Wood ID Guide




Data on Wood toxicity compliments of the Wood Database.


Wood Species


Area(s) Affected




Abura irritant, nausea, and giddiness
African Blackwood irritant, sensitizer
African Boxwood irritant, headache, asthma
Afrormosia irritant, nervous system effects, asthma, splinters go septic
Afzelia irritant, sneezing
Agba irritant
Albizzia (Albizia genus) irritant, nausea, conjunctivitis, giddiness, nose bleeds
Alder (Alnus genus) irritant
Alligator Juniper irritant

Alpine Ash irritant
Amboyna irritant, asthma

Andiroba irritant, sneezing
Araracanga irritant, asthma
Ash (Fraxinus genus) irritant
Ash, Mountain irritant
Australian Blackwood irritant, sensitizer, asthma
Australian Cashew Nut irritant, skin lesions, nosebleeds
Avodire irritant, nose bleeds, internal bleeding, asthma
Balsa irritant
Bamboo irritant
Birch (Betula genus) irritant, sensitizer, nausea
Black Cherry wheezing, giddiness
Black Locust irritant, nausea
Blackbean irritant
Bloodwood excessive thirst, salivation, nausea N/A
Bluegum irritant
Blue Mahoe sneezing
Bocote cross reactions possible once sensitivity to other woods have developed
Bosse irritant, sensitizer, asthma, nausea, headache
Boxwood irritant, sensitizer
Brazilian Rosewood irritant, sensitizer
Brazilwood irritant, headache, nausea, swelling skin, blisters
Brigalow (Acacia harpophylla) irritant
Bubinga irritant, lesions
Buckthorn irritant, sap can cause dermatitis
Bulletwood irritant
Camphor irritant, asthma, headaches, giddiness
Cashew irritant, sensitizer
Catalpa irritant
Cedar, Alaskan Yellow irritant
Cedar, Aromatic Red irritant

Cedar, Atlantic White irritant
Cedar, Australian Red irritant, asthma, violent headache, giddiness, bronchitis, stomach cramps, NPC (rare)
Cedar, Incense irritant, rashes
Cedar of Lebanon irritant, asthma, respiratory disorders
Cedar, Northern White irritant, asthma
Cedar, Port Orford irritant, runny nose, asthma, kidney problems (diuresis)
Cedar, Spanish irritant
Cedar, Southern Red irritant
Cedar, Western Red irritant, sensitizer, asthma, nervous system effects, NPC (rare)
Chechen irritant, sensitizer
Chestnut, Chinese (Castanea mollissima) irritant
Chestnut, Sweet irritant, sensitizer
Chinaberry irritant, headaches
Cocobolo irritant, sensitizer, nausea, asthma, conjunctivitis
Cocuswood irritant
Coolibah irritant
Copaia irritant
Crow’s Ash irritant
Cuban Mahogany irritant

Cypress sensitizer
Cypress, Australian irritant, asthma, swelling of eyelids, boils, NPC (rare)
Dahoma irritant, sensitizer
Dead Finish (Acacia tetragonophylla) irritant, splinters go septic
Djohar irritant, skin discoloration, keratitis
Douglas-fir irritant, giddiness, splinters go septic, nausea
East Indian Rosewood irritant, sensitizer
Ebony (Diospyros genus) irritant, sensitizer, conjunctivitis
Ebony, Macassar irritant, sensitizer
Ekki irritant
Elm (Ulmus genus) irritant, sensitizer, NPC (rare)
European Beech irritant, sensitizer, NPC (rare)
Eyoum irritant
Fir (Abies genus) irritant
Fir, Balsam irritant
Freijo sensitizer
Garapa irritant
Gedu Nohor irritant
Goncalo Alves sensitizer
Grasstree irritant
Greenheart sensitizer, wheezing, splinters go septic, cardiac and intestinal disorders
Grey Box irritant, rash
Hemlock, Eastern irritant
Hemlock, Mountain irritant
Hemlock, Western irritant, NPC (rare)
Hophornbeam irritant
Hornbeam (Carpinus genus) irritant
Idigbo irritant
Imbuia irritant
Indian Beech irritant
Ipe irritant, headache, asthma, vision effects
Iroko irritant, sensitizer, asthma, boils, giddiness, HP
Jacareuba irritant, fainting, insomnia, kidney damage
Jarrah irritant
Jatoba irritant

Jelutong irritant
Juniper, Phoenician (Juniperus phoenicea) irritant, headache, nausea
Katalox irritant
Keruing irritant
Kingwood irritant, sensitizer, conjunctivitis
Lacewood irritant
Larch (Larix genus) irritant, hives, lesions
Leadwood (Combretum genus) irritant
Lemon-Scented Gum irritant
Lignum Vitae irritant
Limba irritant, hives, splinters go septic, asthma, bleeding of the nose and gums
Machiche irritant
Magnolia (Magnolia genus) asthma, runny nose
Mahogany, African irritant, sensitizer, NPC (rare)
Mahogany, Honduran irritant, sensitizer, boils, nausea, giddiness, asthma, HP
Mahogany, Santos irritant
Makore irritant, nausea, headache, giddiness, nervous system and blood effects
Mansonia irritant, sensitizer, nausea, sneezing, headaches, nosebleeds, splinters go septic, asthma, giddiness, cardiac disorders
Maple (Acer genus) irritant, sensitizer, asthma; HP in spalted maple
Maple, Queensland irritant
Marupa irritant
Meranti (Shorea genus) irritant
Merbau irritant
Mesquite (Prosopis genus) irritant
Messmate irritant, asthma
Milky Mangrove sap is poisonous, causes irritation to eyes and/or temporary blindness, headache, burning of throat, blistering of skin
Missanda irritant, headache, giddiness, nausea, disorders of bowels and stomach
Molopangady irritant, sores
Monkeypod irritant
Mora irritant
Movingui irritant
Muhuhu irritant


(Acacia aneura)

irritant, headache, nausea, wood contains a virulent poisonous principle used for spear heads by aboriginals
Muninga irritant, asthma, bronchitis
Myrtle irritant, sensitizer
Myrtle, Tasmanian irritant
Narra irritant, asthma
New Zealand White Pine irritant
Norway Spruce irritant, asthma
Nyatoh irritant
Oak (Quercus genus) irritant, sensitizer, asthma, NPC (rare)
Obeche irritant, sensitizer, rash, asthma
Okoume irritant, cough, asthma
Olive irritant, sensitizer
Opepe irritant, sensitizer, nervous system effects
Osage Orange irritant, sap can cause dermatitis
Osage Orange, Argentine irritant, sap can cause dermatitis
Padauk (Pterocarpus genus) irritant, sensitizer, nausea, asthma
Palm (Arecaceae family) irritant, constitutional effects
Parinari (Parinari genus) irritant
Pau Ferro irritant, sensitizer
Pau Marfim irritant
Pau Rosa irritant
Peroba Rosa irritant, sensitizer, nausea, asthma
Persimmon irritant
Pheasantwood cavities in the wood can contain powder that is an irritant
Pine (Pinus genus) irritant, asthma
Poison Walnut bark irritating to skin, dust may cause asthma, nausea, giddiness, sap is toxic and corrosive
Poplar irritant, blisters, asthma, bronchitis
Primavera irritant, sensitizer
Purpleheart irritant, sensitizer, nausea
Quebracho irritant, nausea, NPC (rare)
Quina irritant
Ramin irritant, splinters go septic, asthma
Red Bloodwood (Australian) irritant
Redwood irritant, sensitizer, asthma, HP, NPC (rare)
Rengas sap is strongly irritating, blisters, ulcers, fever, constitutional effects
Rimu irritant
Rose Butternut irritant, conjunctivitis
Rosewood (Dalbergia genus) irritant, sensitizer, asthma
Saffron-Heart irritant, splinters go septic, lung congestion
Sassafras sensitizer, nausea, respiratory, direct toxin, NPC (rare)
Sapele irritant, sneezing
Satinwood, East Indian irritant, headache, diarrhea, sensitizer
Satinwood, West Indian irritant, diarrhea, rash, blisters, sensitizer
Shittim (Acacia seyal) irritant, coughing
Silky Oak, Northern irritant
Silky Oak, Southern irritant, sap may cause blistering of skin, eyelid inflammation
Sissoo irritant
Slash Pine irritant, asthma
Snakewood irritant
Sneezewood irritant, oils within the wood cause violent sneezing
Spotted Gum irritant
Spruce (Picea genus) irritant, sensitizer
Sucupira irritant
Sumac (Rhus genus) irritant, bark may cause blisters
Sweetgum irritant
Tambootie irritant, diarrhea, blindness, direct toxin
Tatajuba irritant
Teak irritant, sensitizer, rash, nausea, asthma, vision effects, conjunctivitis, HP
Thuya irritant

Tree of Heaven irritant
Turpentine irritant, swelling
Tzalam cold-like symptoms
Utile irritant
Verawood sneezing
Walnut, African irritant, systemic effects, NPC (rare)
Walnut, Black irritant, sensitizer, NPC (rare)
Walnut, English irritant, NPC (rare)
Wamara irritant
Wenge irritant, sensitizer, splinters go septic, nervous system effects
Western Hemlock irritant, NPC (rare)
Western Juniper (Juniperus occidentalis) irritant

White Peroba irritant, sensitizer, asthma
Willow (Salix genus) sensitizer, nausea, NPC (rare)
Yellow Gum irritant
Yew (Taxus genus) irritant, nausea, direct toxin
Yellowheart irritant

Zebrawood sensitizer
Ziricote cross reactions possible once sensitivity to other woods have developed


  • Woods Toxic to Man, author unknown
  • Woods, B., Calnan, C.D., Toxic Woods, Br. Journal of Dermatology, 1976
  • ILO Encyclopedia of Occupational Health and Safety 1983
  • Lame, K., McAnn, MEDIUM., AMA Handbook of Poisonous and Injurious Plants, AMA 1985
  • Poisondex, Micromedix Inc. 1990
  • List of woods and toxicity characteristics, Roy Banner, 1989
  • Toxic Woods Information Sheet, (Woodworking sheet #30), Health and Safety Executive, UK
  • Campbell, Bruce, Wood/Dust Toxicity, 2006
  • Ellis, Neil, Health Hazards & Wood, 1998
  • Mitchell, John, and Arthur Rook, Botanical Dermatology, 1979
  • Pentz, Bill, Medical Risks, 2008
  • Timbers & Health, Woodturners Society of Queensland, Inc.
  • Robison, Nick von, Potentially Toxic Woods, Musical Instrument Makers Forum, 1998
  • Chudnoff, Martin, Tropical Timbers of the World, Forest Products Laboratory, 1980
  • Kukachka, Francis, Properties of Imported Tropical Woods, Forest Products Laboratory, 1969
  • Sims, Michael, and Erica Skadsen, Wood Hazards, LLC, 2006
  • Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia, Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., 2008
  • Forest Products Laboratory, United States Department of Agriculture