Sawdust, ventilation and nasal cancers and issues

  • Advertise with us

« back to Safety in the Woodworking Shop forum

Forum topic by Chris posted 01-04-2014 05:06 AM 1246 views 0 times favorited 0 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View Chris's profile


359 posts in 4287 days

01-04-2014 05:06 AM

Topic tags/keywords: sawdust hazards nasal cancers health issues sawdust

I recently read a very interesting, informative article citing studies which had been wrought both in US and in other countries regarding the health impact of inhaled sawdust on woodworkers. It entailed the nasal cancer statistics, which in itself was alarming. I’ll spare you and will not try to pronounce any of them…lol Some of the worst cancers that develop in the worker’s nasal passages impact 1 in 1400 persons, but all are chronic that take 40+ years to develop and are labeled as being rare, actually.

But that having been said, one of the reasons for this post is to simply, ‘just remind us’. I have a few friends on other forums that have undergone some intense nasal surgeries, all of which were related to sawdust in one way or another. Some have even departed, and some of their underlying issues were from this.

I found it interesting that the allowable threshold of dust in an area that could potentially be inhaled was 5 mg per cubic meter but the typical belt sander produces 115 mg per cubic meter. Wowsers!

The article also referenced the various chemical agents (pesticides, fungicides, preservatives) that are still used on much of our imported woods today although most of which have been banned in US. This portion was very enlightening. I knew the forestry industry in America uses select types but are attempting different managing techniques now that are not so chemical dependent. However, I really did not have any clue to the extensiveness of the chemical types and usages in imports. Some of that stuff, is some bad ju-ju.

“We just love wood” and “Working wood”.. Plus, what woodworker doesn’t love the smell of a wood shop when we walk into one and/or the remnants of a project at hand? Loading up the ol’ sniffer are we? lol

As much as I use ventilation, some equipment dust collection and various type respirators in my shop, quite often I still get a good taste of the stuff.

I have been using a Sinus rinse for awhile. I’m certain there are various kinds on the market but I have one of the Neil Med sinus rinse bottles. Packages of rinse agent can be reordered. It really cleans me out pretty good. I can always breathe really, really well afterwards. Just makes me wonder if individuals that worked in the wood industry were to discipline themselves to rinse their sinus once a week throughout their career, if they would ever develop cancerous tumors in their nasal cavities or receive scarred lungs?

For what its worth:

-- Chris Harrell - custom callmaker "Quacky Calls" Eastern NC.

0 replies so far

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics