Toxic Woods

Note: This list is not intended to be all-inclusive; precautions should be taken to protect against exposure to leaves, bark, sap, and dust of any wood.  See the legal page for more information on wood toxicity and protection.

The woods are listed below by scientific name, which I prefer to common names because it is not at all unusual for a half-dozen different tree species to be called the same thing, e.g. "rosewood" or "ironwood."  Use the common name index to look up the scientific name for any species on the list.  Where the species is listed as "(Genus) spp.", as in Alnus spp., this indicates several or all species of the genus (Alnus, in this example).

Back to Toxic Woods

Back to Materials Department



























Common Name Index

Toxic & Allergenic Woods

Scientific name Common Name(s) Toxicity Type, Source, and Effects

Abies balsamea

Fir, Balsam / Eastern Wood

Weak sensitizer (leaves, bark) / dermatitis

Acacia aneura


Irritant (dust ) / dermatitis, headache, nausea

Acacia harpophylla


Irritant (bark, wood, dust) / dermatitis

Acacia melanoxylon

Blackwood, Australian

Moderate sensitizer (dust, wood) / dermatitis, asthma

Acer campestre

Maple, Field / Hedge

Weak sensitizer (dust) / asthma

Acer macrophyllum

Maple, Bigleaf / Oregon

Sensitizer(dust) / dermatitis, rhinitis, asthma

Acer negundo


Sensitizer (dust) / dermatitis, rhinitis, asthma

Acer spp.

Maple, including Black, Hard, Red, Rock, Silver, Soft, Sugar

Weak irritant (dust) / asthma

Acrocarpus fraxinifolius

Acrocarpa / Cedar, Pink

Moderately toxic

Adenanthera colubrina

Cebil / Curupay

Moderately toxic

Aesculus flava

Buckeye, Yellow

Moderate irritant (nuts, twigs) / contains aescin, a cytotoxin

Afzelia spp.

Afzelia / Doussie

Irritant (dust) / dermatitis, asthma

Albizia falcataria

Albizia /Batai

Moderately toxic (dust) / dermatitis, rhinitis, nausea

Albizia julibrissin


Mildly toxic (leaves, bark) / nausea

Albizia lebbek


Irritant (dust) / dermatitis, rhinitis

Alnus spp.

Alder, including Arizona, Common, Gray, Hazel, Japanese,
Red, Seaside, Sitka, Speckled, Mountain, White

Toxic (dust) / dermatitis, rhinitis, asthma

Anacardium occidentale


Mild sensitizer (dust, wood, sap) / dermatitis, blisters from sap

Andira inermis

Partridge Wood / Angelin


Aspidosperma peroba

Peroba Rosa

Moderate irritant (wood, dust) / severe dermatitis, asthma,
headache, nausea, fainting, cramps

Astronium fraxinifolium

Goncalo Alves

Mild sensitizer (wood, dust) / dermatitis

Astronium graveolens

Goncalo Alves

Mild sensitizer (wood, dust) / dermatitis

Astronium lecointei

Goncalo Alves / Muiracatiara

Mild sensitizer (wood, dust) / dermatitis

Aucoumea klaineana

Okoume / Gaboon

Sensitizer (wood, dust) / dermatitis, asthma, coughing

Top of Page

Bagassa guianensis


Toxic (wood, dust) / contact dermatitis

Baikiaea plurijuga

Teak, Rhodesian / Umgusi

Irritant (dust) / respiratory irritation

Balfourodendron reidelianum

Pau Marfim / Maple, Brazilian

Irritant (dust) / dermatitis, rhinitis, asthma

Berchemia zeyheri

Ivory, Pink / Ivorywood, Red or Pink

Irritant (bark, fruit, sap) / dermatitis, poisoning

Betula alleghaniensis

Birch, Yellow / Birch

Toxic (dust) / dermatitis, asthma

Betula papyrifera

Birch, Paper / Birch

Mildly toxic (dust) / dermatitis, asthma

Betula pendula

Birch, European (Silver) / Birch, Masur

Mild sensitizer (dust, wood) / dermatitis, asthma

Betula pubescens

Birch, European (White) / Birch, Masur

Mildly toxic

Blepharocarya involucrigera

Butternut, Rose

Toxic (dust) / dermatitis, conjunctivitis

Bowdichia nitidia


Sensitizer (wood, dust) / contact dermatitis

Bowdichia virgilioides


Sensitizer (wood, dust) / contact dermatitis

Brachylaena hutchinsii


Toxic (wood, dust) / dermatitis

Brosmium alicastrum

Bread Nut

Toxic (dust) / nausea, expectoration, thirst)

Brosmium guianensis


Moderate irritant (dust) / nausea, expectoration, thirst

Brosmium paraense

Bloodwood / Satine

Toxic (dust) / nausea, expectoration, thirst

Brosmium rubescens

Bloodwood / Satine

Toxic (dust) / nausea, expectoration, thirst

Brya ebenus

Grenadill (Genuine)

Toxic (wood, dust) / dermatitis

Buxus sempervirens

Boxwood, European

Mild sensitizer (wood, dust) / dermatitis

Byrsonima crassifolia

Bois Corne


Top of Page

Caesalpinia echinata


Toxic / dermatitis, headaches, nausea, visual disturbance

Caesalpinia granadillo

Ebony, Brown / Partridgewood

Toxic / dermatitis

Callitris glauca

Cypress, Australian / Cypress-Pine, White

Irritant (wood, dust) / dermatitis, conjunctivitis, asthma,
nasal cancer

Calophyllum brasiliense

Jacareúba / Santa Maria

Toxic (wood, dust) / dermatitis, fainting, insomnia, possible
renal failure

Cardwellia sublimis

Lacewood / Silky-Oak

Strong irritant (dust, sap) / dermatitis

Castanea sativa

Chestnut, Sweet

Toxic (bark, lichens) / dermatitis

Castanospermum australe

Bean, Black

Irritant (dust) / dermatitis

Cedrela fissilis

Cedar, Brazilian

Irritant (wood, dust) / severe dermatitis, asthma, possible
nasal cancer

Cedrus libani


Toxic (dust) / asthma, rhinitis

Ceratopetalum apetalum

Coachwood, Australian

Toxic (dust) / dermatitis

Chamaecyparis lawsonia

Cedar, Port Orford / Cedar, Western

Moderately toxic (dust, extractives) / dermatitis, earache,
giddiness, cramps, renal problems

Chlorocardium rodiei


Strong sensitizer (wood, dust (sepsis from splinters, asthma,
cardiac & intestinal disorders

Chloroxylon sweitenia


Strong irritant (wood, dust) / dermatitis, headache,
respiratory problems

Cinnamomum camphora


Toxic (dust) / dermatitis, shortness of breath

Cordia goeldiana


(Rare) sensitizer (wood, dust) / dermatitis

Corymbia citriodora

Gum, Lemon / Gum, Spotted

Toxic (wood, dust) / dermatitis

Corymbia gummifera

Bloodwood, Red

Toxic (dust) / dermatitis, headache, giddiness, cramps,
asthma, bronchitis

Corymbia maculata

Gum, Spotted

Toxic (wood, dust) / dermatitis

Top of Page

Dacrycarpus dacrydiodes

Pine, New Zealand White / Kahikatea

Toxic (dust) / dermatitis

Dacrydium cupressinium


Toxic (dust) / eye & nose irritation

Dalbergia baroni

Palissandre, Madagascar

Sensitizer (wood, dust) / dermatitis, asthma

Dalbergia cearensis


Moderate sensitizer (wood, dust) / dermatitis, asthma

Dalbergia decipularis


Moderate sensitizer (wood, dust) / dermatitis, asthma

Dalbergia greveana

Rosewood, Madagascar

Strong sensitizer (wood, dust) / dermatitis, asthma

Dalbergia latifolia

Rosewood, East Indian

Moderate sensitizer (wood, dust) / dermatitis, asthma

Dalbergia louvelli

Rosewood, Violet

Moderate irritant (wood, dust) / dermatitis, asthma

Dalbergia melanoxylon

Blackwood, African

Strong sensitizer (wood, dust) / severe dermatitis, asthma,

Dalbergia nigra

Rosewood, Brazilian

Moderate sensitizer (wood, dust) / dermatitis, asthma

Dalbergia pterocarpifolia

Palissandre, Madagascar

Strong sensitizer (wood, dust) / dermatitis, asthma

Dalbergia retusa


Strong irritant (wood, dust) / dermatitis, asthma, conjunctvitis,
nausea, headache

Dalbergia spruceana

Jacaranda Do Para

Moderate sensitizer (wood, dust) / dermatitis, asthma

Dalbergia stevensonii

Rosewood, Honduras

Moderate sensitizer (wood, dust) / dermatitis, asthma

Dalbergia variabilis


Moderate sensitizer (wood, dust) / dermatitis, asthma

Dialium guianense

Jutahy / Limoncillo

Mildly toxic

Diospyros spp.

Ebony, including Gabon, Macassar

Moderate irritant (wood, dust) / dermatitis, conjunctivitis,

Diospyros virginiana

Persimmon, Common

Mild irritant (wood, dust) / dermatitis

Distemonanthus benthamianus

Movingui / Ayan

Toxic (dust) / dermatitis

Dyera costulata


Mild sensitizer (wood, dust) / dermatitis

Dysoxylum muelleri

Mahogany, Miva

Toxic (dust) / dermatitis, asthma, headache, nosebleeds

Top of Page

Entandrophragma angolense

Gedu Nohor / Tiama

Toxic (wood, dust) / dermatitis

Entandrophragma cylindricum

Sapele / Pomele

Toxic (dust) / dermatitis, coughing

Entandrophragma utile

Sipo / Utile

Irritant (wood, dust) / dermatitis

Enterolobium cyclocarpum


Mildly toxic (dust) / nose & throat irritation, allergies

Eucalyptus delegatensis

Oak, Tasmanian

Toxic (dust) / dermatitis, asthma, coughing

Eucalyptus globulus

Eucalyptus, Bluegum

Toxic (wood, dust) / dermatitis

Eucalyptus leucoxylon

Eucalyptus, White Ironbark

Toxic (dust) / coughing, asthma

Eucalyptus marginata


Toxic (dust) / dermatitis, coughing

Eucalyptus microcarpa

Box, Grey

Toxic (wood, dust) / dermatitis, coughing, eczema

Eucalyptus microtheca


Toxic (bark, wood, dust) / dermatitis

Eucalyptus obliqua

Oak, Tasmanian

Toxic (dust) / dermatitis, asthma, coughing

Eucalyptus regnans

Oak, Tasmanian

Toxic (dust) / dermatitis, asthma, coughing

Eucalyptus saligna

Gum, Sydney Blue

Toxic (wood, dust) / dermatitis, rhinitis, coughing

Fagus grandifolia

Beech, American

Moderate sensitizer (leaves, bark, dust (dermatitis, coughing

Fagus sylvatica

Beech, European

Moderate sensitizer (leaves, bark, dust) / dermatitis, coughing

Flindersia australis

Ash, Crows'

Toxic (dust) / dermatitis

Flindersia brayleyana

Maple, Queensland

Toxic (wood, dust) / dermatitis

Fraxinus americana

Ash, White

Toxic (dust) / rhinitis, asthma

Fraxinus excelsior

Ash, European / Ash, Olive

Toxic (dust) / rhinitis, asthma

Fraxinus mandschurica

Ash, Japanese

(Rare) toxic (dust) / respiratory problems

Top of Page

Gluta spp.


Irritant (bark, sap, dust (dermatitis, blisters, intestinal ulcers

Gonioma kamassi

Boxwood, African

Toxic (dust, extractives) / respiratory problems, fainting,

Gossweilerodendron balsamiferum


Toxic (dust) / dermatitis

Guaiacum spp.

Lignum Vitae, Roughbark Lignum Vitae

Toxic (dust) / dermatitis

Guarea cedrata

Bosse Clair / Guarea

Toxic (dust, extractives) / dermatitis, respiratory problems,
nausea, headache

Guibortia demeusei


Toxic (dust, extractives) / dermatitis, possible skin lesions

Gyrocarpus americanus

Cooliman Tree

Toxic (may cause blindness)

Hallea ledermannii

Abura / Bahia

Toxic (wood, dust, splinters) / nausea, giddiness, eye irritation

Hippomane mancinella


Highly toxic (leaves, bark, wood, dust) / severe dermatitis,
nausea, poisoning, death

Holigarna arnottiana


Toxic (sap) / severe dermatitis

Hymenaea courbaril

Cherry, Brazilian / Jatoba / Courbaril

Toxic (dust) / dermatitis

Intsia bijuga

Kwila / Merbau

Irritant (dust) / dermatitis, rhinitis

Jacaranda caroba


Toxic (dust) / dermatitis

Juglans cinerea


Irritant (dust) / dermatitis

Juglans nigra

Walnut, Black

Moderate sensitizer (wood, dust) / dermatitis

Juglans regia

Walnut, European

Moderate sensitizer (dust) / dermatitis, coughing

Juniperus virginiana

Redcedar, Eastern (Aromatic)

Toxic (dust) / dermatitis, respiratory problems

Khaya anthotheca

Mahogany, African / Khaya

(Rare) sensitizer (dust) / dermatitis

Khaya grandifolia

Mahogany, African / Khaya Cailcedrat

(Rare) sensitizer (dust) / dermatitis

Khaya ivorensis

Mahogany, African / Khaya

(Rare) sensitizer (dust) / dermatitis, rhinitis

Khaya nyasica

Mahogany, African / Mahogany, Nyasaland

(Rare) sensitizer (dust) / dermatitis

Khaya senegalensis

Mahogany, African / Khaya Cailcedrat

(Rare) sensitizer (dust) / dermatitis

Top of Page

Laburnum anagyroides


Highly toxic (seeds) / poisoning, death

Larix decidua

Larch, European

Toxic (bark, dust) / dermatitis, coughing

Larix occidentalis

Larch, Western / Western Wood

Sensitizer (dust) / dermatitis, rhinitis, asthma

Liquidambar styraciflua

Sweetgum (American) / Liquidambar

Toxic (dust) / dermatitis

Liriodendron tulipifera

Poplar, Yellow

Toxic (dust) / dermatitis

Litsea glutinosa


Irritant (dust) / dermatitis

Lophira alata

Ekki / Azobe

Toxic (wood, dust) / dermatitis

Lovoa trichilioides

Walnut, African / Lovoawood / Dibetou

Toxic (dust) / respiratory problems

Machaerium acutifolium

Pao Ferro / Rosewood, Bolivian / Rosewood, Santos

Moderately toxic (wood, dust) / dermatitis, asthma

Maclura pomifera

Osage Orange

Toxic (sap) / dermatitis

Manilkara huberi

Lancewood, Red

Toxic (dust) / dermatitis

Mansonia altissima

Mansonia / Bete

Severe irritant (bark, sap, wood, dust) / severe dermatitis,
nausea, sepsis, cardiac problems

Melanorrhoea curtisii


Moderate irritant (wood, dust) / dermatitis, asthma

Metopium browneii

Chechen / Chechem / Rosewood, Caribbean

Moderate sensitizer (sap, wood, dust) / dermatitis, asthma

Metrosideros robusta


Irritant (dust) / dermatitis

Microberlinia spp.

Zebrawood / Zebrano

Moderate sensitizer (wood, dust) / dermatitis, asthma

Milicia spp.

Iroko / Kambala

Strong irritant (wood, dust) / dermatitis, asthma, pneumonia

Millettia laurentii


Moderate sensitizer (wood, dust) / dermatitis, respiratory
problems, sepsis

Millettia stuhlmannii

Wenge / Partridgewood / Panga Panga

Moderate sensitizer (wood, dust) / dermatitis, respiratory
problems, sepsis

Nauclea diderrichii

Bilinga / Opepe

(Rare) sensitizer (wood, dust) / coughing, respiratory
problems, nosebleeds

Nerium oleander


Highly toxic (leaves, bark, wood, dust) / nausea, poisoning,

Nothofagus cunninghamii

Myrtle, Tasmanian

Toxic (dust) / dermatitis, coughing

Ocotea bullata


Irritant (dust) / sneezing

Ocotea porosa


Irritant (dust) / dermatitis, sneezing

Olea spp.

Olivewood / Olive, including Cape, East African, European

Moderate irritant (wood, dust) / dermatitis, respiratory problems

Olneya tesota

Tesota / Ironwood, Desert

Toxic (dust) / rhinitis, sneezing

Top of Page

Paraserianthes toona

Siris, Red

Toxic (dust) / dermatitis, nosebleeds, giddiness

Paratecoma peroba

Peroba, White

Toxic (dust) / dermatitis, sneezing, asthma, sepsis

Peltogyne spp.


Mopderately toxic (wood, dust) / nausea

Pericopsis elata


Irritant (wood, dust, splinters) / dermatitis, asthma, sepsis,
nervous effects

Picea spp.

Spruce, including Black, Brewer, Colorado Blue, Eastern,
Engelmann, Japanese, Norway, Red, Sitka, and White /
Eastern Wood / Western Wood / White Wood

(Rare) sensitizer (wood, dust) / respiratory problems

Piptadeniastrum africanum

Dahoma / Dabema

Moderate irritant (wood, dust) / dermatitis

Pometia pinnata


Toxic (dust) / dermatitis, rhinitis

Populus spp.

Aspen, Cottonwood, Poplar, Balm-of-Gilead, Eastern Wood

(Rare) toxic (wood, dust) / dermatitis, sneezing, asthma

Prosopsis juliflora

Mesquite / Algarrobo Del Brasil

Toxic (dust) / dermatitis, coughing

Prunus serotina

Cherry, Black

(Rare) toxic (dust) / asthma, giddiness

Pseudotsuga menziesii

Douglas Fir / Western Wood

Mildly toxic (wood, dust) / dermatitis, respiratory problems,
possible sepsis

Pterocarpus spp

Padauk, including African, Andaman, Burma / Kiaat /

(Rare) sensitizer (wood, dust) / dermatitis, coughing

Pterocarpus indicus

Narra / Amboyna (Burl)

(Rare) sensitizer (wood, dust) / dermatitis, coughing, nausea

Quercus spp.

Oak, including European, Live, Red, and White varieties

Mild sensitizer (leaves, bark, dust) / dermatitis

Quercus mongolica

Oak, Japanese

Sensitizer (dust) / dermatitis, sneezing

Rhus spp.


Irritant (bark, dust) / severe dermatitis

Robinia pseudoacacia

Locust, Black

Moderate irritant( leaves, bark, dust) / dermatitis, nausea

Salix spp.


(Rare) sensitizer (leaves, bark, wood, dust) / respiratory
problems, nausea

Sassafras albidium

Sassafras / Ash

(Rare) toxic (leaves, sap, bark, wood, dust) / respiratory
problems, nausea

Sassafras officinale

Sassafras, Red

Sensitizer (leaves, bark, wood, dust) / dermatitis, coughing

Schima wallichii


Toxic (bark) / dermatitis

Schinopsis haenkeana


Moderate irritant (leaves, bark, dust) / respiratory problems,

Schinus terebinthifolius Pepper, Brazilian Moderate irritant (sap), contact dermatitis

Sequoia sempervirens

Redwood, California

Mild sensitizer (dust) / dermatitis, asthma, pneumonia

Sequoiadendron giganteum

Sequoia, Giant

(Rare) irritant (dust) / respiratory problems

Shorea spp.

Mahogany, Philippine / Lauan / Luan / Meranti / Balau

Irritant (dust) / dermatitis, coughing

Sophora secundiflora


Highly toxic (seeds) / hallucination, poisoning, death

Spirostachys africana


Strong irritant (bark, sap, dust, smoke) / severe dermatitis,
blindness, diarrhea

Strychnos nux vomica

Strychnine Tree

Highly toxic / poisoning, death

Sweitenia humilis

Mahogany, Mexican

(Rare) sensitizer (dust) / dermatitis

Sweitenia macrophylla

Mahogany, Central American / Honduras

(Rare) sensitizer (dust) / dermatitis, respiratory problems, boils

Sweitenia mahagoni

Mahogany, Caribbean

(Rare) sensitizer (dust) / dermatitis

Syncarpia glomulifera


Irritant (dust) / sneezing, coughing

Top of Page

Tabebuia serratifolia

Ipe / Walnut, Brazilian / Lapacho

Toxic (dust) / dermatitis, headache

Taxodium distichum


(Rare) sensitizer (dust) / respiratory problems

Taxus baccata

Yew, European

Highly toxic (leaves, bark, sap, wood, dust) / dermatitis, nausea,
poisoning, death

Taxus brevifolia

Yew, Pacific

Highly toxic (leaves, bark, sap, wood, dust) / dermatitis, nausea,
poisoning, death

Tectona grandis


Moderate sensitizer (dust) / dermatitis, asthma, pneumonia

Terminalia alata

Indian Laurel

Irritant (dust)

Terminalia ivorensis

Afara, Black / Idigbo

Toxic (dust) / dermatitis, respiratory problems

Terminalia superba

Korina / Afara / Limba

Toxic (wood, dust) / dermatitis, respiratory problems, sepsis

Thuja plicata

Cedar, Western / Western Red / Western Wood

Strong sensitizer (leaves, bark, dust) / respiratory problems

Tieghemella heckelii


Toxic (wood, dust) / dermatitis, coughing, headache, nervous

Toona australis

Cedar, Australian Red

Irritant (dust) / dermatitis, coughing, headache, cramps, asthma

Toona ciliata

Cedar, Australian Red

Irritant (dust) / dermatitis, coughing, headache, cramps, asthma

Triplochiton scleroxylon


Strong irritant (wood, dust) / dermatitis, respiratory problems

Tsuga heterophylla

Hemlock, Western / Hem-fir / Western Wood /
White Wood

Toxic (dust) / dermatitis, rhinitis, asthma

Turreanthus africanus


Toxic (dust) / dermatitis, coughing, nosebleeds

Ulmus spp.


Irritant (dust) / dermatitis

Umbellularia californica

Myrtle, California / Oregon

Moderate sensitizer (leaves, bark, dust) / respiratory problems

Zanthoxylum flavum

Satinwood, American

Toxic (dust) / dermatitis, giddiness, nausea

Apple w/ BiteApple w/ BiteApple w/ Bite

Top of Page


Wood Identification and Use, by Terry Porter.  Guild of Master Craftsman Publications, 2006

Compilation from articles printed in WOOD Magazine and American Woodturner,
    originally posted to rec.woodworking by Bruce Taylor, which cites the following:

    Woods Toxic to Man, author unknown

    Toxic Woods, B. Woods & C.D. Calnan, Br. [sic] Journal of Dermatology, 1976

    ILO Encyclopedia of Occupational Health and Safety, 1983

    AMA Handbook of Poisonous and Injurious Plants, K. Lame & M. McAnn, AMA 1985

    Poisondex, Micromedix Inc., 1990