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PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2009 4:03 pm 
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Joined: Wed May 06, 2009 3:48 pm
Posts: 1
Hey, newbie here...

I tested positive for allergies to Birch. I take a daily OTC allergy medication and use an OTC nose spray. I hike on trails with Birch trees and seem to be ok, bit of a runny nose but nothing more.

My question is that I have recently moved and am taking my furniture out of storage (been in storage for the past 2.5 years). My furniture is Birch Veneer, meaning that it is particle board with a Birch wood finish that is veneered or sealed, not raw wood.

I am a little paranoid but maybe for nothing. It never seemed to bother me before but I do not know if this is an allergy that I have recently developed, nonethless, are allergies to Birch, related directly to the pollen they release or give off? Or is it the wood itself aswell? Would I be ok with the furniture given that it is now raw wood and only a finish with a veneer seal?

I recently handled some of it and things did not seem any worse....I did not get a rash or a reaction or anything like that on my body or hands (I get hives from cats if I come into contact with their hair).

Any info or insight is appreciated. Thanks!


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 24, 2009 6:59 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 17, 2009 9:23 pm
Posts: 129
Hi-my son has a birch allergy-only to the pollen though.

_________________
twin boys-
c-eosinophilic oesophagitis
j-avoids peanut, sunflower, pineapple all ana-sensitised to maccadaemia.pecan.Passed barley (previous ana) last year...out grew egg ana and peanut at 3 years..became re sensitised with ana at 6 years to peanut.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 2:56 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2005 9:38 pm
Posts: 933
Location: Oakville, Ontario
I'm not sure if this helps you, but I was worried about our new walnut hardwood floors that we had installed 2 years ago (our son has a tree nut allergy). When we ordered them, it did not occur to me until later that this might be a problem :shock: Anyway, we'd already paid a large deposit, and we went ahead with the installation. I thought if it was a problem we would have to have them removed. Anyway, all is well, and it's now 2 years later. Our son plays on this walnut hardwood floor everyday. I've done some reading about nut allergy and the bark from the tree, and it seems to not be an issue. There is little or none of the allergen in the bark. Not only that, I'm sure the final clear finish on a wood product offers a barrier between the wood and actual contact.

Does this information help you? It's not quite the same situation, but similar.

_________________
15 yr old daughter: no health issues
12 yr old son: allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, fish, sesame, sunflower, mustard, poppy seeds, peas, carrots, some fruits, instructed to avoid all other legumes (except soy & green beans), pollen, cats, horses


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 25, 2009 4:23 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6490
Location: Ottawa
I found this in the Ask the Experts column of the Allergic Living webpage (look under articles)
Quote:
Q My son has severe allergy to tree nuts and peanuts. He is taking a woodworking shop and the teacher questions if he should be working around walnut wood or other woods. He has never reacted from fumes of nuts. (Also, the current shop has a new ventilation system.)

Dr. Waserman: The question of whether the woods of nut trees are a risk for those with nut allergy comes up frequently. In the case of peanut or tree nut allergy, the proteins which are responsible for the allergic reaction are concentrated in the nuts themselves, with only very small amounts elsewhere in the plant. Reactions generally take place after shelling a nut or eating it.
Reactions to various woods have not been reported, so are probably rare. Your son should be able to participate in a woodworking shop safely. The fact that the shop is well-ventilated is wise additional protection, as is having an epinephrine auto-injector on hand.
http://www.allergicliving.com/columns.asp?copy_id=73

It's not exactly the same as your question but it's along the same vein. You might want to send in your question for Dr. Watson and Dr. Waserman. Send it directly to: editor@allergicliving.com

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Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 9:19 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 27, 2009 6:07 am
Posts: 24
soul wrote:
My furniture is Birch Veneer, meaning that it is particle board with a Birch wood finish that is veneered or sealed, not raw wood.


Hi, sorry for the late response but I just saw this thread.

Another thing to be concerned about (as if you needed another - sorry!) is the fact that it has particle board. Pressed wood products like particle board and plywood frequently emit formaldehyde and/or VOC's (volatile organic compounds) from the adhesives and sealants used to keep them together, which can trigger allergies and asthma attacks. The fumes are worst when the product is new, and lessen over time. Ensuring good ventilation (e.g. open windows) helps keep the fumes from building up (although it might let the birch pollen in :( ).

Unfortunately for me, I learned about this the hard way - nasty asthma attacks until I figured out the problem (I was in an RV full of plywood furniture and panelling). You can bet I'll be more careful about my furniture (and RV) purchases in the future.

_________________
Self: Asthma; allergic to cats, dogs, grasses, housedust, moulds, various tree pollens, most tree nuts, ragweed, cockroaches, tobacco, most hair products, many soaps and lotions, and many chemicals
DW: Cashews, latex, springtime pollens


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 7:55 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2005 11:17 pm
Posts: 6490
Location: Ottawa
Eep said
Quote:
Pressed wood products like particle board and plywood frequently emit formaldehyde and/or VOC's (volatile organic compounds) from the adhesives and sealants used to keep them together, which can trigger allergies and asthma attacks. The fumes are worst when the product is new, and lessen over time.


Your right! I guess it's a good thing soul had it in storage so long.

Soul, how did it turn out? Any allergies to your furniture?

_________________
Moderator
Daughter: asthma, allergies to egg, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, most legumes (not soy) & penicillin. Developing hayfever type allergies.
Husband: no allergies
Me: allergies to some tree that flowers in May
Cat: allergic to beef, pork and lamb


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