OSHA regulates wood dust in the workplace as generally it's produced in large quantities and scattered throughout an area. It poses a very substantial combustion/explosion hazard. Below are the PELs for the main dusts.
- Nuisance Dust
- Respirable Fraction: 5 mg/m³
- Total: 15 mg/m³
Other organizations that influence OSHA's regulations recommend stricter regulations for these dusts and are worth considering.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recommends a limit of:
- Respirable Fraction: 1 mg/m³
The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) suggests even stricter limits on wood dusts, especially on this cedar because it's closely correlated with asthma.
- Wood Dusts
- Western Red Cedar: 0.5 mg/m³
- All other species: 1 mg/m³
The ACGIH also details different carcinogenic wood types. In this instance, the lower the number of the group, the more they are hazardous and likely to cause cancer.
- Oak and Beech: A1
- Birch, mahogany, teak, walnut: A2
- All other wood dusts: A4
To view more regulations and recommendations for this industry, visit the following websites.
OSHA - Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the U.S. Department of Labor
ACGIH - American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists
NIOSH - National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
NFPA - National Fire Protection Association
EPA - United States Environmental Protection Agency
CSB - U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board
Please note, this is a list of common applicable regulations, not a comprehensive list of all regulations applicable to this industry and may not reflect the latest publications.