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Can you be allergic to the tree itself?

My high school son is currently in woodshop and they will be working with multiple types of wood in this class. One of them being walnut. He is allergic to the walnut but I am wondering if he has the potential to have a reaction from working with the wood.

Thank you for all the help.

By PeanutAllergy.com on Sat, 11-14-15, 06:11

Question of the Week: Answered!

Every week, PeanutAllergy.com answers one of the questions posted in our community.

Our Answer:

Thank you for reaching out to our community with your concern.

It is definitely possible for wood to cause allergic reactions. The CDC reports that some workers exposed to wood dust developed allergic dermatitis and respiratory changes. Some also developed asthma. You can see the full findings here.

A PeanutAllergy.com user reported that he/she had an allergic reaction to rosin, a material used for violin strings that is made of ingredients like pines and conifers. The user reported getting a cough and developing bronchitis. Read more here.

However, the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology writes that there has been few conclusions about the possibility of allergic reactions to materials like walnut wood. The wood and the nuts each contain very different elements and there has been no definitive answer on whether the wood can cause the same reaction. The possibility of an allergic reactions happening should be considered, for caution’s sake, even though it might not occur. You can read more from the AAAAI here.

It would be best to check with your son’s doctor and see what he/she thinks. If you are very concerned, you could try speaking to the teacher about the situation and asking if your son can be excused from the workshop. You can read some helpful tips on how to approach teachers who don’t seem understanding of your child’s allergy here.

We also reached out to our Facebook community with your question, and you can see their responses here.

We hope this information is helpful. Take care!

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