Safety's Always First
Depending on the woods you've worked with (and how long you've been in the shop), these problems could have ranged from a little sneezing now and then - to flu or pneumonia-like symptoms, headaches or conjunctivitis that resulted in a need for serious medical attention.
Of the domestics, walnut, Western red cedar, chestnut, oak, redwood, hemlock, birch, sassafras and willow are among the most common. In addition, exotics such as cocobolo, ebony, satinwood, rosewoods, wenge and mahogany are also known to cause respiratory distress. However, extended exposure to virtually ANY wood dust will eventually lead to problems.
So, how do you
Next, never work in an enclosed shop without adequate ventilation. Open some windows. Install powerful window fans to carry away airborne dust. Clean up after yourself to eliminate coatings of dust that can accumulate and be re-circulated again and again.
And finally...AND MOST IMPORTANTLY...ALWAYS wear a dust mask or respirator. Yes, it's going to be more uncomfortable than working without one. Yes, it's easy to forget. Yes, you're going to think...It's just a couple of cuts...and probably won't make any difference. In short, you're bound to come up with reason-after-reason why wearing a respirator or mask isn't necessary...but you know what? IT'S ALWAYS NECESSARY! ALWAYS!
offer some guidelines
For the average home woodworker, air-purifying respirators are the most logical solution...both from the standpoint of effectiveness and cost, since atmosphere-supplying respirators are extremely costly and therefore far more appropriate for commercial applications where workers are continuously exposed to high concentrations of contaminants.
Types of contaminants