Dealing with Fine Woodshop Dust: Personal Respiratory Protection

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You’ve installed a that takes care of large and shavings, and you’ve augmented that with an air-filtration system to continually purify the air in your shop. Do you still need ? Many experts say yes.

One reason is that the level of safe exposure to woodworking is quite low. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recommends that the average amount of dust in wood shop air be no more than 1mg/cubic meter over a 10-hour shop session. For a garage-sized shop, 1 mg/cubic meter amounts to less than 1/8 teaspoon of dust for the entire volume of air in the shop!

Another reason is that many common woodworking operations such as sanding, cutting with a chop saw or using a router can overwhelm all of your dust collection measures and leave you breathing dangerous levels of fine wood dust.


Disposable Masks

FastCap MXV Pocket Dust Masks, 10-Pack  Item #: 43706Disposable dust masks are among the most economical and convenient forms of personal . They’re best suited for short-term exposure to fine dust and less effective and comfortable in long sessions in a dusty shop. This is because they’re made to fit the contours of an “average” face and, in general, don’t provide as tight an air seal between your face and the mask, which is what prevents fine dust particles from getting around the mask’s filter material and passing directly into the lungs.

Not all dust masks are created

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