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Mitigating Occupational Exposure to Wood Dust and Other Respiratory Hazards

CTSI provides industrial hygiene and environmental, health, and safety consulting, testing, and training services to help companies comply with OSHA’s Respiratory Protection Standards to safeguard their workers.

New York, NY – WEBWIRE

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified wood dust as carcinogenic to humans in 1995.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified wood dust as carcinogenic to humans in 1995. California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment added wood dust to the list of substances known to the state to cause cancer in 2009, and the New York State Department of Labor warns that cancer, allergies, asthma, and other related problems can occur due to exposure.

Wood dust becomes a potential health problem when wood particles from processes, such as sanding and cutting, become airborne, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The agency goes on to share that in addition to cancer concerns, breathing these particles may cause allergic respiratory symptoms, and mucosal and non-allergic respiratory symptoms. The extent of these hazards and the associated wood types have not been clearly established; however, western red cedar dust has been shown to cause asthma.

“Potential health effects from wood dust come not only from the wood dust itself, but also from biological organisms, which can grow on the wood,” said Frank Selamie, President of CTSI. “This includes mold. Exposure to various chemicals used in the processing of some types of wood and wood products are yet another health concern. Wood dust can also be a fire hazard and even a combustible dust hazard under certain conditions.”

To protect workers, OSHA has set a Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) of 15 mg/m³ (total dust), 5 mg/m³ (respirable dust), and NIOSH has a Recommended Exposure Limit (REL) of 1 mg/m3 total dust. To assist in protecting workers, the industrial hygiene and environmental, health, and safety professionals at CTSI help companies comply with occupational respiratory protection standards and combustible dust regulations associated with wood dust and other airborne hazards. CTSI has even sponsored an educational video about wood dust exposure risks that can be seen at:

To learn more about CTSI’s industrial hygiene, environmental, health, and safety services, please visit, email, or call (212) 971-7016.

About CTSI
Established in 1992, Consulting & Testing Services, Inc. (CTSI) was founded on one strong commitment: to provide efficient and expert services to clients based on professionalism, innovation, and cost-effective expert solutions. This commitment has been furthered with CTSI’s reputation in fostering client relationships in all sectors of the Environmental, Health, Safety, and Construction industries. CTSI prides itself in utilizing a high quality service based on its diverse team of staff and professionals’ concise recommendations and solutions to the most pressing dilemmas. The company operates offices in New York and Florida that service clients across the United States.

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 Wood Dust
 Industrial Hygiene
 Occupational Health
 Occupational Safety

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