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  • dust dangers

    Well I just spent 2 hours reading bill pentz's webpage on dust and micron sized particles. I must say this website has alarmed me more than moderatley.

    He refers to many common dust collector systems as, basically, junk. what kind of systems do you guys run? I need to seriously re-vamp my collection procedures.

    How concerned are you guys with dust?

  • #2
    Well... I bought the fine dust filter for my Ridgid vac to suck up things like drywall dust and fireplace ashes... is that no good?

    Comment


    • #3
      Bill Pentz has some good information on his website. However, his claims of the health risks border on hysteria, in my opinion. If you actually track down and read the scientific studies he refers to so matter-of factly, you will find they were done under very different circumstances (commercial wood product manufacture) and that the conclusions were not as absolute as he would have you believe. There is a more recent and equally legitimate study - I think it was done by Tulane university IIRC - which did not find any correlation between employment in the woodworking industry and respiratory problems. Of course, this research may have little relevance to the hobby woodworker. I tried researching the health risks of infrequent wood dust exposure in a hobby environment and found no scientific information. Bill was afflicted with a serious respiratory illness which he attributes to wood dust, although he also states his lungs were damaged in Viet Nam. As a good citizen, he is now on a mission to save the world from the evils of wood dust.

      While it is always wise to err on the side of caution, I would check out some other sources of information before getting too worried about wood dust.

      Comment


      • #4
        artmann,

        well said - i am currently doing some independent research. Thanks!

        Comment


        • #5
          From the OSHA web pages on woodworking:

          Potential Hazards:
          • Both the skin and respiratory system can become sensitized to wood dust. When a worker becomes sensitized to wood dust, he or she can suffer a severe allergic reaction (such as asthma) after repeated exposure or exposure to lower concentrations of the dust.
          • Other common symptoms associated with wood dust exposure include eye irritation, nasal dryness and obstruction, prolonged colds, and frequent headaches.
          • Certain species of hardwood - such as oak, mahogany, beech, walnut, birch, elm, and ash - have been reported to cause nasal cancer in wood-workers. This is particularly true when exposures are high. The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) recognizes wood dust as a "confirmed" human carcinogen,3 and recommends a limit of 1 milligram per cubic meter (mg/m 3 ) for hardwoods and 5 mg/m 3 for softwoods. At this time, OSHA regulates wood dust as a nuisance dust; however, OSHA strongly encourages employers to keep exposures to a minimum and to adopt the ACGIH levels. The maximum permissible exposure for nuisance dust is 15 mg/m 3 , total dust (5 mg/m 3 , respirable fraction).
          [Don't sound too bad to me just yet, no need to worry or read on right? ]

          As a general rule hardwoods are more hazardous to human health than softwoods. There are exceptions, in particular western red cedar, a softwood, is usually identified as one of the most hazardous to human health. The health effects appear to be related to the concentration of tannin and similar compounds in the wood. The following web pages list different types of woods and provide information about each one and how they may affect humans.

          Read the full article here;
          http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/wooddust/recognition.html


          Additional info on OSHA's web site;
          http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/sear...status=CURRENT


          More on wood dust effects from pressure treated lumber;
          http://www.cdc.gov/elcosh/docs/d0400...4/d000464.html
          "When we build let us think we build forever. Let it not be for present delight nor for present use alone. Let it be such work that our descendants will thank us for, and let us think, as we lay stone upon stone, that a time is to come when these stones will be held sacred because our hands have touched them, and that men will say, as they look upon the labor and wrought substance of them, "See! This our fathers did for us."
          John Ruskin (1819 - 1900)

          Comment


          • #6
            Bob D
            thanks for great links!

            What do you use in your shop as DC Bob?

            Comment


            • #7
              Regarding the pressure treated wood hazards, this applies to older wood, but CCA (Chromated Copper Arsenate) has mainly been replaced with ACQ , which is water-based copper oxide/ammonia quaternary compound. ACQ is what you will see used in the treated lumber in your local BORG. Safety precautions for using ACQ are here: http://www.epa.gov/oppad001/reregist...recautions.htm

              Go
              Practicing at practical wood working

              Comment


              • #8
                I say take precautions but hell we are all gonna die of some disease or malfuntion in a system within us. I have a osha standards good respirator with charcoal and the works on it for sand and staining. I use a osha standard plain white mask when cutting wood. I have most dust under control. Live and have fun all........life to short nowadays to worry about some new test. They always have or make new tests.

                Comment


                • #9
                  If you read carefully, you will notice that the quotes from OSHA provided by Bob D are referring to a work environment, where the exposure is an all day, every day affair. Even there, the underlying data shows a very weak correlation between lung disease and dust exposure. As I said before, at least one legitimate research work published found no correlation between employment in the woodworking industry and lung disease. I am assuming the places that were part of the study adhered to OSHA standards.

                  I have not seen any studies done that show a relationship between lung disease and infrequent exposure to wood dust in a hobby shop. However, that doesn't say it can't happen. I think good dust control in a home shop is a prudent precaution and have a central dust system in my shop to accomplish that. I used information off of Bill's website to assist in the design. However, as I said before, Bill Pentz's website claims a level of risk to wood dust that is not substantiated by research. I just think he let his own serious illness affect his judgement. JMNSHO.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    A quick Google search on "correlation between lung disease and wood dust exposure" turned up this (the CDC article below) in only 10 seconds.

                    Everyone should learn to use the various search engines on the net. You also need to learn to phrase your queries to increase the number of good hits your search will uncover. Good hits to me are ones that lead you to information relative to your query. Many web sites will use popular words in the meta data (keywords embedded in a web page that are hidden from site visitors) they place on their home page so that search engines (and the spiders that work in the background for them) will index that site as being related to the keywords they used when in fact that site may have nothing to do with CANCER (but a lot to do with Viagra for instance) or a host of other popular searches. They do this to lure you to their site. Many times these websites have loads of pop-ups or banner ads running. The people who operate these sites get paid money each time a banner ad is viewed by a visitor to their site, and even more money if you click on the ad which takes you to the advertisers site.

                    From the CDC website ( http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/pel88/WOODDUST.html )

                    Exposure to wood dust has long been associated with a variety of adverse health effects, including dermatitis, allergic respiratory effects, mucosal and nonallergic respiratory effects, and cancer. The toxicity data in animals are limited, particularly with regard to exposure to wood dust alone; there are, however, a large number of studies in humans. The discussion below first describes some of the relevant toxicological studies and then presents the record evidence on wood dust. [Follow the link above to view the full page, which describes some of the studies that have been undertaken.]

                    I was asked what I use in my shop. I use what I can afford. It's not the best but right now it is what I can justify for the amount of work I do. I help make up for not having the best DC system by working smart and by using PPE when needed.

                    I have a Delta 50-850A 1.5 HP 1200 Dust Collector w/Canister and a Delta 50-875 3-Speed Ambient Air Cleaner. I also use at times my noisy old (1980s vintage) Craftsman 16 Gal. shop vac. Except for the noise level which makes it sound like a 747 at full throttle it still works fine.

                    I use hearing protection and a dust mask when they are necessary. Necessary to me means whenever I have that noisy shop vac running or a router or my planer or any other noisy tool, not just when I feel like wearing them. For the dust mask it means whenever I am sanding using a machine and sometimes when hand sanding. I have all my power tools hooked up to the DC except the DP, and I have made a small collector hood that I can clamp on the DP table when needed that can be connected to the DC or the shop vac.

                    I guess its easy for me to get int he safety habit, because it is drilled into us every day at work. So I have no problem with doing it at home, except for the cost. It just means I will have to wait a while longer before I get that lathe or drum sander I would like to have, but at the same time the investment in the dust management equipment helps insure I'll be here to use that lathe next year and afterward.

                    You guys can tell yourself whatever you want to justify to yourselves that you don't have to worry about wood dust because you are only making sawdust on the weekends, but I'll bet a good number of you that classify yourselves as 'hobbyists' when it comes to your safety are getting exposure equal to that the 'Pros' do in a 40 hour week. Think about it; did you ever spend the whole weekend working in your shop on a project? How long were you in there? I know I can be out in the shop goofing around cleaning up or adjusting a machine or working on a project and 4, 5, 6 hours goes by like it was only an hour. DO that once or twice a week and throw in a couple evenings and you are right up there at better than 24 hours exposure. So don't think that the cases that are cited for the industry can not (or do not) apply to you, because some times they can and will.

                    Fortunately or unfortunately whichever way you want to look at it, OSHA can not regulate what you do when working around the house or in your shop. That does not mean the risks generated by activities or conditions that are similar to those that occur in the workplace can not happen at home. More people are injured at home than anywhere else. So when it comes to classifying yourself as far as Safety goes, count yourself in as a 'Pro' and give yourself the same level of protection the 'Pros' do. And don't just talk about it...DO IT!

                    Gofor is corect that the piece I pointed out about CCA treated lumber does not apply to today's pressure treated lumber. But let me ask you; did you go out and dispose of all the CCA treated lumber you had when the ACQ material came out? Did you tear down your deck made of CCA treated wood?

                    No you say, well that what I would expect you to say, so we will have to deal with CCA treated lumber for a long time to come. Just as there are many places that stilll have Asbestos in them, and it has to be delt with during remodeling or repair work.
                    "When we build let us think we build forever. Let it not be for present delight nor for present use alone. Let it be such work that our descendants will thank us for, and let us think, as we lay stone upon stone, that a time is to come when these stones will be held sacred because our hands have touched them, and that men will say, as they look upon the labor and wrought substance of them, "See! This our fathers did for us."
                    John Ruskin (1819 - 1900)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Bob,

                      You didn't post the context of the quote or the supporting evidence that was offered so i will be glad to do it for you. I have read this and many other such documents that come from OSHA. This document is not published research, but merely an opinion paper from some employee of the nations most paranoid bureaucracy. It was apparently used as evidence in some kind of debate about some government regulation. Allow me to quote for you the following paragraph, which he offers as evidence of the dangers of wood fiber inhalation.

                      Groups of male guinea pigs were injected intratracheally with suspensions containing 75 mg of sheesham or mango wood dust or of hemp or bagasse fibers, or 20 mg of jute fiber (Bhattacharjee, Dogra, Lal, and Zaidi 1979/Ex. 1-463; Bhattacharjee and Zaidi 1982/Ex. 1-464). Animals were sacrificed serially at intervals up to 90 days after injection. Lung examination revealed that, at 90 days, Grade I fibrosis of the lungs had occurred in the guinea pigs injected with mango or jute, while those treated with sheesham or hemp had developed Grade II pulmonary fibrosis
                      .

                      I am not a guinea pig, although some would say I resemble a very large one. I am not in the habit of injecting solutions of sheesham or mango wood directly into my lungs, especially not for 90 days running, and I doubt if there are many other hobbiest who do either. I fail to see any relevance in this research for any purpose, much less the effects of wood inhalation in small quantities on human beings. He goes on and on about other equally ridiculous studies. If there were any more meaningful research on the subject, you can bet the author wouldn't have used this nonsense.

                      If you keep digging, you will find several studies that were done in Europe on real human beings who work in various wood processing industries where dust is produced. There are a few done in the US. You will find some statistical evidence that a career of wood dust inhalation increases the risk of lung disease in some locations. That is no big surprise. You will find other studies that were unable to establish any such link. Perhaps the OSHA regulations that were put in place worked.

                      By way of contrast, look at the very first legitimate studies that were done to establish a link between cigarette smoking and lung cancer. The results were immediately obvious and were stunning. Few scientists, other than tobacco company employees, questioned the results. If the risk here were on the same level, as Bill Pentz and the OSHA guy seem to imply, then why hasn't the fact showed up in decades of legitimate research? Why has this shocking news not made it to the general pulic?

                      Once again, I am not saying one should not protect himself against wood dust inhalation - especially those who are sensitive or have allergies to it. I am just saying that I believe Bill Pentz's website exagerates the risks of wood dust and unduly alarms unsuspecting people like the orignal poster.
                      Last edited by artmann; 01-17-2007, 12:55 AM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: dust dangers

                        Originally posted by Bob D. View Post
                        Gofor is corect that the piece I pointed out about CCA treated lumber does not apply to today's pressure treated lumber. But let me ask you; did you go out and dispose of all the CCA treated lumber you had when the ACQ material came out? Did you tear down your deck made of CCA treated wood?
                        Bob, you are absolutely correct. My reference was to add to your info, not contradict it and my mention of older wood was intended to recognize that the stuff over a couple years old still presents the arsenic hazards. In the attempt at brevity, I did a poor job of it. Thanks for expanding the thought and making the point very well. I still run into asbestos siding in and under some of the in-law's old houses here, and had to deal with a lot of the old asbestos furnace wrap at my folks house before they passed on. The former isn't too bad, but the latter turned to powder when you touched it. The hazards in existing materials will remain long after safer replacements are made available. Even DIYrs like me and folks buying older houses will run in to it , and knowing the hazard is the first step at making a rational decision about protecting yourself from it.

                        Go
                        Practicing at practical wood working

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: dust dangers

                          I'm not sure if it qualifies as a wood, but if I forget to put on the mask before working with MDF, I hack for a day or so. That stuff is horrible on the lungs.
                          Only a surfer knows the feeling. Billabong ca. 1985 or so

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: dust dangers

                            You're right, MDF is about the worst stuff to work with from the prospective we are in here, health and safety.
                            "When we build let us think we build forever. Let it not be for present delight nor for present use alone. Let it be such work that our descendants will thank us for, and let us think, as we lay stone upon stone, that a time is to come when these stones will be held sacred because our hands have touched them, and that men will say, as they look upon the labor and wrought substance of them, "See! This our fathers did for us."
                            John Ruskin (1819 - 1900)

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