Breathing Dust from Cedar?

Reply

  #1  
Old 08-24-12, 08:34 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: usa
Posts: 3
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Breathing Dust from Cedar?

Since I know a lot of boards can contain some fairly nasty stuff that you probably don't want to be breathing (especially in treated lumber) I'm always careful to put on a mask first thing. But I was cutting some cedar the other day, and geez...the smell was so nice compared to the other types of wood I usually chop up that I was almost tempted to just leave my mask off (I didn't by the way).

Anyone know of any particular hazards in sawdust from cedar? (hazards other than the obvious hazard of simply breathing dust, which I know is problematic).

thanks
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 08-25-12, 01:03 AM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Wet side of Washington state.
Posts: 18,493
Received 33 Votes on 25 Posts
Probably not much different than any other natural wood product but you are correct that ALL dust is problematic when you breathe it.

I'd still use at minimum a face cup dust mask. And don't forget the hearing protection when using power tools.
 
  #3  
Old 08-25-12, 05:53 AM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 21,389
Received 297 Votes on 271 Posts
I have never had a reaction when working with cedar. I think I've only worked with eastern red & white cedar but it's possible that other varieties are more problematic. I've only noticed a reaction when working with Costa Rican cocobolo, a tropical rosewood. It's full of resin, hard as a rock and just as heavy. I got a very slight reaction on my skin and got a minor numbness funny feeling on my tongue and lips.
 
  #4  
Old 08-25-12, 06:35 AM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 46,419
Received 153 Votes on 136 Posts
I think a lot depends on the individual. I don't recall ever using a mask when cutting wood and have never had any issues BUT someone like my wife or her sons [lots of allergies] can have all kinds of problems with dust. Cedar does smell nice, about 20 yrs ago I burned mostly cedar the whole winter - smelled nice cutting, splitting and even in the stove
 
  #5  
Old 08-25-12, 08:49 AM
XSleeper's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 23,783
Received 283 Votes on 259 Posts
When you're a carpenter, you are exposed to a lot of dust. What never used to bother me years ago does now. Red cedar is one of them. Sure it smells nice, but if I get that dust in my nose it starts to make my sinuses react. Oak is about the same way. And I don't think it's just the dust either- just the smell of the cut wood in the air will do it.

Course I'm pretty sensitive to dust- attics, crawlspaces, that sort of thing... which has also gotten worse the older I get.

If I could go back 20 years I'd always have a dust mask, and I'd always have some ear muffs when I use the table saw... not just ear plugs. I sure wonder what my first chest x-ray will look like... if I would ever go to the doctor to find out!
 
  #6  
Old 08-25-12, 02:35 PM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 46,419
Received 153 Votes on 136 Posts
What's that you say? can you speak a little louder

I know what you mean, years ago I hated wearing a respirator when spraying and when I did, it was usually just a dust mask.... now the respirator is the first thing I grab when it's time to spray something

Sawdust doesn't bother me but I do suffer from occupational overexposure to solvents. In the 70's and 80's I could brush/roll oil base paint all day long inside and it wouldn't bother me. Now any solvent based paint [unless it's outside] - makes me hunt the respirator.

According to the doctor my lungs and heart are AOK..... it's all the other parts that don't work like they used too Hopefully your lungs are good, I was a little surprised that mine were good since I smoked for a long time but quit 21 yrs ago
 
  #7  
Old 08-26-12, 04:25 AM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 39,967
Received 3 Votes on 3 Posts
Of course having a double vacuum system helps with the dust. I didn't realize how much until I installed mine. Before I was sweeping the floor every day with buckets of dust. Now, I hardly do it. I also have a 24 x 24 evacuation fan in the gable of the shop that really helps....except in winter . Cedar does smell great.
Yeah, Brant, 2Khz and above is gone!! I find the planer to be the most obnoxious and ear plugs just don't get it. Full over the ear flight line (left over from ATL) ear muffs are the norm for me.
Hey, Marksr, I was luckier....smoked one cigarette and swore if I could have died I would have felt better! Never picked another one up. I figured why do I have to adjust my body to accept something that isn't natural?
 
  #8  
Old 08-26-12, 10:33 AM
Member
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 4,947
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I've worn a dust mask for most of my career. Although, not as much as I should have. I recently switched over to a respirator with dust filters. Man, what a huge difference! I can finally laugh without going into a coughing fit.

I've always wore ear muffs for noise too. But I still have some hearing loss. That could be from having the radio way too loud though. The one thing that I don't understand is that they don't make safety glasses that are ear muff compatible. The ear muff always seems to press against the end of the arm and mash it into the side of your head. I always have to modify them. The arms are also thick so they can cause some noise to sneak past the gasket.
 
  #9  
Old 08-26-12, 11:21 AM
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Wet side of Washington state.
Posts: 18,493
Received 33 Votes on 25 Posts
I'm glad to learn that my forum buddies are using both respiratory and hearing protection. The DIY television shows are definitely missing by not stressing this along with vision protection.
 
  #10  
Old 08-26-12, 12:25 PM
Member
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 4,947
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I see a lot of theme with the eye protection. However, the worst offense is when they use dust masks when using a product like spray paint. They are better off not using anything. They should not give people the impression that a dust mask will protect you from VOCs
 
  #11  
Old 08-26-12, 04:41 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: usa
Posts: 3
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Wow...wasn't expecting such a great response to my post (I even forgot to check back!!)

The dust and noise problem is a BIG issue with me. You should see me getting ready for a wood project (ear muffs, mask, goggles). I look like something out of a sci-fi movie. Here are few of my thoughts about it all:

Dust masks: Forget about the cheap, paper-style masks. They're useless. They leak too much air around the cup. For cutting wood, I buy the heavier cloth-type. For any type of work involving chemicals (paint, stain, etc.) I won't even start without putting on my respirator (with the canister sides).

Ear Plugs: For a lot of the tools I use, simple ear plugs are not enough. I usually wear a combination of "airplane ear plugs" (because they're easy to remove) AND ear muffs over the top. Maybe my ears are more sensitive than most, but that's the only way I can keep my ears from ringing after doing a job.
 
  #12  
Old 08-26-12, 05:00 PM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 21,389
Received 297 Votes on 271 Posts
I have always been good about wearing eye protection and have been saved many times so no regrets there.

About 10 years ago I started noticing a loss of hearing mainly in my right ear. I've always worn protection when shooting but started wearing ear plugs when mowing, chain saw, circular saw and weed eater. Hearing in my left ear remained fine while my right continued to get worse. I remembered my home audio sound level meter and took it with me for a week and recorded everything to find the culprit. It turned out to be my cordless drill. When the clutch slips it's quite loud and right in the frequency range where I was loosing most of my hearing. I'm usually bearing down with it close to my right ear and the clutch slips. Started wearing ear plugs when using the drill and the decline in my hearing stopped. Who knew?
 
  #13  
Old 08-26-12, 05:49 PM
Member
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: USA
Posts: 4,947
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I forget where and exactly what I read, but even with hearing protection, long term occupational exposure can still lead to hearing loss. There is only so much you can do in blocking the sound. Using ear muffs and ear plugs are great at stopping noise from going down the ear canal, but they are useless at stopping sound from entering through your skull. Luckily, I was born with a thick skull.
 
  #14  
Old 08-26-12, 08:43 PM
XSleeper's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 23,783
Received 283 Votes on 259 Posts
Yeah, Brant, 2Khz and above is gone!!
Oddly enough, I seem to have lost the exact frequency / pitch of my wife's voice! LOL
 
  #15  
Old 08-27-12, 05:38 AM
Group Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: NC, USA
Posts: 21,389
Received 297 Votes on 271 Posts
I remember in the can manufacturing plants we would double up and wear ear plugs and muffs but there was still a lot of sound that came in through your skull that you could do nothing about.
 
  #16  
Old 09-18-12, 09:20 AM
Member
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: usa
Posts: 1
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Hello all,
Newbe here, intresting topic,
I know alot of wood workers out there that are not affected by any wood dust particals, I myself however are reactive to almost any particals regardless of specie, my father is the same way, in fact Ceder is one of the worst for me, my throt will close up and i constantly sneeze, also it make me very sick, I think it depends on the person.

Thanks
Dan
 
  #17  
Old 09-18-12, 10:12 AM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 46,419
Received 153 Votes on 136 Posts
Welcome to the forums Dan!

Like everything else in the world, dust affects different people in different ways..... and it pays to know how things affect your personal health and act accordingly
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: