Many woodworkers are completely unaware of the hazardous nature of some of the woods we work with day in and day out. I bought that full system with extra filters, face shields, shield protectors, on and on only to discover its fairly open filters let the fine dust right through. The most common dust masks are white and made from a very thin disposable cloth material. What you need is a PAPR, or Powered Air Purifying Respirator, like the Trend Airshield, or the 3M BreathEasy.
With that said, there is a limit to the amount of protection one will receive – the utmost caution is advised at all times – However; I will state that we have received a great deal of feedback from folks who have had a piece of wood slam the AIR/PRO face mask and they have thanked us for the excellent protection. The bad new is this damage causes serious respiratory problems and worsens age related diseases.
Now that we’ve seen the health detriments to inhaling and being exposed to wood dust, we’ll look at some of the ways that we can minimize risk and reduce the likelihood of having a serious health reaction. For these reasons he now recommends those with problems start with a way to measure their problems and how well their efforts work to address their problem. If you plan on wearing your respirator for hours at a time, consider a full-face respirator. My carbon monoxide detector showed my shop exhaust fan and dust collection blower both pulled carbon monoxide from my attached home furnace and gas water heater.
For example, the sharpest hand plane can make a perfect spiral shaving with no visible dust; however, a particle meter reads huge amounts of fine particle materials that have been launched into the air. My respiratory doctor recommends we buy filters with enough surface area and ample fine filtering. Hardwood dust exposures, such as from beech and oak, have a permissible exposure limit of 1 milligram per cubic meter of air (mg/m3). One monitoring event was five times the Permissible Exposure Limit for total nuisance dust.
Half face respirator with HEPA cartridges Full-face respirator or Powered air purifying respirator also acceptable. When you are not using your mask, you need to seal it in a plastic bag to insure that no dust will enter into the filters. My respiratory doctor next told me to go buy or build a good quality down draft table and always use it when sanding. A half face respirator with HEPA cartridge should be worn when cleaning out or working within this HVAC unit.
My doctor also reminded me to not only wear my apron, but also when making fine dust to wear a cap, light jump suit, and bandanna that I take off before going into my home. The exhale part is really only good for actual gas mask type stuff when you are trying to make sure that any possible poisonous gas inside your mask is expelled. The higher the efficiency, the more particulates the respirator will filter out.
In the event of a new process or procedure requiring the use of a respirator, the industrial hygienist in Physical Plant Services will meet with the employee and or/supervisor to perform a hazard assessment and review of administrative and engineering controls. Observe how the ordinary (and even the better fitting) dust masks will have gaps between the mask and skin.