If you’ve been in the remodeling business for any length of time, you already know of the issues that dust from material poses. When you’re sawing and sanding large quantities of wood, plaster, drywall or paint, dust gets everywhere and is a chore to clean up. It can also have a negative impact on your tools if you don’t maintain them and clean them of dust regularly. Most importantly, though, exposure to dust through inhalation and skin contact can cause health problems.Some individuals might not have an immediate adverse reaction to job site dust, but continued exposure over time can cause carpenters and woodworkers to become sensitized, according to OSHA. Once this occurs, you can suffer allergic reactions like asthma and dermatitis, respiratory and sinus problems, and skin and eye irritation. Long-term inhalation of wood dust may even lead to more severe health problems.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) sets a recommended wood dust exposure limit of 1 mg/m3 (milligram per cubic meter) total per 8 hours of work. This is why you want to make sure you have the best dustless technologies for woodworkers.
Protecting Yourself from Job Site Dust
Thankfully, there are plenty of precautions you can take to protect yourself and those around you from material dust when you’re working on a remodeling project. These include using protective equipment, changing your clothes after woodworking, and using a dust extractor tool to eliminate material dust from your work area.
Most of the equipment you’ll need to protect yourself from wood dust is affordable, but when it comes to safeguarding your health, it’s essential to select the most reliable tools available.
Wearing Protective Equipment
Essential equipment to wear for avoiding material dust are goggles, an air filtration mask, and protective cream on your arms or anywhere else skin is exposed. For the face mask, you can also use a full-face respirator for extra eye and airway protection, although many woodworkers and remodelers rely on standard respirator masks.
It also helps to understand the risks of the wood and other materials you’re working with. Some types of wood are more toxic than others, and while some may cause respiratory problems when their dust is inhaled, others can be skin irritants or eye irritants, cause dizziness, or lead to severe ailments like cardiac problems.
Changing Your Clothes After Woodworking
After you finish work for the day, you’ll inevitably have wood dust on your clothes. When dust gets particularly fine, it can be difficult to spot, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there. It’s important to change out of your work clothes, wash them, and shower before returning home as you could track wood dust into your home, exposing your family.
Extracting Dust with Festool Products
One of the most important steps for protecting yourself from dust is to use a dust extractor to keep your work area, your tools, and your body clean from both coarse and fine wood particles. Using a dust extractor can also help you create a smooth finish on your work and protect your other tools, appliances, and electronics.
While you could rely on a standard shop vacuum, this step is crucial for controlling wood and material dust during remodeling. Dust needs to be removed immediately as it is created, so attaching an efficient dust extractor to your tools is paramount.
Festool produces premium dust extractors, most with certified HEPA filters to create a 99.99% dust-free environment. They come in varying shapes and sizes so that you can prioritize portability, mobility, power, or capacity.
For more specifications, here is a list of the Festool dust extractors available:
- CT 36 E Auto Clean Dust Extractor (574933)
- Festool Dust Extractor CT 26 E HEPA (574930)
- Festool Dust Extractor CT 36 E HEPA (574935)
- Festool Dust Extractor CT 48 E HEPA (574938)
- Festool Dust Extractor CT MIDI T-LOC HEPA (575267)
- Festool Dust Extractor CT MINI T-LOC HEPA (575260)
- Festool CT SYS Mobile Dust Extractor (575280)
Festool manufactures high-quality woodworking systems that are some of the most efficient in the industry. Festool’s dust extractors also come with accessories and consumables, including replacement filters, hoses, and cleaning nozzles.
If you have any questions about these products or other ways to manage wood dust during your remodeling project, or if you're looking for other tools for your remodeling business, don’t hesitate to call us directly at 877-777-4717.