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Is it actually dangerous to breathe wood dust?

On Behalf of | Mar 20, 2022 | Construction Workers' Accidents

If you work in the construction industry or a related industry, you may have to work around power tools and saws. These create an incredible amount of wood dust. Even the act of simply cutting two-by-fours to make a frame for a wall can expose you to a lot of dust.

There are dust masks that are designed to prevent you from inhaling these particles. Ideally, your employer has given you the proper protective equipment that you need. But these dust masks may be lacking or you may see that a lot of other employees simply don’t bother to wear them. If you don’t wear yours, do you face any hazards?

This can be very dangerous, especially with treated wood

While it is true that a lot of people don’t consider wood dust to be all that dangerous, it actually can lead to some serious complications. Per the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, wood dust has been linked to:

  • Allergic respiratory symptoms
  • Non-allergic respiratory symptoms
  • Mucosal symptoms
  • Cancer

The risk is especially great if you are dealing with treated lumber, such as the boards that are used to make exterior structures, porches, or anything else that will be exposed to the elements. These boards have been treated with chemicals to prevent them from rotting and decaying, and this does work very well, but you are breathing in small amounts of these chemicals every time you inhale the wood dust.

If you do find yourself facing complications such as a serious illness after inhaling these particles, make sure you know if you have a right to workers’ compensation