Wood Dust Is A Safety Hazard

I remember several years ago, while working on a project, I needed to cut a 4×4 using an 8″ miter saw. The mask that my wood turner friends that often work the most toxic woods most liked was the old Racal which is no longer made, but we can still get parts for through 3M. The one that got the highest reviews next to the Racal was the 3M powered respirator which was not that big of a surprise as 3M bought Racal and is known for making the best respirators.

For example, if you want to protect yourself from an organic vapor such as acetone, you would need to wear either a half-face or full-face respirator in combination with two organic vapor cartridges(one for each side of the mask) like the 3M 6001 Organic Vapor Cartridge Essentially, your selection of the appropriate respirator cartridge will depend on the gas or vapor that is present.

They usually use 4″ dust collection hose , and will filter large chips and dust from a variety of woodworking beauty of a dust collector is that they are designed to create a lot of CFMs of suction, and unlike shop vacs which use a small internal filter, dust collectors use a giant bag (or a canister ) and almost never lose any suction with continued use.

This is essentially a giant vortex-shaped pre-filter piece that allows larger chunks of wood to drop and fall into a trash can or other large container: prolonging the life of the dust collector’s bag and greatly reducing the frequency that you have to empty it. Bill Pentz has written and studied wood dust safety and cyclone dust collectors extensively, and is his website is a recommended resource for those wanting a thorough defense against wood dust.

You can be seen wearing the respirator in many of your podcasts, in addition to other safety steps. Most woods don’t bother me unless it has spalting in it. Then my asthma can really bother me if I don’t wear a respirator. Whether you choose a disposable dust mask or a reusable cloth mask, ensuring a good seal to your face is crucial. Full-face respirator with acid gas cartridges, or half-face respirator when worn with chemical goggles or face shield. In some cases, the Department of University Safety and Assurances can perform the fit-testing in advance of a respirator purchase, so the a proper fitting respirator is procured.

These are costly but worth it. What looks like a good alternative is the Trend Airshield Pro PAPR mask pictured on the left. If you have a beard, you should consider a positive-pressure respirator since a normal respirator may not be able to make a good seal with your skin. For a listing of woods and their toxicity rating, please view the Wood Toxicity Table found on Bill Pentz’s web page. Power respirators use a battery-powered fan to supply a continuous stream of filtered air to the interior of the mask. For example, when working with a conversion varnish, it is safest to wear a full-face respirator. In this case, a dust mask is suitable but there are some species of wood that emit toxins.

However, I also have a dust collection system and 2 different kinds of face masks that I also use. Reusable respirators, on the other hand, are available in both the half-face and full-face variety and can offer protection not only against airborne particulates, but gases, fumes and vapors as well. It’s imperative that you find yourself a quality respirator as soon as possible.

The Toxic Dust Respirator traps over 99.97% of toxic dust including lead, asbestos, and Hantavirus and meets the latest US government respirator standards (P100 Class) and OSHA and NIOSH requirements. Often even a downdraft table is not enough to provide good fine dust collection unless we also use a portable dust collection hood placed right next to the dust source. With the GVP system offering the widest range of choices for comfort, protection and easy of use. I have a North brand respirator that has particle filters, and chemical filters.

Galeton offers a variety of respiratory products including economical disposable respirators and dust masks. My respiratory doctor says he likes and regularly uses his air cleaner but does not rely on it for anything except keeping his finishes from being spoiled with dust contamination. The filters can be fitted in one of three configurations: 1) gases and vapours, 2) gases, vapours and dust, 3) purely for dust. The correct way to wear one is this: The elastic straps are pulled tightly so that they make a tight seal with the mask.

This type of respirator tends to fit better than half-face respirators, since the mask covers the entire face of the operator. My respiratory doctor said to immediately change my vacuum filter from their paper and cloth bags to HEPA air filters. The problems persisted and we discovered my attic which shares open air with my garage based shop was badly contaminated. The 3M First Responders PAPR full face respirators combined with Tychem products can provide effective barriers to toxic chemicals. At least a 95% efficiency for protection against solid and liquid particles—excluding those containing oil.

Okay, this does not mean that it filtered all the dangerous fine dust but I can tell, there is dust masks and dust masks. In fact, this set-up will filter all sorts of stuff including the really dangerous sanded materials like lead and asbestos dust. I like and mostly use my 3M 7500 series non-powered mask pictured above with dual cartridge filters, pre-filters, and organic vapor cartridges. Now think about what gets atomized and blown into the air every time you cut into that wood.

Despite this research finding, if you are sanding and refinishing wood floors regularly, your body is accumulating more and more lead. Particle meter testing shows that properly ventilated shops can be well cleared of hazardous fine airborne dust within approximately one half hour. I did a lot of homework and talked to many woodworkers who have long used the different powered respirator masks.

Thank you so much, this is the most helpful information I ever read on protection against dust. Long-Term Damage: Forget about the large chips and visible sawdust: perhaps the most damaging element is the invisible fine dust (sometimes called coarse inhalable particles” ranging from 2-10 microns). The medical air quality testing he has seen show regardless of vendor advertising claims almost all small shop cyclone and dust collector fine bag and cartridge filters freely pass the finest unhealthiest dust. I guess I thought that it was good to know for testing the fit of a respirator.

A small bathroom exhaust fan creates enough negative pressure to keep a blast of dust filled air from contaminating our homes when we open a connecting door between our shop and home. Few, if any, dust collectors are capable of capturing 100% of the dust at every tool (it also depends on the tool’s design), and very few dust collectors provide filtration adequate for removing sub-micron particles. N95 respirator masks are fairly common so you should not have a problem finding one.