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Severe/Cronic Asthmatic and Woodworking

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Forum topic by Steve posted 661 days ago 1365 views 1 time favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Steve

16 posts in 2387 days


661 days ago

I enjoy woodworking, but have recently discovered that I am severely allergic to every wood imaginable to man. This sets off a severe asthma attack. Does anyone have any hints/suggestions on what to do to prevent this from happening. Any suggestions on a air filter/dust filter system? Thanks, Steve


10 replies so far

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 1603 days


#1 posted 661 days ago

I don’t know what to suggest other than a souped up air filtration system, Festool HEPA vacuum to attach to all your powertools and this, or something similiar

http://www.axminster.co.uk/trend-trend-airshield-pro-prod719697/#bottomsection

The reviews are worth a look.

View HalDougherty's profile

HalDougherty

1820 posts in 1871 days


#2 posted 661 days ago

I have allergies and get an allergy shot every week. I’m not allergic to wood, but I wear a respirator that I bought at an auto-parts store that was for painting cars. It’s supposed to block vapors, so microscopic wood particles should be blocked. It took a while to get used to wearing it, but it’s much better than the health issues that might develop from woodworking. The most used tool in my shop is a carving duplicator with an exposed router bit that spews wood chips and dust in all directions. When I run it and most other tools, I also wear a full face shield and ear muffs.

-- Hal, Tennessee http://www.first285.com

View JesseTutt's profile

JesseTutt

803 posts in 745 days


#3 posted 661 days ago

I have the Triton respirator. It takes some time getting use to the weight but it works very well in dusty environments. The biggest disadvantage is that the battery pack is not removable.

-- Jesse, Saint Louis, Missouri

View JuniorJoiner's profile

JuniorJoiner

445 posts in 2074 days


#4 posted 661 days ago

get the best dust collection and ambient air cleaners you can for your power tools(wynn filters would be a good upgrade), and try to stick to hand tools when you can. It’s hard to breathe in a shaving.
I use a confo II mask and that works with my beard if i keep it short. fairly cheap.

-- Junior -Quality is never an accident-it is the reward for the effort involved.

View GregD's profile

GregD

614 posts in 1770 days


#5 posted 661 days ago

Some people construct a Thien separator appropriately sized for their DC and then exhaust the DC directly outside without any filter whatsoever and report that they don’t see any accumulation of sawdust outside. Apparently the small amount that doesn’t get trapped by the Thien separator simply blows away. This won’t work for every situation, but if it works for yours it minimizes cost and maintenance and maximizes airflow. Also, no chance of recirculating dust that passes through the filter back into your work space.

You still might need a powered respirator though.

Bill Pentz has posted a lot of info on dust collection. He also seems very sensitive to wood dust. Many people do just fine without working as hard on dust collection as Mr. Pentz suggests, but in your case it might just be worthwhile to try his ideas.

-- Greg D.

View Dusty56's profile

Dusty56

11644 posts in 2322 days


#6 posted 660 days ago

A Homepathic friend of mine suggested this product for ALL of my allergies , and it hasn’t failed me yet.
I was just working with some Jatoba that made my skin crawl , took two of these and in no time I was back to my project. : ) No side effects !!
I also have asthma and I take this at different times of the year to ease allergy related asthma symptoms.
I also use a great dust collector and have 3 dust filters running in my shop while working there.
Sometimes I use a mask depending on what I’m working with just for added insurance : )
http://www.amazon.com/BioGenesis-Bio-Allergy-Plus-90-caps/dp/B001J891NO
They recently changed the product name , but still the same great , all natural ,non-drowsy formula : )
http://www.professionalsupplementcenter.com/BioAllergyPlus.htm?gclid=CN-p0onyvbMCFUOK4Aod1S4AOg

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View Thermaloy's profile

Thermaloy

21 posts in 662 days


#7 posted 660 days ago

If you consider wood carving you will reduce the amount of wood dust in your atmosphere to almost zero, until you start sanding the product. When my mind turns to carving the tools are all hand-held, extremely sharp and honed against jeweller’s rouge on a leather strop. Again, zero pollution. Thin gloves to protect your hands without reducing the ‘feel’ of your work, and as good a breathing mask as you can find and afford. For me, carving is non-machinery time and sitting comfortably.

-- Thermaloy

View David Kirtley's profile

David Kirtley

1276 posts in 1632 days


#8 posted 660 days ago

Switch to hand tools. It stops being a primary respiratory problem.

That said, don’t push your luck if it is a real allergic reaction rather than just being an irritant that you are sensitive to. It can escalate to a full on anaphylactic reaction that can really mess up your day by killing you. If you are really allergic and going to take the chance anyway, talk to your doctor about getting some epi-pens to have around the shop in strategic places.

-- Woodworking shouldn't cost a fortune: http://lowbudgetwoodworker.blogspot.com/

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

13829 posts in 972 days


#9 posted 660 days ago

There are various resirator masks that can do it. Many are pricey, but it beats no shop. Hopefully it is strickly breathing and not skin contact.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it. - It's not ability that we often lack, but the patience to use our ability

View Manitario's profile (online now)

Manitario

2306 posts in 1517 days


#10 posted 660 days ago

Sorry to hear about your allergies. You’ll find a lot of different solutions here on LJ’s, I’ll share mine: I developed a chronic cough when I started doing ww. My first attempt at dust collection was a 1.5hp canister dc with a 0.3 micron filter. This was definitely better than nothing, however I still had my chronic cough and was blowing sawdust out of my nose at the end of the day. I did a lot of research on dust collection and ended up buying a 5hp cyclone from Clearvue Cyclones. This dust collector basically keeps my shop dust free when using my machinery. The biggest improvements in DC was with my TS and MS. I have a particle counter that measures the dust content in the air, and the air quality in my shop is better than in my house! Check out Bill Pentz’s site:
http://billpentz.com/woodworking/cyclone/index.cfm
He is a hobbiest woodworker who developed severe lung problems from the dust. He’s put together a bunch of information on optimizing dust collection and on calculating out your dust collection needs. The cheapest option is one of the small, disposable dust masks or the Trend Air mask; I like not having to wear a mask while I woodwork though…

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

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