Traditional Archery Discussions on the Leatherwall

Eyes Swollen Shut

Messages posted to thread:
Nemah 10-Jan-19
Daven 10-Jan-19
StikBow 10-Jan-19
1/2miledrag 10-Jan-19
casekiska 10-Jan-19
Iwander 10-Jan-19
Bowguy 10-Jan-19
Knifeguy 10-Jan-19
Iwander 10-Jan-19
hvac tech 10-Jan-19
4nolz@work 10-Jan-19
hud 10-Jan-19
Mike Mecredy 10-Jan-19
deerfly 10-Jan-19
dean 10-Jan-19
GF 11-Jan-19
Iwander 11-Jan-19
KDdog 11-Jan-19
heavybows 11-Jan-19
coyote1 11-Jan-19
Buzz 11-Jan-19
Keefers 11-Jan-19
Kevin Dill 11-Jan-19
Jeff Durnell 11-Jan-19
longbowbud 11-Jan-19
George Tsoukalas 11-Jan-19
Surveyor61 11-Jan-19
MStyles 11-Jan-19
crunch 11-Jan-19
M60gunner 11-Jan-19
Iwander 11-Jan-19
Mission man 11-Jan-19
RymanCat 11-Jan-19
BATMAN 11-Jan-19
wonderbowman 11-Jan-19
RC 11-Jan-19
Andy Man 11-Jan-19
skookum 11-Jan-19
Nemah 11-Jan-19
Wapiti - - M. S. 11-Jan-19
Bassman 11-Jan-19
MStyles 11-Jan-19
DanaC 12-Jan-19
kennym 12-Jan-19
Iwander 12-Jan-19
From: Nemah
Date: 10-Jan-19

Neman here. Forgive me if I misspell words......having trouble seeing tonight. Years ago, while building a longbow with a Cocobolo riser, I used a carbide burr in a Foredom tool to help shape the riser. The burr became clogged with the oily Cocobolo, so I hit it with a propane torch to burn off the wood. Bad mistake! The smoke hit my faces and I suffered for days with swollen eyes and blisters under my nostrils. The sneaky thing is that the symptoms didn't up for several hours, so I continued shaping the riser, until my eyes really started to burn. That was the last time I used Cocobolo in a bow. Two days ago, while cutting out a riser of Zebrawood, Padauk, and Purpleheart, I threw the scraps into my wood stove. A few minutes later, I opened the stove door to add more wood and WAM! A huge puff of smoke boiled out right in my face. Within an hour, my eyes began to swell, and continued for several hours, to the point of swelling shut! The itching and burning was severe. Tonight, the swelling is going down, and I'm slowly getting back to normal. I'm become sensitized to a variety of popular bow woods even though I always wear a respirator and goggles. So, be careful! It's not fun! Now I have to figure out what to do with the 12 bows I have cot out ready to shape. Be careful! Richard

From: Daven
Date: 10-Jan-19

Incas revenge.

Hope it clears up for you, sounds intense. My friend somehow became allergic to deer dander he breaks out in a severe rash. I had to field dress a nice buck for him this year, not fun? I think he is faking it.


From: StikBow
Date: 10-Jan-19

Thanks for the warning

From: 1/2miledrag
Date: 10-Jan-19

Benadryl will help with the swelling and itching. Glad your sysmptoms are wearing off!

From: casekiska
Date: 10-Jan-19

In the 1930 the well known Wisconsin bowyer/bowhunter Roy Case had to give up using Yew and Osage wood due to developing an allergic reaction to the fine dust created during the bow making process.

From: Iwander
Date: 10-Jan-19

Grinding glass and eating sawdust from exotic wood are the main two things that really caused me to stop building bows in my garage. Some of that dust is still in there and every time the wind whips up everybody in the garage gets some.

From: Bowguy Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member
Date: 10-Jan-19

Sounds like the same issues many guys get from taxidermy epoxy. They become so sensitive they turn red just having a can opened in front of them

From: Knifeguy
Date: 10-Jan-19

Richard, This is awful news! I hope you continue to improve. Lance

From: Iwander
Date: 10-Jan-19

I know your probably already hearing it, but please go see the Doc, Some of that stuff can grow in you.

From: hvac tech
Date: 10-Jan-19

I was told rosewood dust is very toxic to breath .

From: 4nolz@work
Date: 10-Jan-19

It can get systemic like poison ivy get some steroids.Rosewood gets me had to quit using it.

From: hud
Date: 10-Jan-19

Sounds like a common problem, as many people have problem with chemicals, oily woods and dust. I would get a better respirator, goggles and stop burning scraps. Install a good dust collector for your sanding, cutting etc. Be careful.

From: Mike Mecredy
Date: 10-Jan-19

cocobolo gets to me pretty bad. But being a professional bowyer, and it's cocobolo, and so many people like it, I just have to get through it. Bamboo allergies are too much for me though, same with ipe.

From: deerfly
Date: 10-Jan-19

damn, that sucks. Not many options besides better dust collection and supplied air respirators

From: dean
Date: 10-Jan-19

The last bow I did will be the last bow. A special order blank. I don't know if it was the yew or the cocobolo, but my hangy down thingy in the back of my throat, I know what it is really called, got so swollen that if it went backwards, I started to choke, if it was going forward it covered most my tongue. I could have bought a new bow for the cost that insurance didn't cover in the emergency room. I have allergy issues, i just got done with a sneezing fit, that you can read about in the book of Revelations.

From: GF
Date: 11-Jan-19

Dang! The hidden hazards, eh?

Hope you get well soon - and STAY that way!

From: Iwander
Date: 11-Jan-19

This website is informative: articles/wood-allergies-and-toxicity/

From: KDdog
Date: 11-Jan-19

Precautions always. No matter how trivial. Too many great bowyers, out of work too soon.

From: heavybows
Date: 11-Jan-19

I hope all goes well always used respirator and wood shop goggles

From: coyote1
Date: 11-Jan-19

I get the same thing from cutting firewood. A few things that help me are: Benadryl, alaway eye drops and washing my eyes with baby shampoo and hot as comfortable water. The wash helps take the sting out.

From: Buzz
Date: 11-Jan-19

Get well soon sir.

From: Keefers
Date: 11-Jan-19

Praying for you Richard that God heals those eyes and gets you back to seeing in Jesus name. God Bless, Keefer's <')))><

From: Kevin Dill Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member
Date: 11-Jan-19

Nemah is probably lucky his throat didn't swell like his eyes did. Plenty of people die from severe allergies every year, and swelling that bad is a warning of what's to come. Inhale too much of the allergen and anaphylaxis (anyone know her?) can happen. Immune system reactions like this should be taken as a warning to completely avoid the causative agent. I'm allergic to anything pistachio-related and it makes my throat I have to be careful eating food away from home.

From: Jeff Durnell Professional Bowhunters Society - Associate Member
Date: 11-Jan-19

Reports like this are concerning. My shop is full of yew, osage, cocobolo and other rosewoods, bocote, ipe, and more. Plus glues, solvents, finishes, etc... plenty of toxins/allergins. I'm putting a dust collection system in, but I could also use some better ventilation.

From: longbowbud
Date: 11-Jan-19 Products/Safety/Worker-Health-Safety/Personal-Protective-Equipment/Reusable- Respirators/Full-Facepiece-Respirators/? N=5002385+8709322+8711017+8711405+8720539+8720550+8720784+3294857 497&rt=r3

From: George Tsoukalas
Date: 11-Jan-19

I pray ou get well soon. George

From: Surveyor61
Date: 11-Jan-19

Sorry to hear of your reaction. Please take care and precautions as others have said. I bought a bow from you a couple of years ago and thoroughly enjoy it. You are a master at your trade and I hope you continue on for many years.

From: MStyles
Date: 11-Jan-19

Your experience really sound’s severe. My brother can’t work with Osage without having a really bad reaction, even wearing a respirator.

From: crunch
Date: 11-Jan-19

Hope you feel better soon. I was looking up wood toxicity recently and was surprised how many woods can be toxic. Although it doesn’t mention burning wood this website does outline some possible toxic effects.

From: M60gunner
Date: 11-Jan-19

I get irritated hands from working Walnut. Doc said it was the oils in the new sawn wood. Other woods I use seem not to bother me. Your shop not only needs a good vacuum system but a good air filtration system. Can’t imagine wearing goggles, I don’t even like glasses.

From: Iwander
Date: 11-Jan-19

We'd probably be sad to know exactly how many o builders have died with terminal diseases due to breathing fiberglass wood and epoxy dust.

From: Mission man
Date: 11-Jan-19

Wow that’s scary, Be careful y’all - I had an eye close one time but it is because the dude was about 6 foot 2 230- :)

From: RymanCat
Date: 11-Jan-19

Sounds rough. Lord watch over this and give the method to restore health please and follow up on him to heal him.

Date: 11-Jan-19


From: wonderbowman
Date: 11-Jan-19

I'm like that with WRC. After years of using it I developed an allergy to it. Hope you get better!

From: RC
Date: 11-Jan-19

Hope you heal up quickly.

IPE really tore me up....

From: Andy Man
Date: 11-Jan-19

See an allergist ] a bad allergy is nothing to play with

I got a tick bite, one of many ate a Bar-B-Q sandwich and swelled up and couldnt breath barely made it to the ER after a second episode eating a stake on the grill the ER sent me to an allergist gotta carry an EPI pen and can't eat red meat due to the tick bite (Alpha-Gal)

darn near died both times

From: skookum
Date: 11-Jan-19

Richard, being allergic to a wood species is very common. Once you become sensitized to a wood species,it NEVER get better, more likely worse. Over the years I've known several bow-makers that had to give it up because of becoming sensitized to various woods. (Cocobolo and yew being among the worse.)(I have a problem with zebrawood).

From: Nemah
Date: 11-Jan-19

I am so touched by the outpouring of kind words and prayers from you folks! Thank you all so much! I went to the doctor this morning and received a shot in the butt and orders to take a more powerful antihistamine twice a day. I even received a very kind note from an ophthalmologist who frequents the Leatherwall. This accident was my fault. I was burning scraps from a Paduak, Zebrawood, and Purpleheart riser. I opened the stove door to add more wood ( Doug Fir) but forgot to open the damper first. Whoosh... a cloud of smoke right in the face. I immediately wiped my face and eyes with baby wipes but it was already too late, my eyes began burning in just a few minutes. I always wear a respirator, eyeglasses, (I'm far sighted) protective goggles, and a full faceshield when sanding or grinding risers or glass. But not while filling my stove. My dust collection system is on and I often have a large fan sucking dust out of my shop when sanding. Oh, well...It's always something! I hope those of you who work with wood and fiberglass double check your precautions. Your comments and experiences are priceless and very informative and should be required reading for every bow maker. Thank you all and God bless you! Richard

From: Wapiti - - M. S. Compton's Traditional Bowhunters
Date: 11-Jan-19

Never had any reaction to dust from bow making. Never did that type of work, I did do arboris work and had my eyes shut 5 times from poison ivy. Couldn't pick your tree to work in just had to do the job. Sorry to hear your going through that. Hope it clears up soon for you.

From: Bassman Professional Bowhunters Society - Qualified Member
Date: 11-Jan-19

I have breathed every thing from fiberglass to asbestos in my life time plus the dust from the bows that I have built over the years. I am paying for it now.Protect yourself any way you can.

From: MStyles
Date: 11-Jan-19

Nemah, where you said you forgot to open the damper before you opened the door reminded me about the dreaded “back-puff”. I built a wood stove and put it in my house, I even read a book about heating your house with wood, but I must have missed the part about clearing the smoke inside the stove before opening the door to reload. Every Spring cleanup in our house partly consisted of sweeping the smoky back-puffed black cobwebs off the walls/ceiling! Never burned exotic wood, but whole lot of White Oak and Walnut. Those were happy times. Hope you heal up quickly sir.

From: DanaC
Date: 12-Jan-19

Woods with a higher 'oil' content, beware. Adhesives, dust, finishes, solvents, and on and on.

This is supposed to be *fun*, so stay safe.

From: kennym
Date: 12-Jan-19

Hope you're feeling better!!

Coco is bad enough I don't handle it anymore.

Yew gives me a blasting headache.

Walnut a slight headache.

Been so long since I had a beer I can't remember but folks say it does too... :)

From: Iwander
Date: 12-Jan-19

I've heard about firefighters getting all kinds of reactions while fighting fires here on the West Coast. s-of-firefighters-get-poison-oak- poisoning-while-fighting-whittier- fire/599760765

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