Can You Get Sick From Sanding Wood?

It is possible to get sick from sanding wood? This crucial task is significant as it offers a runaway for the later activities of staining and painting. The operation can sometimes be lengthy and procedural especially when the surface has excess wood. Having the right materials is significant for the whole work to be successful.

The sanding of wood comes with some health risks. This originates from the dust produced during the task. Respiratory systems need to be free from such solid particles as they can clog the lungs. It often results in inflammations which may bring complications. The eyes on the other hand are not free from harm as such fine materials are unfit.

As a side note, check these woodworking designs and projects that I recommend by clicking here.


In most woods, the chemicals put us at the risk of contracting dermatitis. This condition affects the skin whereby it becomes itchy, red, and dry. Sometimes the formation of blisters may occur. As you do sanding work, ensure that you cover your whole body well. Therefore, putting on your woodwork suit will serve the purpose well.

The main problem mostly comes from the frequent exposures whereby the body becomes sensitized. Unfortunately, this brings about allergic dermatitis. Worse of all, repeated contact with the dust brings more lethal effects.

This skin condition is mostly associated with exposure to tropical hardwood such as mahogany, rosewoods, alder, and beech. After the sanding work, the protective measures extend on until you eliminate all the dust at the work station.

Toxic Effects

We all hate toxic substances as we know which problems they bring about. For instance, the digestive system will keep you awake all night or bring discomfort the whole day. Therefore, be observant when dealing with toxic woods such as teak, yew, laburnum, mansonia, and oleander. Nowadays, there are tables online that clearly show the tropical woods which are lethal.

The toxic wood chemicals are absorbed into the body in different ways. They can enter through the lungs as we breathe, mouth or skin. It makes us have an obligation to cover our mouth and nose in the best way possible. Having masks is a sure way to make this happen. Gloves need to be part and parcel of the daily sanding work. I find them uncomfortable at times but I have slowly adapted especially due to the benefits they bring.

Irritation of Eyes and Nasal Cavity

A good number of softwoods and hardwoods are engrained with chemicals that induce irritation. As you stand, you expose these compounds more. The main effect of irritation is felt around the nasal cavity and in the eyes. At times the throat can feel sore. On the list of the effects, inflammation of the mucous membrane (conjunctivitis) may occur.

What happens is that the wood dust collections take place in the nose, and slowly enters the inner membranes. This buildup gives room for the chemicals to act around the inner linings. To some people, the sense of smell can slowly disappear.

The best weapon to use in shielding yourself from these health problems is having the right protective gear. These include masks, eyewear, face shields, and gloves. Avoid working with open shoes.

Sanding operations put people at risk of health issues. This happens when one does this with no safety gear. Some woods have chemicals that have lethal effects when they enter the body. The effects come in the form of irritations, allergies, health conditions, and diseases.

Recent Posts