Allergic reactions

My name is Alan Goldberg. I am the owner of a company based in
Melbourne Australia and have been involved in manufacturing for 14
years. I have a medical problem which i hope you can help me with,
which has been going on for 18 months. I have a burning sensation on
my tongue and face. I have been to see numerous general
practitioners, dermatologists(who “patch tested” me with all the
different products), a dentist who specialises in burning of the
mouth, an allergist, a psiorioasis expert and a naturopath, who
removed wheat, dairy, yeast and a whole host of other things out of
my diet for a month. All of the above people where of no help at all
and I have been continuously plagued by this. I believe that it is
definately one of the materials that i come into contact with at
work.(as this is where it is worst and on the weekends it is 90 %
better. I have done everything that i can to make my workshop
enviromentally friendly as possible. -Extraction over the casting and
melting area ( I have also worn a full face respirator while melting
for the past 15 months) -Installed a flue over the kiln -Removed the
pickle into a room that i do not go into -Built a fume cover over the
vulcanizer It could be a number of things, however my feeling is that
it is the injection wax. The symptoms seem to get worse when i am
working with the wax. The bottom line is I am at my wits end and do
not know what to do. I have a wife and 3 kids to support and have
everything invested in my workshop. If you have any or
know of some-one who has had a similar problem or know what it is in
the wax I am sensitive to, or know of a substitute I can use,
possibly in the plastic injection industry? etc. etc.etc. It would be
appreciated if you could e-mail me at your earliest convenience.
@Goldberg Many thanks, Alan Goldberg

Hi Alan; Sorry to hear about your condition. It must be terribly
frustrating, not to mention the discomfort. Perhaps you are
sensitive to the release agents or the perfumes that are in the
injection wax formulaes. Why don’t you contact Kerr Jewelry and
Specialty Products, the makers of a lot of these waxes. If they
don’t carry a formula that excludes these agents, perhaps they could
fill a small special order for you lacking the irritants, or maybe
they’d give you a workable formula and sources for the ingredients to
make up your own injection wax. They are a great company and have
helped me on several occaissions. It’s worth a try. Good luck. I
don’t have Kerr’s phone number, but I have a web address and an
e-mail contact.

web site is:
e-mail is:

David L. Huffman

I too have had allergic reactions, and been amazed at the number of
people that are allergic to foods, with ALL kinds of reactions to it.
A simple blood test by Immuno Labs pinpointed the 20(!) foods I am
allergic to.And they can affect your symptoms! MY test was, IgG
standard food test sensitivity assay:Immono 1 Bloodprint See if your
Dr. can take blood and sent to: Immuno Labs

800 231 9197

Alan, You may want to look at things that are in very small quantities
in your shop. Do you use cyanide? A few chemicals can in very
minute quantities cause drastic effects on your health. Clean your
shop from top to bottom. Clean the rafters in the attic. Move all
the benches out and clean everything. Something is causing your
reaction. Airborne chemicals are the toughest to trace. You may
want to hire an environmental engineer to test your shop. This would
be a brave step because they may find enough chemical residue to
close down the shop as dangerous.

Gerry Galarneau

Do you use a wax injector and vulcanized rubber molds. I use to get
the same type of burning sensation on my face where ever I touched
when I had been injecting vulcanized molds with standard injection
waxes. I switched to silicone molds and jewelers carve wax for
injections. No more burning. Worth a look. Frank Goss

Alan, this is the same person who responded to you yesterday. I
thought I would share this info with the rest of the group (even
though I haven’t had a single response to any of the queries I have
posted to the list…)My husband the industrial hygiene expert
suggests you obtain the US material safety data sheets for the wax you
suspect you may be reacting to. The US sheets do a good job of
identifying components that are known or suspected human sensitizers,
as well as any hazardous components down to 1% of the formulation.
Once you have the MSDSs, you can fax them to me and my husband will
review them to determine if the wax contains anything likely to cause
you the problem you have described. My fax number is 517 496 1709.

Dear Allen, As someone who has lived with allergies all my life, my
instinct is that your problem is a result of an allergy to many
things, the wax pot being your body’s last staw. The combination of a
few allergens, can cause a reaction to one thing severe. Skin rashes
are sometimes very hard to nail down as well as the problem with your
mouth. Usually the mouth is connected to something ingested, but I’m
no doctor. Try and think what has changed up to 6 months before the
symptoms accured. Think hard it could be laundry soap, shampoo, hand
soap, toothpaste, shaving cream, your razor, just to name a few! It
could be small amount of residue from a cleaning product used in the
bathroom settling on you toothbrush. It could be something as simple
as that. A hair analysis might render some evidence if it is
chemical. good luck Sincerely, Bob Martin

I think Frank Goss may be on to something. Perticularly the mention
of vulcanized molds. Problem with your theory Frank is that you’ve
changed two variables, the mold AND the injection wax, so we don’t
know which one was giving you trouble. Do you have an opinion one
way or another on this, in retrospect? Here’s why I’m interested in
your idea though. Vulcanized molds are made from natural rubber, and
organics are the easiest things to develop allergies to, since the
protiens involved are easy for the body to match antibodies to.
However, release agents, lubricants, and perfumes also often have
volitile organic compounds in them making them suspects in this
allergic reaction. I think I’d start by changing the wax, since Alan
already may have many molds done in vulcanized. By the way, Stuller
now carries an economical version of the silicone rubber. I just got
some in, but haven’t had time to try it yet. If changing to a
neutral wax doesn’t help, then I’d think Frank was on to the rubber
as the culprit. Again, good luck.

David L. Huffman


I’ve been fighting allergies for most of my adult life and have found
the following invaluable when trying to pin down the source of

  1. Keep a daily diary in minute detail. Record, hour by hour, the
    tasks you’re working on. Include materials, chemicals, environmental
    conditions, foods you eat, and time of onset of your symptoms. Be
    specific. It could be all petrochemicals or just the wax or neither.
    Your diary will help show patterns and maybe some other surprise
    sensitivities. It can be very helpful to your doctor. If he doesn’t
    think so, find another doctor.

  2. If you haven’t already been tested for dangerous metals, do so.
    Also be tested for candida, a yeast that is thought by some to
    affect only women. Wrong–it doesn’t care which sex you are, just
    that your body’s immune system is vulnerable. There are several
    medications available as well as a natural regimen to help with this.

  3. If you have been on antibiotics and/or steroids, your immune
    system has taken a beating. Find a knowledgeable person who can help
    you in rebuilding it and follow through.

I hope you find something helpful here. Good Luck!

Sincerely, Joyce Albers

Dear Alan, you will get a lot of good advice from the fellow
orchideans (?), but mine will be a rather pessimistic one. A few days
ago I talked to my former assistant and learned that she had to leave
the research lab forever. Some 30 (thirty!) years ago she developed an
allergic reaction to a particularly nasty chemical and had quite a lot
of problems, like rash, dermatitis etc. Even constantly working under
hood and in double or tripple gloves did not help. She had to endure
quite a lot, because the work was her doctor’s thesis. And now, thirty
years later, as soon as she had again the first contact with that
chemical, the condition repeated and was even worse… So, if you
manage to identify the cause, make shure you never get in touch with
the stuff again. It may require to build a new workshop and throw out
all contaminated equipment and totally decontaminate the remaining,
like they teach you in civil defence :frowning: I do not want to frighten you
and other folks who may face something like that, but I do want to
warn you to take this business VERY seriously, if you want to go on
with your job. Not like the natural allergens (pollen, dust, hair,
food etc.), the chemical allergens are very specific and no general
cure will help. Just avoid the bastard by all means. Take care, Eddie,
the chemist from Latvia


It is quite easy to do a ‘patch’ test on yourself. If, for instance,
you suspect the vulcanised moulds, cut out a piece of latex glove,
back it with a piece of plain lint and strap in to the inside of your
upper arm with micropore tape for 24 hours. If a red patch develops
there, then you have your answer. You could also try a very thin
film of the casting wax on a piece of plain lint.

I hope you find the answer!

David Kelsall (UK)