Chopping and Respiratory Safety


CGF, Certified Grumble Framer
May 31, 2004
First and foremost, Seasons Greetings to you all....

I've been chopping a lot of moulding lately, some days for 8 hours straight, and am concerned about respiratory safety and occupational hazards.

Of course, there is an exhaust bag hooked up to my Pistorius but there's still plenty of fine dust and some mouldings have odors that really make me wonder, what am I inhaling??? Many are produced abroad, what are the manufacturing regulations?, Is there lead, or what's in the finishes that ultimately becomes airborne?

What do most of you do? Wear a respirator? A white paper-based mask? Just depend on the vacuum bag? Any good web sites or sources to research on this topic?

I would appreciate any input because as much as I love framing, an hourly job isn't worth jeopardizing my long-term health. Work-related lung disease, asbestosis, took my father's life, may he RIP, and I don't want to follow in his footsteps...Thanks
If you are concerned I bought a good respiratory mask from Home Depot very reasonably for some home demolition. It is made froma soft rubber around the mouth and nose and was very comfortable considering I wore it for two days straight.

The filters are replaceable. It filtered out very fine dust and I was tearing out some very bad stuff.

In my former shop I relied on the Pistorious filter system for everything. It worked great and no real dust.

Protect yourself and have a great holiday season.
I was born and raised down the Jersey shore and I figure if I was ever going to get cancer, I would have by now.

I remember heading out to the school bus stop in the early morning and smelling the chemicals Ciba-Geigy was dumping into the Toms River. We swam and boated and crabbed in that river.

They finally made them pipe it out into the ocean a few miles off shore. Lucky us, eh?

You are in the most heavily polluted region of the US and you are worried about a little more from cutting moulding??

Ok... I guess a face mask would help.
Good point, Framah. I, too, grew up here in NJ and I was one of the kids following the cloud of the DDT truck on my bike...

But still, my father, a plumber, lived here and smoked, but it was the Asbestos that he inhaled on the job that killed him...

I am just very curious and grateful to know who does take any special precautions when chopping. I've often seen masks in framing shops but never anyone using them.

Thanks again...
Its the fine dust that will kill you. Wood dust is pretty nasty, without all the other stuff from finishes that will be in it. Get a good well fitting face mask.Check the filters after a week and see what you would have been inhaling.
If you feel concerned about this in any way I suggest you get a professional to come and advise the best solution for your situation.

I feel the same way as you, but more for my staff's sake - IMHO good extraction is better than masks or rebreathers, especially in the summer. The cost of this is not as bad as you might think. There was a good thread on the Grumble some years ago that you might search for - it got me going in the right direction and someone here was very knowledgable about the whole deal.

What part of Jersey are you in? (not what exit)

I'm in Union/Sommerset county.

Nice to know there is a Grumbler neighbor near by.

Happy holidays all.
I love it!!

Only someone from NJ would say "Which exit are you from??"

And, yes, we rode our bikes behind the mosquito truck as well. How come no one ever told us to stop? Probably preparing us for a life in NJ.

Did you know NJ is considering changing the motto on the license plates from "The Garden State" to
"Landfill of Opportunity"
If you're really worried.. get a Morso. I stuck my face down in those chips just to see.... and I could breath in even one of those chunks.... :D

In my wood shop where I sand on the spindle lathe sometimes down to as fine as 24,000 grit..[polishing actually].. I use a rebreather hood..

It was made by GE for a while, but now there is one made [similar] by someone else...

I can't remember if Rockler is carrying it or not.
"Landfill of Opportunity" .. funny one. But seriously, doesn't Staten Island already use that one on their plates?

I've lived here my whole life and personally, I think NJ is a beautiful state. Ninety per cent of our unfortunate reputation is based upon 10 per cent of our land-use.