Safety Resource Library

Woodworking: Wood Dust

  • Exposure to wood dust has long been associated with a variety of adverse health effects, including dermatitis, allergic respiratory effects, mucosal and nonallergic respiratory effects, and cancer.
  • The respiratory effects of wood dust exposure include asthma, hypersensitivity pneumonitis, and chronic bronchitis.
  • The OSHA permissible exposure limit for nuisance dust is 15 mg/m3, total dust (5 mg/m3 , respirable fraction) 8 hour time weighted average. NIOSH has set a recommended exposure level of 1 mg/m3 total dust.
  • Wood dust is emitted at high velocity by moving or spinning machine components. The primary method of controlling wood dust is with local exhaust ventilation, which removes dust at or near its source.

Wood Dust

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