our health. I thank www.ubeaut.com for their permission in allowing me to reproduce this most important table. It is well worth reading and thoroughly understanding.


In Australia all wood dust is now classified as carcinogenic (liable to cause cancer)

This list has been compiled to give woodworkers a little bit of an insight into the potential health hazards posed by some of the timbers that are used.

This list is not meant to discourage you from woodworking just as a guide to help identify some of the problems you may be having with your health or may possibly have in the future. It is a wise investment to purchase a good respirator especially if you are a woodturner or do a lot of sanding. You may also need to look at putting a dust extractor into your workshop and even a small particle dust extractor which can eliminate particles as small as 1 micron in size (invisible to the naked eye).

This is by no means a comprehensive list of timbers and their hazards. Information sourced by kind permission of http://www.ubeaut.com.au/


A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A
Abura
Tropical Africa
Nausea, eye irritation, giddiness
Afara
Central & West Africa
Splinters cause skin inflammation
African boxwood
South Africa
Irritation to nose and throat, headache, asthma fainting, shortness of breath
African mahogany
West Africa
Skin irritation, dermatitis, nasal cancer
African walnut
Africa
Irritation to mucous membranes, nasal cancer, irritation of alimentary tract
Afrormosia
Tropical West Africa
Dermatitis, rhinitis, asthma
Agba
Angola, Zaire, Nigeria
Dermatitis
Alder
Europe, North America
Dermatitis
Alpine ash
Australia
Irritation to nose, eyes and throat, dermatitis
American mahogany
Central America, northern South America, Mexico, plantations in Fiji
Skin irritation, giddiness, vomiting
B                                                                                                Return to top  
Black bean
Australia
Dermatitis, itchiness, irritation of mucous membranes
Black cherry
USA, Canada, Europe
Wheezing, giddiness
Blackwood
Australia, plantations in South Africa
Dermatitis, asthma, irritation to nose and throat
Brazilwood
Northern South America
Headache, nausea, painful swelling of arms, visual disturbances
C                                                                                                Return to top  
CaIophyiium
S.E. Asia, Pacific, New Caledonia, Australia, New Guinea
Dermatitis, kidney damage, irritation to nose and throat
Caroba
Central and South America, planted in most tropical areas
Dermatitis
Cocuswood
Central America
Dermatitis
Cocobolo
Central America, Mexico
Dermatitis, irritation to nose and throat, conjunctivitis, bronchial asthma, nausea
Coolibah
Australia
Bark and wood dust may cause skin irritation
Crow's ash
Australia, New Guinea
Dermatitis
D                                                                                                Return to top  
Dahoma
Africa
Dermatitis, coughing, sneezing, nose bleeding
Difundu
Africa
Dermatitis
Djohar
South East Asia, India, Australia
Skin discoloration, eye irritation, keratitis
Douglas fir (oregon)
USA, Canada, plantations in New Zealand, Australia & Europe
Dermatitis, nasal cancer, irritation to eyes and throat
E                                                                                                Return to top  
East Indian satinwood
India, Pakistan, Ceylon
Dermatitis, headache, swelling of scrotum, irritation of mucous membranes
Ebony
Africa, Malagasy, Ceylon, South East Asia
Skin inflammation, acute dermatitis, sneezing, conjunctivitis
European beech
Europe
Nasal cancer, dermatitis
European boxwood
Southern Europe, Asia Minor
Dermatitis, irritation to nose, eyes and throat
European elm
Europe
Dermatitis, irritation of mucous membranes, cancer
European walnut
Europe, Asia Minor
Dermatitis, nasal cancer
Eyum
Africa
Irritation of nose and throat, dermatitis
F - G                                                                                           Return to top  
Gaboon
Equatorial Africa
Itchy skin, irritation to eyes and nose
Greenheart
Northern South America
Headache, wheezing, shortness of breath, disturbance of vision, diarrhoea
Grey box
Australia
Eczema, irritation of mucous membranes
Guarea
Tropical West Africa
Dermatitis, asthma, nausea, disturbance of vision, headache
H - I                                                                                            Return to top  
Indian rosewood
South East Asia, India, New Guinea
Dermatitis
Ipe
Northern South America
Dermatitis, shortness of breath, headache, disturbance of vision
Iroko
Tropical West & East Africa
Dermatitis, furunculosis, oedema of eyelids, respiratory difficulties, giddiness
Ivorywood (South
American)
Tropical South America
Dermatitis
J - K - L                                                                                     Return to top  
Jacareuba
Central and South America
Dermatitis, loss of appetite, kidney damage, fainting, insomnia
Jarrah
Australia
Irritation to nose, throat and eyes
Keruing
South East Asia
Dermatitis
Kwila (merbau)
Australia, New Guinea, Pacific Islands, South East Asia
Dermatitis, rhinitis
Lignum vitae
West Indies, Central & northern South America
Dermatitis
Limba
Tropical Africa
Splinters may cause festering sores or skin irritation
Lingue
Africa
Irritation to eyes, nose and throat
M                                                                                                Return to top  
Mansonia
Tropical West Africa
Dermatitis, nausea, vomiting, nose bleeding, sneezing, giddiness, asthma
Marking nut
Australia, India
Sap and wood dust may cause skin lesions, eye irritation, nose bleeding
Massaranduba
Northern South America
Dermatitis
Meranti
(red,white,yellow )
South East Asia
Dermatitis, Irritation to nose, throat and eyes
Messmate
Australia, plantation in Africa, Europe and South America
Dermatitis, asthma, sneezing,
Milky mangrove
Australia, South East Asia, Pacific
Sap may cause irritation to eyes, even temporary blindness, headache, burning of throat, blistering of skin
Miva mahogany
Australia
Congestion of lungs, eye inflammation, irritation of mucous membranes, headache, nose bleed, loss of appetite
Molompangady
Malagasy
Dermatitis, sores
Mountain ash
Australia, plantations in South America, Africa, Europe
Irritation to nose, throat and eyes, dermatitis
Muhuhu
Africa
Dermatitis
Mulga
Australia
Wood contains a virulent poisonous principle, used for spear heads by aboriginals. Dust may cause irritation to mucous membranes, headache, vomiting
Muninga
Africa
Bronchitis, asthma, dermatitis
Myrtle beech
Australia
Irritation to mucous membranes
N                                                                                                Return to top  
Needlewood
India, South East Asia
Bark causes skin irritation
N.Z. white pine
New Zealand
Dermatitis, irritation to nose, throat
Nkassa
Africa
Headache, giddiness, vomiting, disorders of bowels & stomach, irritation to nose & throat
Northern silky oak
Australia
Green timber may cause dermatitis
O                                                                                                Return to top  
Oak (European and Japanese )
Europe, Japan, China
Nasal cancer, dermatitis, sneezing
Obeche
West Africa
Asthma, sneezing, congestion of lungs
Odoum
Africa
Dermatitis, irritation to nose and throat
P                                                                                                Return to top  
Padauk
Africa, New Guinea, S.E. Asia, Andaman Islands
Asthma, dermatitis
Palisandre wood
South America
Dermatitis
Parinari
Central and northern South America, Africa, South East Asia, Pacific, New Guinea
Dermatitis
Pau amarello
South America
Dermatitis
Phoenician juniper
Central and southern Europe, northern Africa, South East Russia
Nausea, headache, skin irritation
Poison walnut
Australia
Bark very irritating to skin. Dust may cause breathing problems, vomiting, giddiness, dermatitis
Poplar
Nth America, Europe, east Asia
Asthma, dermatitis, bronchitis
Port Oxford cedar
U S A
Dermatitis
Q - R                                                                                          Return to top  
Ramin
S E Asia, New Guinea, Pacific
Sharp fibres cause skin irritation & infection
Red cedar
Australia, South East Asia, New Guinea, India, plantations in Central America
Violent headache, giddiness, stomach cramps, asthma, bronchitis, dermatitis, irritation of mucous membranes
Red lancewood
Northern South America
Dermatitis
Red peroba
South America
Nausea, sweating, asthma, cramps, drowsiness, fainting, irritation of mucous membranes, dermatitis
Red siris
Australia
Dermatitis, nose bleed, conjunctivitis, giddiness
Redwood
North America
Dermatitis, asthma
Rengas
South East Asia, New Guinea, Malagasy
Bark, sap and wood dust irritating to skin, causing dermatitis, blistering, chronic ulcers
Rimu
New Zealand
Irritation to nose, eyes
Rose butternut
Australia
Dermatitis, conjunctivitis
Rosewood
South East Asia, New Guinea
Dermatitis, asthma
S                                                                                                Return to top  
Saffron-heart
Australia, New Guinea
Splinters cause skin Infection. Dust causes dermatitis, congestion of lungs
Sapale
Africa
Skin irritation, sneezing
Satine
South America
Excessive salivation, feeling of thirst, nausea
South American cedar
Central & South America, Mexico
Dermatitis, irritation to nose and throat, nasal cancer, asthma
Southern silky oak
Australia, New Caledonia
Sap may cause blistering of skin, inflammation of eyelids. Dust may cause dermatitis
Spotted gum
Australia, plantations in South America, Africa & Europe
Dermatitis
Spruce
Nth. America, Japan, Europe
Irritation to nose and throat
Stinging tree
Australia, Asia
Stinging hairs on leaves and bark have intensely irritating effect on skin, may cause paralysis, breathing problems, severe pain
Sweetgum
Southern North America
Dermatitis
Sumac
Asia, Nth & Sth America, Europe
Bark causes blisters, dust may cause dermatitis
T                                                                                                Return to top  
Talh
Northern Africa
Dermatitis, coughing, irritation to mucous membranes
Taun
South East Asia, New Guinea
Dermatitis, rhinitis
Teak
South and South East Asia, plantations in most tropics
Dermatitis, conjunctivitis, over sensitivity to light, swelling of scrotum, irritation to throat& nose, nausea
Thorny yellowwood
Australia
Lesions made by thorns & splinters take a long time to heal. Dust causes dermatitis, cramp, eye & throat irritation, disturbance of vision
U - V - W                                                                                   Return to top  
White cedar
Eastern North America
Dermatitis
White baltic
Europe
Asthma, skin irritation
White cypress pine
Australia
Dermatitis, swelling of eyelids, asthma, irritation of nose and throat, nasal cancer
White handlewood
Australia
Sap very irritant to eye, dust causes dermatitis, abdominal pains, nausea
White peroba
South America
Dermatitis, asthma
X - Y - Z                                                                                     Return to top  
Yang
S.E. Asia
Dermatitis, inflammation of mucous membranes, inflammation caused by splinters
Yellow gum
Australia
Irritation to nose and throat
Yew
Europe, Asia Minor
Dermatitis, headache, congestion of lungs, nausea, fainting, irritation of alimentary tract, visual disturbances

© table reproduced by kind permission of http://www.ubeaut.com.au/

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