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December 1960

Dermatitis Due to Grevillea Robusta (Australian Silk Oak): Report of a Case

Author Affiliations

Glendale, Calif.

From the Department of Dermatology, College of Medical Evangelists, Los Angeles (Clement Counter, M.D., Head of Department).

Arch Dermatol. 1960;82(6):1006. doi:10.1001/archderm.1960.01580060162029

Contact dermatitis due to contact with sawdust of various irritant woods is recognized frequently in workers who handle wood and wood products. I wish to report a case of severe acute dermatitis venenata due to the sawdust of Grevillea robusta, or silk oak. A search of the literature and texts failed to reveal a similar case in this country.

In southern California and southern Florida, this Australian oak tree was imported more than 50 years ago. It is native to eastern Australia and New Caledonia. The tree has long, green, thin, branching, pointed leaves. It grows rapidly and often reaches a height of 150 ft. It is a tall slender tree and is used to line streets for shade purposes. It is a brittle tree and breaks easily with strong winds. Its high and rapid growth causes it to impinge on electric power lines. In Los Angeles, "Grevillea poisoning" is

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