Wood dust becomes a potential health problem when wood particles from processes such as sanding and cutting become airborne. Breathing these particles may cause allergic respiratory symptoms, mucosal and non-allergic respiratory symptoms, and cancer. The extent of these hazards and the associated wood types have not been clearly established.
Exposures to wood dust are addressed in specific OSHA standards for general industry.
Provides web pages that list different types of woods and provide information about each one and how they may affect humans.
Provides information about evaluating the level of wood dust in the workplace.
- Combustible Dust National Emphasis Program (Reissued). OSHA Directive CPL 03-00-008, (March 11, 2008). Contains policies and procedures for inspecting workplaces that create or handle combustible dusts.
- Wood Products: Sawmills. OSHA eTool. Provides an interactive web-based training tool on the hazards associated with working in sawmills. Includes a section on wood dust and provides information on topics such as lumber storage, log handling, and plant-wide hazards.
- Wood Products: Woodworking. OSHA eTool. Provides an interactive web-based training tool on the hazards associated with woodworking. Proposes measures to prevent those hazards, and contains modules specific to wood dust as a health hazard plantwide as well as when it is associated with rough mill and production work.