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Toxic Wood

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  • Toxic Wood

    I have read alot of post here on dust collection. So I thought I would post a little information and some personal history on the subject. I am typical weekend wood worker in a shared two car grage. I have the following tools in my shop I use the ridgid shop vac on.
    Table Saw
    Router Table
    Drill press
    Misc. hand saws and sander, etc.

    About three weeks ago I cut and milled up some mahogny for a picture frame for the wife. Yes I used the shop vac and a face mask. One of those cheep paper ones from HD. When I was done with all the sawing, planning, etc. I removed the mask and cleaned up what escaped the vac. One week later I arrived at the emergency clinic with a bacterial respartory infection. Very bad stuff.

    Here is what I found in my research.

    I now have a 2 hp canister DC, seperator and air cleaner hanging from the ceiling. I dont have the DC hard piped yet. I am putting all other projects on hold till I do. I had no idea there were that many toxic woods.

    I spent some bucks and I am not finished. The wife didn't mind at all.

    Best Regards

  • #2
    im not suprised the list is so long.
    Very fine dusts of any type are hazardous.
    be careful people, and wear the appropriate safety gear.


    • #3
      Toxic wood

      Thanks for the heads-up. It is just in time for me. I'm just getting back to working wood after a ten year break. It was about ten years ago that OSHA classified sawdust as a class 1 carcinogen, which means that under some circumstances it can cause cancer but is not a particularly strong agent. I had forgotten about it. At this point I'm not sure it was OSHA, it may have been a different agency. Anybody have more details on that?

      Shade Tree


      • #4

        I think your are correct. Go to I belive the orignal finding was in 1989. There is a lot of info at their web site.


        • #5
          Worked in the acft paint/structures industry for years. Lots of the dusts we were subject to were toxic/carcinogenic ( ie chrome 6, cadmium., etc). A good practice to get into is to vacuum yourself (especially the hands and head/neck area) with the brush attachment of your shop vac before taking off your respirator and eye protection. The reason that I mention eye protection is that the blood vessels in your eye ball, being so close to the surface and your eye is wet, will absorb 10 times the toxins that your skin will, so a respirator alone will not necessarily protect you. Also realize that all that dust in your clothes can present a hazard to your family if you wear them in your house, so you may want to vacuum the rest of you too!!
          Just a thought
          Practicing at practical wood working


          • #6
            Wow, that list is tremendous. I never knew. Makes you really think about using a common area for a hobby. Thanks for the info bert