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Control of wood dust from random orbital hand sanders and orbital hand sanders.

Topmiller-JL; Flesch-JP
Appl Occup Environ Hyg 1999 Oct; 14(10):661-662
Random orbital (rotating) hand sanders have been found to create significant amounts of wood dust. Workers exposed to wood dusts have experienced a variety of adverse health effects such as eye and skin irritation, allergy, reduced lung function, asthma, and nasal cancer. Therefore, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recommends limiting wood dust exposures to prevent these health problems. NIOSH researchers found that wood dust created by random orbital hand sanders is often poorly controlled. To address this problem, researchers designed and tested a new control system for these. Additional exhaust and slotted sanding pad for hand sanders. hand sanders that signigicantly reduced dust emissions. Randomorbital hand sanders are widely used in woodworking applications. The dust generated by these tools is sometimes controlled by an aspirator in combination with a perforated sanding pad. The aspirator creates a vacuum to draw wood dust up through holes in the sanding pad. It was found that, in spite of this control, large amounts ofwood dust were still emitted into the workroom. A new control system that uses Additional Exhaust and a Slotted Sanding Pad was implemented to increase dust control. The increased suction of the additional exhaust alone causes the sanding pad to be pulled to the work surface, making the tool difficult to use. To alleviate this problem, curved slots are cut into the sanding pad. This relieves the pressure caused by the extra suction and provides additional dust control at the pad periphery. The newdust control system reduces dust emissions by approximately 90 percent compared with the currently used aspirator-controlled sander. The new sander does not interfere with the operator, requires no special maintenance, and is inexpensive to operate. This dust control device is not currently commercially available. NIOSH researchers found that the wood dust generated by orbital hand sanders is often poorly controlled. To address this problem, researchers designed and tested a new control system for these hand sanders that significantly reduced dust emissions. Orbital hand sanders are extensively used in woodworking processes. The dust from these sanders is generally not controlled although some are equipped with dust removal capabilities. However, even the sanders having dust removal do not effectively control thewood dust generated by the sanding operation. Therefore, a new control approach was developed. A Dust Control Plenum was designed and tested on an orbital sander.The plenum fits between the sanding pad and the sander body and has a series of exhaust slots along its edges. An exhaust connection on the top of the sander pad connects the plenum with a vacuum source. Laboratory tests show that the plenum reduces wood dust emissions by approximately 90 percent. The plenumdoes not interfere with the operatorís activities, requires no special maintenance, is inexpensive to operate, and can be used on any sander, pneumatically or electrically powered. This dust control device is not currently commercially available.
Woodworking; Woodworkers; Woodworking-equipment; Woodworking-industry; Eye-irritants; Skin-irritants; Allergies; Bronchial-asthma; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Respiratory-system-disorders; Hazards; Safety-research; Ventilation-systems; Ventilation-equipment; Exhaust-systems; Exhaust-ventilation; Nasal-cancer; Nasal-disorders; Lung-function; Lung-disorders
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Journal Article
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NIOSH Division
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Applied Occupational and Environmental Hygiene