Ariel's a practicing NP, and WebMD is a pet peeve of hers. In short, it seems to be a way for some folks to catch acute hypochondria.
Yesterday I got back to the shop with a load of Ipé. I made a few dusty cuts with it, and decided to look it up online.
Is it a doomsday wood?
This post suggests that the Lapachol in the dust (the pores of Ipé are filled with yellow lapachol dust) could potentially slow cancer and HIV. That is, if you don't have a blisteringly acute allergic reaction within hours and find yourself hospitalized.
So, I sat in the bench room for the rest of the afternoon, trying to decide if I felt itchy or if I was dying. Nope. Apparently I'm fine.
I did make a point to shave this morning, as I'll be using a respirator to do the rest of the job. I'm not allergic to playing it safe with oily tropical hardwoods, after all. But it is interesting to me that the horror stories always float to the top of an online search.