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Alergic reaction to black locust

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by gzecc, May 7, 2009.

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  1. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    So I dive into the black locust logs I got, cutting, splitting, stacking. That evening my eyes start to swell. I think its just normal allergies. Much more swelling and it been raining so normal allergies shouldn't be bad. It must be the wood. I reseached it to find out it does have an allergic component. Man I can't win!

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  2. Chief Ryan

    Chief Ryan New Member

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    I've read that Locust is poisonous to live stock. Be careful when you burn it.
  3. JustWood

    JustWood Minister of Fire

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    I get a serrious rash on my gut from handling sassafrass. No reaction to locust.
  4. woodburn

    woodburn Member

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    Are you sure the tree didn't have poison ivy or sumac?
  5. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    These logs have been sitting for a year or two. It has been very wet here. Raining for a week. The bark is just falling off of some. It very slimey. I probably wiped my eye after handling the slimey splits. Won't do that again.
  6. Duetech

    Duetech Minister of Fire

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    gzecc,
    The slime could be a problem as there is a bacterial process going on when the bark and wood get wet and warm enough so like you said "don't do that again". FIY though poison ivy oils (the part that causes the reaction) can stay resident and active in wood (even years), like woodburn suggests, and the ivy vine until it breaks down so do be careful with it. Sorry about your problem. Maybe you can get some beech or yellow birch or hornbeam. They are excellent woods and you might not have the reaction potential. Maybe you could post to find someone who would trade for a wood you don't react to??
  7. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    I'll keep the wood. Just need to be careful. The chainsaw will hurt me to if I'm not careful!
  8. savageactor7

    savageactor7 Minister of Fire

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    My experience is just with live locust and no negative results but I agree with the poster that cautioned about the bacterial process in the slime...it makes sense.

    Couple of 3 years ago I was always working in this swampy area handling wet decayed wood. Got wood mites under the skin between my fingers...now if I'm in a wet area I wear rubber gloves. You can't be too careful working around decaying matter est with any open cuts. Here in CNY within the last 5 years there have been a few case of people getting a flesh eating disease just from working in their garden.
  9. fugazi42

    fugazi42 New Member

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    Wood allergies aren't terribly uncommon. I'm very allergic to Kingwood (Dalbergia cearensis) and I've heard a lot of people are allergic to black walnut, the rosewoods, etc. so it doesn't surprise me to hear you're allergic to locust. You can try cutting with a respirator type mask, which helped me get through the Kingwood project I was working on. It's just the dust and shavings I'm allergic to- I can handle the wood with no problem so hopefully you can still burn it.

    Good luck.

    Josh
  10. gzecc

    gzecc Minister of Fire

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    I burned it last year and have processed it before. It must have been the wet (slimey) nature of it. I must have touched my eyes during the handling of it.
    I cut and split some more yesterday (with gloves on), and didn't touch my eyes, with no ill effects.
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