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The Importance of Respiratory Protection When Woodturning

All woodworkers know the feeling of a clogged nose, smarting eyes, itching skin or sore throat at the end of a woodworking session, and for some, it is an everyday occurrence. Using suitable face and respiratory protection along with adequate dust extraction is an essential part of woodwork and can significantly improve your health and working conditions. The ToolPost ( can help to alleviate issues surrounding dust inhalation and workshop contamination with our comprehensive product range.

 Using respiratory protection whilst working with wood is important because inhaling or having skin contact with wood dust over a prolonged period can lead to serious health problems. These include asthma and other breathing difficulties such as blockages and even nasal cancer. Routine contact between wood dust and skin can cause damage, with many skin disorders being long lasting and uncomfortable. Particles or chippings entering the eye can also create serious and painful problems and in the worst cases even lead to loss of sight.

If you are working within an industrial or business setting, dust extraction and management is controlled by law. The Factories Act 1961, The Health and safety at Work Act 1974 and the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health or COSH regulations in 1988 all provide protection for the health of woodworkers and machiners within a working environment. The people at most risk seem to be the home or hobby woodworkers, who spend long periods of time in small or unsuitable spaces without proper respiratory protection, dust extraction and ambient air filtration.

Using any type of woodworking machine such as a saw, router or even lathe can produce copious amounts of dust, as can using compressed air lines or sanding surfaces. Even if extraction is in place, emptying or changing collection bags can lead to dust spillage. Although a messy workplace is dangerous, the main issue for respiratory health is airborne dust particles. These are the main cause of respiratory damage, and are so tiny they are usually invisible to the naked eye.

The tried and tested JSP Power Cap Lite IP is ideal for all types of woodwork as it is lightweight and delivers convenient battery operated filtered respiratory protection to the user in one easy step. As a contribution to workshop safety, The ToolPost is currently offering the JSP PowerCap Lite IP at an unprecedented low price of 195 (Recommended Retail Price is 231.41), and because this respirator meets the standard for safety headgear there's no VAT to pay.

Home woodworkers or DIY enthusiasts are likely to benefit from using a lightweight facemask as it is suitable for wear in small spaces and delivers protection from dust in unventilated conditions.

It is possible in certain circumstances that a high concentration of wood dust in the air can ignite and cause a fire. This is a real risk for businesses and homes alike, and can lead to death, destruction of property and risk to outside people such as neighbours, visitors and fire service personnel. It is essential to practise fire safety and maintain safe use of heaters and electric equipment.

For any wood crafts person or worker interested in finding out more about health and safety or respiratory protection in woodworking, simply visit

Editor's Note: The ToolPost is represented by the digital marketing specialists and SEO provider Jumping Spider Media. Please direct all press queries to Louise Byrne. Email: or call: +44 (0)20 3070 1959 / +34 952 783 637.

1997-2010 P. Hemsley.  The information on this website is the copyright property of Peter Hemsley.  Coeur du Bois and The ToolPost are trading styles of Peter Hemsley.  Whilst reasonable efforts are made to ensure the accuracy of information presented, no liability can be accepted for errors in this information nor for contingencies arising therefrom.  If you are inexperienced in any aspect of woodworking, we would strongly counsel that you take a course of formal instruction before commencing to practice