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Health danger from dust of cut sticks?

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12-17-2013, 08:06 AM
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Health danger from dust of cut sticks?

After cutting a stick in my office with a hacksaw (quite noisy), I got to wondering if we should bother wearing a cloth mask and/or gloves when cutting our sticks. The average guy is probably going to cut maybe 100-200 sticks in his life which is a pretty small amount of dust compared to all the other stuff in the atmosphere.

Is there anyone with a reasonable medical background, training, or perhaps works a lot with composites that can weigh in on this?

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12-17-2013, 09:57 AM
Chau Vo
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You'll be fine.

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12-17-2013, 10:13 AM
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Well, in theory the glass and coal fibres aren't good for health. Especially glass fibers are microscopic small pieces of glass which with huge amounts could produce some problems with lungs when inhaled.

It would require several years of continuous dispotion to the dust to cause any damage for health but it would be useful to wear breathing protector. My grandpa used to carry sacks of asbestos in insulation wool factory in the 1950's and that gave him some trouble with lungs and asbestos killed almost all his co-workers within 10-20 years from that. And my grandpa died two years ago.

Glass fibers are far away from that stuff when it comes to health problems.

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12-17-2013, 10:31 AM
mikitas donut
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Seems pretty negligible. Doesn't hurt to wear a mask though. They are pretty cheap.

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12-17-2013, 10:38 AM
Chau Vo
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Unless you're sticking your face right next to your saw and taking deep breaths while cutting your sticks there is not enough composite dust for you to even breathe in. You're not taking away much material when you're sawing off your stick. I machine solid chunks of composite at work all the time.

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12-17-2013, 05:43 PM
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Agreed. Wearing mask wouldn't be a horrible idea. However, cutting 1 to 2 sticks at a time isn't making near a negligible amount of harmful dust to do you any harm. Unless you are literally sitting there and inhaling the dust right up through your nose. Even then, while not good for you, it probably isn't doing anything in terms of long term damage.

Most pro shops you go in, if they will cut your stick right there to the length you designate, I have never seen anyone put on a mask.

Last edited by MattGTI: 12-17-2013 at 05:44 PM. Reason: forgot something
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12-17-2013, 09:28 PM
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As someone who does fiberglass work for car audio installs etc, i'm not too concerned about cutting sticks. Unless i'm using my highspeed sanders on tons of surface area to smooth out things, that's when I would be concerned and do wear a respirator

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12-17-2013, 09:33 PM
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When cutting CF stuff with something like a rotary tool its a pretty good idea to wear a mask.

Something like a hacksaw isn't going to produce much dust for you to inhale.

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12-18-2013, 02:34 AM
Lonny Bohonos
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Always wear a mask.

For the sake a a few seconds and a few pennies.

Also always wear eye protection. Again for the sake a few seconds and a few pennies.

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12-20-2013, 07:30 PM
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If you're asking people about it, it's enough of a concern put on a mask.

You can get a box of surgical mask to prevent 99% of the particles from going into your respiratory track.

A lot of the particles are large enough so that your mucus will capture and it'll be removed from your body.

A hack saw doesn't produce fine dust-like particles but a circulating saw will so I wouldn't be as worried for a hacksaw.

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12-28-2013, 05:31 PM
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People are right about the negligible amount of dust... However, we have a non-negligible number of modern conveniences that release negligible amounts of bad stuff. Vinyl flooring, exercise balls, paint, dryer sheets, PVC shower curtains, insulation, plastic cookware, the list goes on and on. Sure, taken alone, they are each argued to be safe but taken in the aggregate, I think it's a different story.

I like to reduce the aggregate in whatever way I can.

When I cut my sticks, I do it outside so none of the dust stays in the house. I use a hacksaw and don't worry about a mask.

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