Cinnaminson, NJ, May 20th , 2020
For employees of companies involved with woodworking and processing facilities, the presence of wood dust is a normal part of daily operations. Wood dust is composed of very fine particles of wood that are created during many types of woodworking procedures.
This dust can be a respiratory hazard for workers when it is airborne as particulate matter (PM). Breathing these particles may cause allergic respiratory symptoms; mucosal and non-allergic respiratory symptoms; irritation to the eyes, nose and throat; pulmonary function impairment; and cancer. Western Red Cedar dust has even been shown to cause asthma. Back in 2009, wood dust was added to California's Proposition 65 list as a substance known to cause cancer.
If allowed to accumulate under certain conditions, wood dust can become a combustible dust hazard. Over the years, wood dust has been the cause of a number of explosions. These destructive and potentially deadly events can occur when wood dust is suspended in air and comes into contact with an ignition source. When there is a sufficient quantity and concentration of the wood dust, it can cause rapid combustion known as a deflagration. When the event is confined to an enclosure environment, such as in a building, the resulting pressure rise may cause an explosion.
“There are workers in many industries across North America that operate out of facilities that create wood dust,” said Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President, Marketing at EMSL Analytical, Inc. “To help companies comply with combustible dust and occupational respiratory hazard regulations, EMSL’s network of laboratories across the United States and Canada offer industrial hygiene and environmental testing services for combustible dusts. We also provide a comprehensive range of personal protective equipment (PPE) and real-time air monitoring equipment to detect PM.”
EMSL has also sponsored an educational video about wood dust exposure hazards that can be seen at: https://youtu.be/tq2ruF4iy2U.
To learn more about this or other industrial hygiene, air quality, environmental and building science issues, or for access to air monitoring instruments, testing supplies and PPE, please visit www.EMSL.com, call (800) 220-3675 or email info@EMSL.com.
About EMSL Analytical, Inc.
EMSL Analytical is one of the leading testing laboratories with 46 locations throughout the United States and Canada. EMSL is a nationally recognized and locally focused provider specializing in fast laboratory results for mold, bacteria, Legionella
, USP <797>, pathogens, asbestos, lead, soot, char & ash from fires, VOC’s, odors, radon, formaldehyde, indoor air quality, microbiology, environmental, industrial hygiene, radiological, food, beverage & consumer products and material testing services for the identification of unknown substances. EMSL services both professionals and the general public. EMSL maintains an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies including, but not limited to A2LA, AIHA-LAP, LLC (AIHA-LAP, LLC EMLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC IHLAP, AIHA-LAP, LLC ELLAP), NVLAP, CDC ELITE, CPSC, CA ELAP, NY ELAP, TX DOH, NJDEP and multiple other state accrediting agencies. Please visit our website at www.EMSL.com
for a complete listing of accreditations. In addition, EMSL carries a wide range of Sampling Equipment and Investigative Products for environmental professionals.