Allergy to wood dust and air filtration

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Forum topic by b2rtch posted 01-01-2011 04:16 PM 3431 views 0 times favorited 17 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View b2rtch's profile


4821 posts in 2467 days

01-01-2011 04:16 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

It seems that as I get older (I shall be 61 the day after tomorrow) I have developed an allergy to wood dust.
I spent the day in the shop yesterday and today I have a pretty bad and uncomfortable allergy reaction.
I have decided to buy an cartridge filter to put on my dust collector (long overdue) and now I am looking at also buying an ambient air filter.
My shop is 720sq ft and with 10” walls.
A while ago is was a discussion about the ambient air filters and someone recommended one from Grizzly.
What do you think?
How big a filter do I need (CFM)?
I noticed that Wynn filter also sales this kind of ambient filter, do you have any experience with them?
Do you use an ambient air filter?
Which one?
Would you recommend it?
How easy is to replace or to clean the filters?
How often do you to clean or to replace the filters?
How much a new filter cost?
What should I look for in an ambient air filter?
Thank you for any help.
Happy New Year to you all LJs.
I wish you all, a lot of time in the shop and a lot of new toys.

-- Bert

17 replies so far

View lew's profile


11263 posts in 3174 days

#1 posted 01-01-2011 04:27 PM

First- Happy Birthday!!

Here is a site that may help answer some of your questions. Also, I would try and determine what, specifically, caused the reaction. If the allergy is acerbated by just contact, the air filter may not completely solve the problem.


Edit: forgot to add the site

one more link

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Knothead62's profile


2581 posts in 2380 days

#2 posted 01-01-2011 04:34 PM

Happy birthday a bit early!
Were your reactions respiratory or skin contact? You might need to wear a dust mask or respirator, if respiratory.

View b2rtch's profile


4821 posts in 2467 days

#3 posted 01-01-2011 04:44 PM

I wear a 3M Hepa 1/2 face respirator when I sand or turn or when I make a lot of dust.
Yet I still find dust in my nose and I believe that this is what cause my allergies.
Lew, I read this website a long time ago, I forgot about it, thank you the link.

-- Bert

View richgreer's profile


4541 posts in 2494 days

#4 posted 01-01-2011 05:03 PM

I work with a lot of exotic wood and the dust from many of these cause some respiratory problems for me (I’ll start sneezing uncontrollably). A mask helps but I hate wearing a mask.

Of course, the problem is the worse when sanding. For me the solution is Festool. The dust control capability of a Festool sander is exceptional (if you use it with one of their dust extractors). If you are sanding a flat surface you are working in a virtually dust free environment. That was the primary reason I purchased a Festool sander. The fact that I got an incredibly good sander in every other regard was a bonus.

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View b2rtch's profile


4821 posts in 2467 days

#5 posted 01-01-2011 05:06 PM

Thank you Rich and Happy New Year

-- Bert

View spunwood's profile


1198 posts in 2255 days

#6 posted 01-01-2011 05:22 PM

I have clogged/infection prone sinuses. One of the things that has helped me most is a daily nasal rinse which I will also do as needed (such as after too much dust or mowing):

I add table salt (NOT sea salt), water, heat in the microwave and go. It was weird at first, but I found it to be very helpful.


-- I came, I was conquered, I was born again. ἵνα ὦσιν ἓν

View ClayandNancy's profile


511 posts in 2434 days

#7 posted 01-01-2011 06:00 PM

Happy Birthday Is this possibly due to a specific species of wood maybe. What wood were you using?

View IrreverentJack's profile


724 posts in 2262 days

#8 posted 01-01-2011 09:42 PM

Happy Birthday Bert. You will find a lot of useful information on Bill Pentz's site. He got very sick after installing “top of the line” dust collection and conducted much research to find out why. -Jack

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 2403 days

#9 posted 01-02-2011 12:35 AM

I can’t add anything more to what has already been said, except to wish you a Happy Birthday Bert.

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View Don's profile


514 posts in 2492 days

#10 posted 01-02-2011 12:57 AM

I use a Trend Airshield:
It’s pricey and a bit heavy after a few hours but it does a really great job of sealing off your face from dust.

-- Don - I wood work if I could. Redmond WA.

View b2rtch's profile


4821 posts in 2467 days

#11 posted 01-02-2011 01:34 AM

You who rejoice because I a getting older do not forget that you are right behind!
Thank you all for your replies

-- Bert

View Steven H's profile

Steven H

1117 posts in 2479 days

#12 posted 01-02-2011 02:44 AM


Thanks for the link, I was looking for that for a while.

View Steven H's profile

Steven H

1117 posts in 2479 days

#13 posted 01-02-2011 03:01 AM

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


17574 posts in 3095 days

#14 posted 01-02-2011 03:57 AM

Allergies change over our lifetime. Some woods are sorse than others. Walnut is a prime offender.

Happy birthday! Glad you are chatching up ;-))

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View dbhost's profile


5590 posts in 2651 days

#15 posted 01-02-2011 04:14 AM

I am sure you know the answer to this by now, but your best bet is to collect at the source, keep it from getting back in to the air, and THEN clean the air…

Having said that, yes Wynn does sell replacement filters for the JET and I believe Delta ambient cleaners.

I ended up with a Grizzly G0572 fitted with a PSI replacement filter (AC1000-PF2), and it works like a dream. I have 2 filters, one to wash, and one to use so that when one gets dirty, I simply swap a clean one in, keep working, and THEN wash the filter out.

Several things sold me on the Grizzly unit.

#1. Size. Which is perfect, or even just a bit of overkill in my 372 sq / ft shop. Your much larger air volume is most likely too large for a single ceiling mount air cleaner. I could be wrong, but most I see are for 500 sq / ft and smaller… Check with the mfgs… #2. Price. I am not particularly wealthy, and Grizzly had a summer sale. With shipping it was about $250.00 to my door, easily $100.00 less than the closest competitor. #3. Capacity, 1044CFM moves more than enough air to clean it up in a hurry… #4. Physical dimensions. I know this is a funny criteria, but I figured that even with it hanging 1.5’ down from the ceiling, that would put the lowest part 7’ + off the floor, which is more than enough room for my noggin, and I do NOT carry fully sheet goods anywhere near this area… I typically break those down in the driveway, THEN move them in to the shop… I plan on using ceiling space for other storage as I can arrange it. I already have long handles for rollers, ladders, and fertilizer spreaders hung from the ceiling… I need to maximize my ceiling space as much as any other space in the shop…

I am very happy with the performance of the Grizzly, but then again, Like I mentioned, my shop is roughly half the size of yours… I can not attest to results in your shop, only mine…

Mind you, my approach is FAR from perfect, but both LOML and myself are allergy prone, and I must say I feel better after a day of working in my shop, than I do after a day of working in a climate controller server room…

-- My workshop blog can be found at

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