My dad is going to be 79 this December 22nd. He's a retired Auto Mechanic who has been woodworking for at least 20 years. I can't begin to count the hours I've spent with him in his workshop over the last 30 years. He has passed on his love for the hobby to me and, I hope, some of his tremendous talent.
He developed a nasty cough a few months ago that would not go away. After a few weeks of tests and much anxiety, the pulmanologist diagnosed a rare pnuemonia(B.O.O.P.), possibly caused by foriegn material being inhaled and irritating the lining of the lungs. Apparrently, this is a chronic situation and will have to be treated for the rest of his life. I haven't been able to find much info on the internet about B.O.O.P.
We can't be sure what caused this disease. Maybe 30 years of exposure to dust from brake shoes in his auto repair shop but, the sawdust certainly didn't improve things.
I now where an inexpensive resperator when I work in my shop. You can get them at HD. I'm trying to keep as much sawdust out of my lungs as possible.
We should all consider using a resperator.
Sorry to hear about your dad's condition----you're right----could be the auto work, sawdust or something else.
But, had to laugh at your "inexpensive respirator." Inexpensive respirator will give you inexpensive protection (i.e., maybe next to none). Take my word for it-----if you're committed to not breathing sawdust, you really should do more than pick something off the shelf at HD----these things need to fit your face/jaw and for long-term wearing, full face or head gear, or powered air will be more comfortable. But, another good goal is to reduce as much dust, at the source, as you can----DC for sanding, sawing, etc., is a good goal to shoot for.
Seriously, while on this topic, I would guess that standard precautions would be enough to take care of sawdust issues in a shop. In that list I would include:
I am still quite the amateur at this all, so my post is actually a question. Should all of these basic precautions be enough? Seems to me that going to the point of ALWAYS wearing a respirator would be a bit excessive.
- Using a dust collector or shop vac, when possible, with power tools.</font>
- Running an air filtration system - one of those ceiling mount units.</font>
- Utilizing dust masks and all when doing sanding and other high dust work.</font>
Btw. I am sorry to hear about your Dad. I hope he can still make it out to the shop to get in the sawdust! [img]smile.gif[/img]
shouldn't you be fine if you use a dust collector/shop vac with tools, when possible. U
Sorry to hear of your fathers condition, but this affliction is news to me,having been a woodworker for twenty five years I have inhaled enough sawdust to build a home or two, but have never had a lung problem, and have had one sick day in the past ten years, I have heard of Mechanics getting sick from inhaling everything from gas fumes to fumes from parts cleaning fluid maybe that is the culprit, either way I hope everything works out alright.
Mark pointed you in the right direction.
Whenever possible, it's best to get the dust at the source----be sure to buy tools with DC hook-ups---particularly sanders. I use one with my ROS and with just a small vacuum, it's amazing that there is almost no dust that gets away from it.
Respirators (with rubber mask and one or two replaceable cartridges) will filter much more dust than the paper masks. I'd at least use the respirator for sanding----espacially on sanders or work that you can't use DC.
While those of us doing home shop/hobby, are unlikely to have health problems, lung problems are cumulative with other exposures. So, if you have or are smoking or been in other potentially hazardous work (asbestos, cotton dust or other such materials) it's good to reduce additional reductions in lung function.
Thanks for the comments gentleman. I appreciate your empathy and well wishes.
The purpose of my post is to make everyone more aware of the potential for health problems, even in the home shop. Most of us won't think twice about plotting down $150 for e new drill,or $500 for a new Table saw but, we'll wait as long as we can before installing a top notch dust collection system(at least, I've put it off)
The "inexpensive" respirator to which I referred is a dual canister type that costs about $30. Thats inexpensive compared to most equipment in our shops. It seems to work quite well.
As time and money permit, I will add a substantial DC system, along with a ceiling mounted air filter as suggested by Capt B. I advise all to do the same.
Ironicly, we took the doctor's final diagnosis as GOOD news. All earlier tests indicated a far worse situation.
I've changed my tag line...
3M respirators are the way to go. I have the 1/2 and full face units in my shop. The full face unit is good when the dust really flies like when I'm blowing dust out the shop with a leaf blower or sanding wood that irritates nose and eyes like teak [img]tongue.gif[/img]
3-M has excellent products, as well as North and MSA.
I recently attended a seminar put on by OSHA concerning respirators. It is very easy to fit a MSA, 3M or North respirator to your face and they are inexpensive. The trick is using the correct cartridge. If you buy a 3M respirator you could use a P100 filter. The filters should be thrown away regularly and the respirator kept clean. Remember, sawdust is a known carcinogen. Any safety supply house sells them and can help with fit testing and proper cartridges.