Summary: These Cyclone and Dust Collection Research web pages share more than you probably ever wanted to know about fine dust hazards and how to get good fine dust collection and protection. By definition fine dust is invisible without magnification, but when magnified fine dust particles are covered with razor sharp edges and sharp often barbed points that irritate and damage our respiratory tissues. This is why the peer reviewed medical research clearly shows every exposure to fine dust of every type causes a measurable loss of respiratory capacity, some of this loss becomes permanent, and the greater and longer the exposure the higher the damage. Additionally, fine dusts, particularly wood dust contain and carry toxic chemicals that cause irritation, chronic sinus problems, worsening allergic reactions, lung diseases, nerve damage, poisoning, and can increase our risk of cancer. These pages share how to choose, upgrade and set up your dust collectors, cyclones, ducting, shop vacuums, air cleaners, tools and downdraft tables for better fine dust collection. They share how to inexpensively test your air quality, airflow, and filtering. They share plans to build my dust collection solutions that protect my family and me. You can use the included free plans to build a cyclone of my design for your personal use or purchase my cyclone design from Clear Vue Cyclones. These easy solutions let you get good fine dust protection and collection without having to master the complex air engineering science that air engineering firms who guarantee customer air quality use to provide good fine dust collection.
Applicability: Although woodworking dust inspired this site creation, many respiratory doctors now recommend small shop owners and their family members, fiberglass workers, stone finishers, sand blasters, concrete cutters, coffee roasters, granary storage workers, and others with fine dust exposure read and follow the recommendations shared on these pages. Two major commercial dust collection vendor air engineering groups recommend their staff and customers read these pages.
Bottom Line: Please do not get overwhelmed and forget your goal is to protect yourself and those close to you from fine dust. What makes good fine dust collection difficult and expensive is woodworking and many other small shop activities create huge amounts of fine invisible dust particles compared to how little it takes to create dangerously unhealthy air and most of these unhealthiest fine particles will last years unless we clear them from our shops. I strongly recommend good fine dust collection and these pages share how, but until you can install good fine dust collection it is easy and affordable to get good fine dust protection. Our particle meters show even working with hand tools and making no visible dust still makes huge amounts of fine dust compared to how little it takes to harm our health. Worse, most small shops are so contaminated with fine invisible dust that just walking around stirs enough airborne to fail an EPA air quality test. The best protection is to wear a good properly fit dual cartridge NIOSH approved respirator mask and make sure we don't build up lots of fine dust. The best way to minimize this buildup is to open our main doors just a bit and direct a strong fan blowing out a side door or window to create a good airflow through our shops. Our particle counters show protection is easy. We need to put on our respirator mask and turn on our fan before we start making fine dust and both need to stay on for about a half hour after we stop making fine dust.