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Health & safety precautions for working with used wood

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I am planning on starting a business which will involve repurposing old wooden doors into new products. This will involve cutting doors which have paint on them with a table saw. My concern is any safety precautions I should be aware of. For example, is wearing a mask mandatory when cutting the doors due to concerns related to the dust created which will be composed not only of the wood but also the paint? As well, are there any other safety precautions I should be taking before cutting the wood?

My other concern relates to the paint. I understand older items, such as used doors, can potentially be painted with paint which contains lead. What is the safest way to test for this?

Category: Family Physician-GP

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Category: HIV- AIDS Specialist
 22 Doctors Online

Hello,

Thank you for asking your query. As a Family Physician I can give you some guidelines on the occupational health precautions in my capacity. The rules and regulation differ in each state. So If in 4-6 month if you are handling large volume of wooden doors and materials, I recommend getting in touch with your local Occupational health and safety department. Meanwhile you can follow these guidelines.

1. If you are going to be exposed to considerable wooden dust – a Respiratory Protective Equipment (“Respirators for wood dust “– disposable or reusable) can be used. These are specific masks for the purpose. Ordinary masks will not give sufficient protection.

2. Moulds or Fungi can be found in certain old wooden furniture. It is better to avoid handling those with visible fungal marks or dots. Also the ones which have started to degenerate are better avoided.

3. The work should be carried out in a well-ventilated, but not a completely open area Keep the area free from humidly. This will prevent growth of fungus.

4. Tools which prevent spread of wood dust are available now a day. If you have such options available, do go for them.

5. Since there is a increased risk of accidently injury especially from metal objects make sure your Tetanus Vaccines are up-to-date. If not get in touch with your Physician

6. Keep a first aid set handy.

7. Regarding lead levels – Human blood lead level can be tested. However I do not have information on how the material can be tested for the lead content. Unless the materials are not part of an industrial plant it is safe to assume that the pain used is lead free.

Hope this helps
Please feel free to ask your follwup questions
Thank you


Patient replied :

Thank-you for your response. Just a couple of follow-up questions.

1. You mentioned 'tools which prevent spread of wood dust are available now a day'. The only one I am aware of is a sander which has an attachment to collect dust. Are there others you could recommend considering that I would be working with a saw not a sander?

2. When you said 'unless the materials are not part of an industrial plant it is safe to assume that the pain used is lead free' did you mean to say 'unless the materials were part of an industrial plant'? In otherwords, if the doors were simply removed from an older home they should be ok?

3. I would like to make a couple of items geared toward children. These would also be made from doors, but not old doors covered in paint. My plan is to use half of a bifold door and make a couple of items. One would be a growth chart which could be hung in a child's room. It would be covered in latex paint with a picture on it and measurements for parents to keep track of their child's growth. The other is a chalkboard which would be made by covering the door in both latex (around the edges) and chalkboard paint (in the middle). Once again, my concern is health and safety. Would there be any concerns in exposing children to either latex or chalkboard paint after it has dried? As well, should there be any special precautions advised to parents purchasing these types of products?

Thanks for your assistance.

Angie Haves


Hello,

1. From the information I got , there are automatic saw models which spray water. This will help in settling the dust.

2. My Bad. Yes, if the doors are simply removed from older homes, that should be ok.

3. I have only limited information available about this. I have sought my collegues opinon regarding this, Shall update you once I hear back.

Thank you


Patient replied :


Hello,



1. From the information I got , there are automatic saw models which spray water. This will help in settling the dust.



2. My Bad. Yes, if the doors are simply removed from older homes, that should be ok.



3. I have only limited information available about this. I have sought my collegues opinon regarding this, Shall update you once I hear back.



Thank you

Edited later -

Chalkboard and latex paint appears safe. No specifical precautions and recommendations are necessary for the parents. However it is always wise to consult your local Labour and Occupational Health practitioner also.



Dr. Jaydeep Tripathy
Category: HIV- AIDS Specialist
Experience: 
MBBS from Sri Ramachandra University in December 2011
M.Med (Family Medicine) - TNMGR University, Chennai
MBA-MPH in Public Health in March 2016, SRM University
Finished AFIH in March 2016, SRM University
MRCP ( UK ), Internal Medicine, Royal College of Physicians, June 2016
Fellowship in Diabetology from Martin Luther University in January 2017

Currently Resident Physician, in MD Radiodiagnosis - Kamakshi Memorial Hospital, Chennai
Dr. Jaydeep Tripathy and 4 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you

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