For a Clean Shop and Clean Bill of Health
Why do you need to know about dust collection? If you are just here looking at items you probably don't, but if you are a woodworker and into woodworking projects, either on a small or large scale, this is something you need to be seriously concerned about. We all know what a major problem dust can be in your workshop.
Dust is constantly in your way when you are trying to see your cut lines, fine dust settles onto projects that you are trying to put a stain on, dust gets in your eyes, dust travels through the ventilation system into the rest of the house.
Up until recently most people have thought that dust was just a nuisance but not anymore. More and more studies are coming out showing the many and serious concerns related with inhaling dust. Most people think that these pile of dust are the concern but not necessarily so...it seems that the real problem is the dust you never see, the tiny, microscopic dust particles that go straight into your lung where they cause serious health problems.
What can you do to protect yourself? Well the first and cheapest thing that you can do to start is to get a decent respirator to wear while working in your shop. This is a baby step and gets your started but won't solve the problem completely. The next and most important thing is a dust collection system of some type.
If you are financially crunched the next step is a shop vacuum system with a fine filter bag attached directly to your tool(s) or more ideally to a simple network of plastic or metal ducting tubes and blast gates. This is very economical and if you are a woodworker, you probably already have a shop vacuum
The better alternative, although a little more costly is a serious dust collector hooked up to a system of pipes that pull dust from each machine in your shop. This costs a little bit for a quality system but think about how much a few weeks in the hospital with bronchitis will cost you in medical bills and lost wages
I'm not going to go in detail about all the health concerns associated with inhaling wood dust, especially exotic wood dust, I'm just going to urge you to do some searches on the web on dust control and I bet you'll be both shocked and a little scared about what you find, I know I was. I urge you to protect your health...once it's gone, it's too late and you are hurting!
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