UKTC Archive

RE: Planes, irritants and health and safety

Subject: RE: Planes, irritants and health and safety
From: Tony Ash
Date: Jun 25 2001 08:18:52
Its not the pollen, its the fine fibres that are on the leaves, particularly
when new, and the way the seed balls burst sending fibres all over the show
that are the problem.  During my proper work days as a tree surgeon for a
local authority, we used to find it very very uncomfortable in May and early
June doing Plane trees.  I used to wear a dust mask which helped me a lot,
but I had to find the right one as there are many on the market.  When I
first started working on Planes on a near daily basis, the Mgt. provided us
with these large pespex helmets with air filters attached and a little motor
attached to draw fresh air in through the filters.  As with most ideas from
Mgt who have never actually done the work themselves, the idea was ditched,
as were tghe helmets.  The best thing to do is not prune Plane trees in
Spring and early summer.

Personally, I think the fibres from Plane leaves are a possible health
hazard, going off the way they make you cough, splutter and irritate your
eyes.  I know of an ex tree worker who died (non tree related).  and the
coroner referred to unknown fibres found in the lungs.  This was not related
to the death however.  The person spent a lot of time pruning Planes. I also
vaguely remember hearing in an article, years ago, that the Chinese accept
that Plane trees are a potential threat to public health.  I think its
definitely an area for research.  


-----Original Message-----
From: Edmondson, Neil []
Sent: 21 June 2001 14:37
To: UK Tree Care
Subject: RE: Planes, irritants and health and safety

I may be wrong Chris 

but my recollection of Planes in summer is that the pollen is irritating to

-----Original Message-----
From: Chris Hastie []
Sent: 22 June 2001 14:14
To:   UK Tree Care
Subject:      Planes, irritants and health and safety

Can anyone point me in the direction of some published information on the 
on the irritant properties of plane leaves, such as just what causes the 
problem, how serious is it, what PPE is appropriate if they have to be 
worked on whilst in leaf and if we have to fit our climbers out with 
respirators how do we convince the public that the trees pose no danger to

them despite the fact that the climbers look like their kitted up to 
survive biological warfare.

Chris Hastie

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