What You Need to Know About Wood Dust

Wood DustYou might think that wood dust is harmless, even if it makes you sneeze. However, if you are around it a lot, you can get sick. Sanders, routers, and circular saws make tiny particles of wood fly up into the air and stay there for a long time. You may not even be aware that you are breathing it in. Even if you like the smell of wood in the air, it is not good for you. Here are some things you need to know about wood dust. Some health effects of wood dust should make you appreciate down draft tables more.

Health effects

Your skin and lungs can become sensitive to wood dust over time. If your exposure is occasional, it will not matter too much. However, if you work with wood all the time, you can start experiencing mild to severe allergic reactions. You can develop dermatitis or asthma. Chronic bronchitis and pneumonitis are also common. You might also experience chronically irritated eyes, dry throat and congestion, and chronic colds.


The law limits how much wood dust exposure is safe. The limits depend on the kind of wood. Researchers believe some types of wood such as beech, walnut, and ash cause cancer in people constantly exposed to wood dust, such as wood mill and woodworkers.


The easiest solution to wood dust is to wear protective gear. Facemasks and safety goggles will keep your nasal passages and eyes clear, but the skin is still a problem. Downdrafttables help suck down wood dust from the air. This can help keep your exposure low.  It will also protect others around you.

Working with wood is satisfying. Exposure to wood dust is not harmful if it is in small doses. However, prolonged exposure can make you very sick if you do not take precautions. A downdraft table is an excellent way to keep wood dust exposure to a minimum.