Dangers of Wood Dust Particles – There are a number of risks for people who work with wood. Be cautious of accidents with power tools, slips when using wooden boards and material barbs. One of the biggest dangers is exposure to particles of wood dust, which fill the air when the wood is cut or sanded. Dangers vary depending on the wood, but the threat of dust cannot go unnoticed.
Wood dust appears when the wood particles are released into the air during the cutting, pricking, drilling and polishing processes. The wood powder is different from sawdust only in size. The wood dust literally looks like dust. It can be harmful, especially to the eyes and exposed skin, as well as to the lungs, by inhalation.
The most common hazards to the exposed skin are irritation and dermatitis. In these cases, the wood dust particles can clog the pores and cause itching. Watch out to keep the wood dust particles away from cuts or other open wounds.
Nose and throat
Particles of wood dust are primarily responsible for irritating the soft tissues inside the nose and throat. While coughing and swelling can be caused by particles of wood dust, some woods are known to cause much worse effects. Woods such as Common Walnut, South American Cedar, and Western Red Cedar have been associated with nasal cancer in people who are regularly exposed to these dust particles.
Eyes and ears
The eyes are one of the main areas to protect when exposed to wood dust particles. Since the eyes are moist, they can be irritated easily. If exposed, wash them as soon as possible to prevent redness and other problems. Cover your ears well, since wood dust particles can cause infection and irritation.
To prevent wood dust particles from causing damage, ventilate and clean the area properly. A system for purifying the air and sucking particles while working is also a good idea. Workers should wear gloves, long sleeves, and head protectors as well as masks, goggles and ear protectors in order to keep the wood dust particles away from the sensitive parts of their anatomy.