Wood is cut on our construction site and I was recently told that the wood dust is hazardous and has limits that must not be exceeded. Is this true?

Q

Wood is cut on our construction site and I was recently told that the wood dust is hazardous and has limits that must not be exceeded. Is this true?

A

A variety of dusts can often arise on a construction site, in addition to wood dust. Silica dust from sand, sandstone and granite is also of concern along with dusts created from gypsum, cement, limestone, marble and dolomite. Dusts are hazardous as they can damage the airways and lungs. Some particular dusts can cause severe lung diseases, for example respirable crystalline silica (RCS) can cause silicosis. The chronic effects of dust in the lungs can be permanent and disabling, and are usually irreversible once symptoms show.

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