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Hazards of working with pine?

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Forum topic by McFly posted 11-08-2019 06:20 PM 656 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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McFly

281 posts in 1585 days


11-08-2019 06:20 PM

Topic tags/keywords: pine safety ventilation filter

For the most part I have always worked with various hardwoods, but I am now in a shop that works exclusively with pine and has less than stellar DC and ventilation. I wear an N95 mask all day, but I’m wondering if this is enough.

.

Anyone happen to know offhand whether or not pine adds an element of hazard above and beyond other species?


9 replies so far

View OnhillWW's profile

OnhillWW

197 posts in 1790 days


#1 posted 11-08-2019 06:56 PM

View CaptainKlutz's profile

CaptainKlutz

2017 posts in 2052 days


#2 posted 11-12-2019 01:57 AM

Choosing the right Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is personal choice, outside of OHSA requirements.

In one extreme, if you believe the safety pundits: we should be wearing full hazmat suits with self contained breathing apparatus anytime we work in dusty environment; regardless of dust type.

On other end of scale: many folks suggest out bodies are supposed to fail over time, and adding tons of PPE MIGHT only add a couple years on your life; so why bother?

IMHO – The real answer is somewhere in middle.
Making any specific recommendation is very hard, as it also depends on the amount of airborne dust in shop?

Folks like me with respiratory allergies to tree pollen, are at a much higher risk of experiencing medical issues due wood dust exposure than someone who has no allergies to trees.
Pine pollen is nemesis pollen for me, and any pine sanding dust on my skin gives me a red rash, and eventually hives with enough exposure time. Fir or Juniper don’t bother me near as bad. Have similar issues with red oak, but not white oak. Generally, I can work most other domestic woods, covered in sanding dust with no ill effects.

For any wood that I am sensitive too; I wear full face mask with N95 dust filters as the dust in my eyes creates issues over longer exposure times. For Rosewood, or Bubinga; have to use cartridge filters in face mask.
I wear long sleeves all time for sensitive woods, and light weight gloves when sanding.
Based on my home shop experience (and corporate safety training), If you are feeling issues with pine dust in your new place, you might try using a full face mask as an option?

PS – There are strict standards for work place safety for commercial shops. If your present work place has ‘less than stellar DC and ventilation’, then might want to read up on OSHA codes: 19100094 Ventilation, 19100134 Respiratory Protection, and 19101000 Air contaminants; then talk to boss? That or maybe make an anonymous call to OHSA about your dust concerns. Spending 8 hours a day in an unsafe work place is never a good idea.

Best Luck.

-- I'm an engineer not a woodworker, but I can randomly find useful tools and furniture inside a pile of lumber!

View McFly's profile

McFly

281 posts in 1585 days


#3 posted 11-12-2019 02:02 AM

Excellent advice. And thank you for those OSHA codes. I’ve been trying to look up standards for wood shops and e ded up chasing my tail for about an hour the other day.


Choosing the right Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is personal choice, outside of OHSA requirements.

In one extreme, if you believe the safety pundits: we should be wearing full hazmat suits with self contained breathing apparatus anytime we work in dusty environment; regardless of dust type.

On other end of scale: many folks suggest out bodies are supposed to fail over time, and adding tons of PPE MIGHT only add a couple years on your life; so why bother?

IMHO – The real answer is somewhere in middle.
Making any specific recommendation is very hard, as it also depends on the amount of airborne dust in shop?

Folks like me with respiratory allergies to tree pollen, are at a much higher risk of experiencing medical issues due wood dust exposure than someone who has no allergies to trees.
Pine pollen is nemesis pollen for me, and any pine sanding dust on my skin gives me a red rash, and eventually hives with enough exposure time. Fir or Juniper don t bother me near as bad. Have similar issues with red oak, but not white oak. Generally, I can work most other domestic woods, covered in sanding dust with no ill effects.

For any wood that I am sensitive too; I wear full face mask with N95 dust filters as the dust in my eyes creates issues over longer exposure times. For Rosewood, or Bubinga; have to use cartridge filters in face mask.
I wear long sleeves all time for sensitive woods, and light weight gloves when sanding.
Based on my home shop experience (and corporate safety training), If you are feeling issues with pine dust in your new place, you might try using a full face mask as an option?

PS – There are strict standards for work place safety for commercial shops. If your present work place has less than stellar DC and ventilation , then might want to read up on OSHA codes: 19100094 Ventilation, 19100134 Respiratory Protection, and 19101000 Air contaminants; then talk to boss? That or maybe make an anonymous call to OHSA about your dust concerns. Spending 8 hours a day in an unsafe work place is never a good idea.

Best Luck.

- CaptainKlutz


View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

4276 posts in 1132 days


#4 posted 11-12-2019 02:53 AM

Keep in mind OSHA is merely the butt kicking branch of the gubmit. It’s Niosh that actually does the testing, and sets standards about whats good or bad about the work we do, and the products we handle. Usually prefacing your searches with Niosh, instead of OSHA get’s better play. All that P, N, 95 and 100 are Niosh standards. OSHA just makes sure in the workplace they are available, but you will see those are last place safeguards.

Any wood dust you are exposed to can be harmful. More so if the environment you are in is thick with it in the air. OSHA would be more inclined to looking at (inspecting) the heirarchy of controls in any workplace. So if they come in, they are going to look at air handling, venting. Things to do with the dust, and risks, so you don’t have to. If it comes down to you saving yourself from the hazards of your work, you seriously need to assess if that is the correct employer to be working for? See that upside down triangle, that is truly the importance in protecting workers. Working at a place where this isn’t #1 is a little bird telling you to fly away.

So IOW if OSHA showed up in our home shops, those of you without Dust collection, and active PPE use, would get fines. In commercial shops, so much more about the venting, and air handling would be in play, possibly even the types of wood used, and other factors. Anything that could be changed to increase your chances of NOT being harmed would be in play. Sounds promising ehh, keep reading.

Of course all of this is on paper. As Individuals we need to realize OSHA is perhaps the worst funded of the gubmit agencies, and is so understaffed many of us will never see an OSHA inspector in all of our working lives. So it leaves you pretty much responsible to save your own bacon.

I salute you for being concerned about your health in regards to your workplace. Unfortunately so many workers ASS/U/ME that someone is watching their back. Not the case. OSHA loves to throw out the word OSHA, hoping it strikes fear in industries heart. Not so much really. In the last 25 years concerned workers, and the media have done more to address workplace health issues. But if that doesn’t happen where you are, the best safeguard is to vote with your feet, and move along to another place of work, which understandably is sometimes hard to do.

-- Think safe, be safe

View McFly's profile

McFly

281 posts in 1585 days


#5 posted 11-12-2019 01:17 PM

This is all well understood and I am actively looking, but this is a tough time of year for new jobs. Not much going on in our market at the moment, so I make sure me and my guy have N95 masks and our dust collector is running at all times, regardless of what machines are being used.

I recently started to open the side port of the DC when I am not actively collecting sawdust from a machine and it seems to have knocked down the level of dust I find on surfaces significantly.

Granted, I only started doing this recently, so we have definitely been inhaling dust way over what OSHA/NIOSH would recommend for months.


Keep in mind OSHA is merely the butt kicking branch of the gubmit. It s Niosh that actually does the testing, and sets standards about whats good or bad about the work we do, and the products we handle. Usually prefacing your searches with Niosh, instead of OSHA get s better play. All that P, N, 95 and 100 are Niosh standards. OSHA just makes sure in the workplace they are available, but you will see those are last place safeguards.

Any wood dust you are exposed to can be harmful. More so if the environment you are in is thick with it in the air. OSHA would be more inclined to looking at (inspecting) the heirarchy of controls in any workplace. So if they come in, they are going to look at air handling, venting. Things to do with the dust, and risks, so you don t have to. If it comes down to you saving yourself from the hazards of your work, you seriously need to assess if that is the correct employer to be working for? See that upside down triangle, that is truly the importance in protecting workers. Working at a place where this isn t #1 is a little bird telling you to fly away.

So IOW if OSHA showed up in our home shops, those of you without Dust collection, and active PPE use, would get fines. In commercial shops, so much more about the venting, and air handling would be in play, possibly even the types of wood used, and other factors. Anything that could be changed to increase your chances of NOT being harmed would be in play. Sounds promising ehh, keep reading.

Of course all of this is on paper. As Individuals we need to realize OSHA is perhaps the worst funded of the gubmit agencies, and is so understaffed many of us will never see an OSHA inspector in all of our working lives. So it leaves you pretty much responsible to save your own bacon.

I salute you for being concerned about your health in regards to your workplace. Unfortunately so many workers ASS/U/ME that someone is watching their back. Not the case. OSHA loves to throw out the word OSHA, hoping it strikes fear in industries heart. Not so much really. In the last 25 years concerned workers, and the media have done more to address workplace health issues. But if that doesn t happen where you are, the best safeguard is to vote with your feet, and move along to another place of work, which understandably is sometimes hard to do.

- therealSteveN


View Nubsnstubs's profile

Nubsnstubs

1632 posts in 2287 days


#6 posted 11-12-2019 01:38 PM

I wear an N95 mask all the time while turning. Don’t need it when using my saw as it’s outside and a small amount of wind blows most of it away. What is below might sound unscientific to some, might be understandable to some, and downright disgusting to others. It’s an observation.

Many years ago, I used those cheap masks that were available at most paint stores. At the end of the day, I would blow my nose, and what was left on the paper towel I used, was the consistency of putty, Famowood Birch putty to be exact. hehehe Anyway, since I started using the N95 masks, whenever I have to blow my nose, what comes out is 99% clear. That small observation tells me the the N95 mask does what it was designed to do and that is to eliminate dust between your lungs and the atmosphere you are in.

Removing fumes is another matter. I live in Arizona, and in the summer the rubber/plastic masks available are unbearable. Sweat builds up in the chin area. I would rather breath in Lacquer fumes than go through a chin swimming session…...... Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson) www.woodturnerstools.com

View robscastle's profile

robscastle

6545 posts in 2762 days


#7 posted 11-13-2019 01:36 AM

Well without having to say Think McFly think
Keep wearing that dust mask !

regardless of what type of dust it is, its not good for the snozzle

-- Regards Rob

View therealSteveN's profile

therealSteveN

4276 posts in 1132 days


#8 posted 11-13-2019 07:45 AM

Always make sure the mask has 2 sets of straps as well. Unfortunately there are many out there with just one, and they seat very poorly. A poor seat of the mask, allows for a lot of bypass. The snotty nose like Famowood that Jerry talks about happens. A properly fitting mask/respirator should never do that.

All of the masks below are considered N 95’s as they all have 2 straps, kinda…

Poor design, both “straps” coming from the exact same point, so essentially a one strap mask

A better design, straps are spread allowing for better pull back of the mask.

The best N 95’s will have straps coming from those little ears, which not only allow better distribution of the mask across the face, but allow for a tighter fit, because of the ears. More money, yeah sure. Go price a new set of lungs, talk about expensive.

If they are Niosh rated as N 95’s then the material is a wash across all 3 types of mask, the standard is flawed in that it only specifies 2 strap, nothing about how the straps are situated. I spent several years doing fit testing for the Chemical industry, and I’m going to assure you, they either will or won’t “fit” it’s all about the straps. Name brand doesn’t matter. 3M has some cheapazz masks, and some top of the line. Instead of looking at brand names look at features. They are your lungs, you only get the one pair, so treat em well.

If you know of respiratory problems, and insist on staying around dust, go here. 3M and North are the brands I know, possible other brands are A ok, but I know 3M and North. Uncomfortable, yeah maybe. Safe and very effective, you betcha.

-- Think safe, be safe

View McFly's profile

McFly

281 posts in 1585 days


#9 posted 11-13-2019 11:29 AM

Oh, we use the middle of the road model you mention in your post. Well, we do NOW.

The boss tried to foist a single strap model on us awhile back (almost certainly because they were cheaper). In addition to the fact we could never get a decent fit / seal, they just didn’t work. Wood putty boogers every night like one of the other comments in the thread.

So I decided i’ll read the box to determine just what level of dust these masks were compliant with and see if maybe we can take a step up on our next order. Then I kinda lost my mind. Right on the side of the box in ALL CAPS it said these were not for commercial or professional use. WTF?

Stomped out into his office, circled those caps, dropped the box on his desk and told him we needed new masks that meet N95 standards and we need them at 0645 tomorrow morning.

He started with some bullshit excuse and I just had to stop him to say I didn’t give a shit what the guy online said he was selling because caveat emptor, man. 100% on you to inspect what you bought. Still makes me mad when I think about it.


Always make sure the mask has 2 sets of straps as well. Unfortunately there are many out there with just one, and they seat very poorly. A poor seat of the mask, allows for a lot of bypass. The snotty nose like Famowood that Jerry talks about happens. A properly fitting mask/respirator should never do that.

All of the masks below are considered N 95 s as they all have 2 straps, kinda…

Poor design, both “straps” coming from the exact same point, so essentially a one strap mask

A better design, straps are spread allowing for better pull back of the mask.

The best N 95 s will have straps coming from those little ears, which not only allow better distribution of the mask across the face, but allow for a tighter fit, because of the ears. More money, yeah sure. Go price a new set of lungs, talk about expensive.

If they are Niosh rated as N 95 s then the material is a wash across all 3 types of mask, the standard is flawed in that it only specifies 2 strap, nothing about how the straps are situated. I spent several years doing fit testing for the Chemical industry, and I m going to assure you, they either will or won t “fit” it s all about the straps. Name brand doesn t matter. 3M has some cheapazz masks, and some top of the line. Instead of looking at brand names look at features. They are your lungs, you only get the one pair, so treat em well.

If you know of respiratory problems, and insist on staying around dust, go here. 3M and North are the brands I know, possible other brands are A ok, but I know 3M and North. Uncomfortable, yeah maybe. Safe and very effective, you betcha.

- therealSteveN


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