Even experienced tradesmen can be surprised by the amount of sawdust produced from sanding wooden floors. A day’s work can generate hundreds of litres of dust. Such high volumes bring particular challenges and, unsurprisingly, there can be health implications if these challenges aren’t properly addressed.
Wood is a natural resource, which may lead people to underestimate the dangers of sawdust. Some woods are toxic in themselves, but all wood dusts have the potential to cause asthma and allergic reactions. On top of that, wood is likely to contain bacteria, mold and fungi which can lead to even more serious health issues.
Various health risks to wooden flooring
Then there are health risks specific to wooden flooring. Unless you are working with fresh timber, wood is likely to have been treated, varnished or painted. If wooden flooring has had substances applied to it, then sanding and grinding wood will release airborne particles of potentially harmful chemicals. These can include known carcinogens like formaldehyde and even – when working on older floors – lead and lead acetate.
Plus, sawdust is flammable and combustible, so it needs to be handled safely to minimize the risk of fires and explosions.
Don´t take any shortcuts!
It’s a serious matter clearly, but it’s one that can be resolved with thoughtful planning and the right equipment. The first essential is an extractor that is capable of handling large volumes of dust. It’s important to have a high airflow to maintain a safe atmosphere, but there are also practical considerations: it’s advisable to use an extractor with a large capacity, to avoid having to repeatedly replace bags. This wouldn’t be an issue for stationary vacuum systems, but the nature of floor finishing means that you constantly move from site to site. Therefore, you need an extractor that is powerful, substantial and portable.
With potential toxins present in wood dust, any extraction system should be equipped with efficient, good quality HEPA filters. Depending on circumstances, it could also be worth using a complementary air cleaner. This could be necessary if there is a lack of ventilation or if people are currently or soon to be living in the house you’re working on.
Check out the video to learn more about sanding wooden floors with Dustcontrol! And if you wish to know how to prevent hazardous particles from entering your lungs contact your nearest reseller! Or send an e-mail to email@example.com