To the best of my knowledge, the United States government does not place any additional restrictions on Ziricote.
I realize that inherent in working with wood is the killing of a part of the natural world that may be slow to return and if I become deeply concerned about this fact, I will have to find a new hobby. I hope that such a time does not come to pass or at least not any time soon. In part because I am concerned about legally and responsibly obtained wood, I am reluctant to buy from sellers outside of well-established and known vendors. I am highly unlikely, for example, to purchase any wood from auction sites, such as Ebay, because of uncertain sourcing and documentation, as well as the potential, even likelihood, of material being misidentified in order to achieve a higher selling price.
However, due to the commercial scarcity of some woods, resorting to auction sites such as Ebay or Etsy may be the only way to obtain some desirable domestic, or in some cases exotic imported, species that are not routinely commercially harvested. The potential risks of buying in these marketplaces have to be balanced against the desire to work with a specific species of wood. That is inherently an individual decision.
I also realize that many, if not most, wood workers do not have endangered species lists memorized, therefore I think it worthwhile and important to do even a small amount of research before purchasing any lumber, domestic as well as imported, to be certain of the potential impact you are having, even in a small way, on threatened or endangered populations. This information is easy to come by and takes only minutes to locate through any Internet search engine, including those you can access on your phone as you are standing in the lumber yard or store. Unfortunately, you simply cannot count on a vendor to tell you a product they are selling is endangered.
Besides the standard health risks associated with any type of wood dust, Ziricote has been shown to cause cross reactions once an allergic sensitivity to certain woods has been developed. Woods that can cause initial sensitivity include: Pau Ferro, Macassar Ebony, Cocobolo, and most rosewoods. .
It is important to remember that although many people may, or may not, be sensitive to any given wood, the only experience that truly counts is your own, so use reported side effects as guidance but not as a substitute for cautious and safe practices.
Appropriate protective equipment is therefore always recommended when working with this, or any other, wood, exotic or domestic, unless you have worked with the species before and are certain you are not sensitive to it.
Complete information about health hazards associated with a wide variety of exotic hardwoods is available from The Wood Database. Additional information about how to best use a dust collection system and personal protective equipment, such as respirators, can also be found through this excellent and comprehensive resource.
Fortunately, I did not experience any adverse effects while working with Ziricote.
My Personal Experiences:
I only had two small pieces of Ziricote (thus far, who can guess what else is buried in my wood stocks) to work with so I don’t have an exhaustive level of experience, but I found Ziricote to be reasonable to work with.
These pieces measure 4″ x 2″ and 4.5″ x 2″.
Ziricote cut cleanly and required only minimal clean up sanding, which was a good thing since the high oil content causes traditional sandpaper to quickly load and become useless. Situations like this are where Abranet is very helpful.