Author Topic: Sensitivity to African Mahogany  (Read 3200 times)

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Offline HarveyWildes

  • Posts: 552
Sensitivity to African Mahogany
« on: May 29, 2017, 12:34 PM »
Anyone have any experience with sensitivity to African Mahogany?

I start building some workbench legs of African Mahogany on Saturday nine days ago.  For the most part I used my dust collector, two air cleaners, and dust mask, but was a little more careless than usual in that I made a 10-15 table and miter saw cuts without dust collection turned on and without my mask, over a two day period.  Co-incident with that work I also developed what I thought was a cold - runny nose, coughing and so on - but it has not followed the normal course for a cold.  The cough has gotten worse and ended up in several severe bouts of almost continual, unproductive coughing.  Normally for me the cough would have moderated out over 2-3 days and then disappeared.  I know that African Mahogany can be a respiratory irritant, but this seems like a pretty severe reaction for a small amount of exposure, so at this point I'm still inclined to think it's something else.

I've only worked with furniture-sized pieces of African Mahogany once before, but had no reaction to it that time.  On that occasion I joined two pieces of a 14" wide 8/4 plank into a countertop - lots of planing and jointing and sanding, not much sawing.  This time the work was more detailed, with more sawing, and I haven't started sanding yet.

Sooo...  I am curious to hear if any of you have experienced similar symptoms after working African Mahogany.

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Offline Dovetail65

  • Posts: 4594
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Re: Sensitivity to African Mahogany
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2017, 01:03 PM »
I have not with what is true African Mahogany - Khaya Senegalensis.  But my wood supplier uses at lease 5 or 6 sub species under the "African Mahogany" name.

Anyone that  uses a lot of African Mahogany knows there is some that is crap, light as a feather and stringy when planed. The higher quality, actual true Khaya, is more heavy and dense(as compered to the cheap stuff - still light density as an exotic wood) and not stringy at all as it's planed.

Sapele - Entandrophragma Cylindricum on the other hand actually really bothers me and they aren't too far apart as a species.

Certain pieces of Super light colored Sapele can actually look like Darker pieces of  the woods used as African Mahogany.

Again, there are several varieties of wood sold under the African Mahogany moniker so it's a tough thing to ask us if we were bothered by the dust, it might be a different species then we used.

I think anyone could be effected by any wood dust, even if it's not known as a bad allergen in general. And a wood dust that never bothers someone can suddenly start effecting them out of the blue at any time.

« Last Edit: May 29, 2017, 03:46 PM by Dovetail65 »
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Offline bdiemer

  • Posts: 191
Re: Sensitivity to African Mahogany
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2017, 07:43 PM »
I know this sounds crazy, but try a teaspoon of coconut oil..

Offline JBag09

  • Posts: 160
Re: Sensitivity to African Mahogany
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2017, 08:23 PM »
Wow, sorry to hear about your issue. I have worked with pretty much every type of Mahogany out there for the last 25 years every single day with no issues.
With the amount we use, I have never heard of anyone to have an issue similar to yours.
Hope it clears up soon for ya.



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Offline rst

  • Posts: 1532
Re: Sensitivity to African Mahogany
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2017, 07:14 AM »
Everybody reacts differently to potentially toxic substances.  I've been butchering wood since 1971, but around 12 years ago every time I would create oak dust my eyes would swell and itch like crazy.  Unfortunately I had not heard of Festool so I resorted to buying a battery powered full face mask and creatively engineered as much of my equipment to collect the dust as posssible.

Offline Discap

  • Posts: 74
Re: Sensitivity to African Mahogany
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2017, 09:23 AM »
Yes. I went through several thousand board feet redoing my house. This was in my pre Festool days. I was miserable, but also used little to no dust collection. Finally. Ought a jet filter and mounted on ceiling. Might have helped a little.

We called it African Mahogany but it was mostly Sapele

Bill

Offline Richard/RMW

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  • Posts: 1674
Re: Sensitivity to African Mahogany
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2017, 09:51 AM »
@HarveyWildes - FWIW I had a similar reaction to Bubinga. After 2 days of being very careless about dust control I earned a full week with a bad repository infection. Subsequent to that I hand sanded one 1" by 3" piece without DC (never claimed to be particularly bright) and felt a reaction coming on so I suited up with a respirator immediately.

That second incident straightened me out and I no longer disrespect the dust. I don't know if it is specific to tropical hardwoods or just that they produce such fine dust but I am a believer in DC for even minor work now.

RMW

Anyone have any experience with sensitivity to African Mahogany?

I start building some workbench legs of African Mahogany on Saturday nine days ago.  For the most part I used my dust collector, two air cleaners, and dust mask, but was a little more careless than usual in that I made a 10-15 table and miter saw cuts without dust collection turned on and without my mask, over a two day period.  Co-incident with that work I also developed what I thought was a cold - runny nose, coughing and so on - but it has not followed the normal course for a cold.  The cough has gotten worse and ended up in several severe bouts of almost continual, unproductive coughing.  Normally for me the cough would have moderated out over 2-3 days and then disappeared.  I know that African Mahogany can be a respiratory irritant, but this seems like a pretty severe reaction for a small amount of exposure, so at this point I'm still inclined to think it's something else.

I've only worked with furniture-sized pieces of African Mahogany once before, but had no reaction to it that time.  On that occasion I joined two pieces of a 14" wide 8/4 plank into a countertop - lots of planing and jointing and sanding, not much sawing.  This time the work was more detailed, with more sawing, and I haven't started sanding yet.

Sooo...  I am curious to hear if any of you have experienced similar symptoms after working African Mahogany.
As of 10/17 I am out of the Dog business and pursuing other distractions. Thanks for a fun ride!

Offline leakyroof

  • Posts: 1958
Re: Sensitivity to African Mahogany
« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2017, 11:44 AM »
I have not with what is true African Mahogany - Khaya Senegalensis.  But my wood supplier uses at lease 5 or 6 sub species under the "African Mahogany" name.

Anyone that  uses a lot of African Mahogany knows there is some that is crap, light as a feather and stringy when planed. The higher quality, actual true Khaya, is more heavy and dense(as compered to the cheap stuff - still light density as an exotic wood) and not stringy at all as it's planed.

Sapele - Entandrophragma Cylindricum on the other hand actually really bothers me and they aren't too far apart as a species.

Certain pieces of Super light colored Sapele can actually look like Darker pieces of  the woods used as African Mahogany.

Again, there are several varieties of wood sold under the African Mahogany moniker so it's a tough thing to ask us if we were bothered by the dust, it might be a different species then we used.

I think anyone could be effected by any wood dust, even if it's not known as a bad allergen in general. And a wood dust that never bothers someone can suddenly start effecting them out of the blue at any time.
   Boy, isn't that the TRUTH-  Ah, yeah, We carry Mahogany..... Which one is it, umm,.... Not sure........ [doh]
Not as many Sanders as PA Floor guy.....

Offline Rob-GB

  • Posts: 1006
Re: Sensitivity to African Mahogany
« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2017, 12:19 PM »
I have not had issues with African Mahogany or a number of the variations that are commercially available, however, I do have an issue with American Black Walnut.
It causes rhinitis, very runny nose and even nose bleeds and can cause a chesty cough too. No one else in the workshop was affected.
These symptoms occur even with the use of a basic face mask so I keep any use of the wood to small projects but even with good dust extraction it can cause some discomfort for me.
Possibly the same symptoms you have encountered. The answer is to drop a lot of cash on one of those over priced respirators and hope it works better than the one I had or stop working with that timber.

Rob.
Problem? No such thing! Only a solution waiting to be found:- RJ

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