Thanks for all of your replies!
I finally took the time today to try to answer some of my questions online, and thought some of you might appreciate a little report.
From what I can gather, tea tree oil IS toxic, if ingested. (I know I'm nitpicking here
, and I apologize
, but it says "natural and non-toxic living" in the description for this board, and tea tree oil is certainly natural, but it is also toxic. Not as safe as vinegar, for example.) So don't ingest it. It is pretty safe for skin, although some people are sensitive/allergic. It should be diluted (1/10 is a good ratio, although 1/2 is also considered pretty safe). It can be very toxic for pets (I didn't read all of the pet info, but it is out there). I'm posting some urls below.
This one looks pretty thorough and useful, the FAQ section answered some of my questions...http://www.meddent.uwa.edu.au/TeaTree/default.htm#Home
This one is scary, and probably overstating the dangers associated with tea tree oil, but certainly got me thinking about it...http://www.exoticbird.com/gillian/teatree.html
Here is another more balanced report...http://www.geocities.com/chadrx/teatree.html
And another, with all the specific uses...http://thursdayplantation.com/tea_tree/research.html
There is more out there, but I ran out of patience.