Exotic woods are some of the most beautiful timbers in the world. There presence in a woodworking project can take the most ordinary piece and turn it into a work of art.
While they are beautiful, these woods can cause some woodworkers develop lung, skin or eye irritations. The oils, resins and other chemicals that give these woods their beautiful colors and working properties can be pretty potent, leading to allergic reactions and other health concerns.
Which woods are most likely to cause these kinds of reactions? This list from the musical instrument makers forum lists dozens of wood species, and the likelihood they will cause eye and skin irritation, respiratory problems, nausea and cancer.
While there is a potential for these kinds of reactions, proactive dust control and personal safety precautions can help to significantly reduce the risk of a reaction.