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Dust control effectiveness of drywall sanding tools.

Young-Corbett DE; Nussbaum MA
J Occup Environ Hyg 2009 Jul; 6(7):385-389
In this laboratory study, four drywall sanding tools were evaluated in terms of dust generation rates in the respirable and thoracic size classes. In a repeated measures study design, 16 participants performed simulated drywall finishing tasks with each of four tools: (1) ventilated sander, (2) pole sander, (3) block sander, and (4) wet sponge. Dependent variables of interest were thoracic and respirable breathing zone dust concentrations. Analysis by Friedman's Test revealed that the ventilated drywall sanding tool produced significantly less dust, of both size classes, than did the other three tools. The pole and wet sanders produced significantly less dust of both size classes than did the block sander. The block sander, the most commonly used tool in drywall finishing operations, produced significantly more dust of both size classes than did the other three tools. When compared with the block sander, the other tools offer substantial dust reduction. The ventilated tool reduced respirable concentrations by 88% and thoracic concentrations by 85%. The pole sander reduced respirable concentrations by 58% and thoracic by 50%. The wet sander produced reductions of 60% and 47% in the respirable and thoracic classes, respectively. Wet sponge sanders and pole sanders are effective at reducing breathing-zone dust concentrations; however, based on its superior dust control effectiveness, the ventilated sander is the recommended tool for drywall finishing operations.
Dust-control; Dust-particles; Dusts; Risk-factors; Exposure-levels; Construction-materials; Construction; Construction-industry; Pollutants; Respiration; Respirators; Respiratory-protection; Respiratory-protective-equipment; Ventilation-equipment; Statistical-analysis; Workers; Work-environment; Work-areas; Laboratories; Laboratory-testing; Tools; Author Keywords: construction work; drywall; dust; dust control; ventilated sander
Deborah E. Young-Corbett, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Myers-Lawson School of Construction, 310B Bishop Favrao Hall, Blacksburg, VA 24061
Publication Date
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement; Grant
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U19-OH-008308; Grant-Number-T01-OH-008613
Issue of Publication
Source Name
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene
Performing Organization
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Page last reviewed: April 1, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division