I've been working quite often with gourds for about two years and last
spring I carved the outside shell of one with a Dremel tool and didn't
wear a tight enough mask (some days I didn't wear any - oh, dopey me!).
For at least a week, I felt like I had a severe case of indigestion. I
learned MY lesson! I'm not sure if there's mold in the shell of the
gourd, but maybe the fine, grainy substance like sawdust that was
produced is really hard on your respiratory tract. I haven't had any
similar symptoms since then....so, be careful.