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Dust Collection

 

GETTING TOUGH ON DUST

Being aggressive in cleaning dust from the air in your shop doesnít necessarily mean you have to spend a ton on new equipment.

 

Dust CollectionIf you donít have a dust collection system in your shop, nowís a great time to start. For many hobbyists and home-shop woodworkers, such systems seem a like a luxury Ė the last tool to be bought. But more and more of us are beginning to take dust seriously. Thatís a fact that the tool industry now recognizes.

Thereís a reason to be concerned. Wood dust is related to many health hazards, including irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat; skin rashes; asthma; allergies; and some serious lung diseases. It has even been liked to a rare form of nasal cancer. Estimates indicate that up to 13% of woodworkers have dust-induced asthma. Breathing wood dust can also cause chronic bronchitis or emphysema. During their lifetimes, one third of all woodworker experience some adverse health effects from contact with wood dust.  (See Wood Toxicity.)

While shop vacuums are extremely popular among woodworkers, they may not be the best solution for systematic dust control. First and foremost, their capacities are generally much smaller than that of most large, stationary machines. Secondly, their filters usually donít trap some of the micro-particles that can aggravate allergies and irritate the respiratory system. Thereís no doubt: For most shops, a complete dust collection system is necessary to protect your health.

 

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