Wood work with less dust

Although it gives off a fragrant odour, the aroma of woodworking isn’t that good for the health. That’s especially so when the air is full of high concentrations of dust as can happen in some shop classes.

Dust is inevitably produced by processing wood with various saws, planes and sanders, lathes and handheld power tools. To suction off the dust, Kiili Upper Secondary School uses little portable vacuums meant for home use, which actually re-introduce ultrafine particles invisible to the naked eye back into the air. The particles collect on walls, furniture and equipment, and pose even worse risks to teacher and student health.

Dust causes allergies

Most of the inhaled dust is trapped by the upper airways – the nose, throat and windpipe where it can cause irritation and allergies. But 10-15% of the finer particles make their way into the lungs, where they can cause chronic inflammation.

Each year, about 150 boys take part in woodworking classes at Kiili school. In the spring, when boys and girls “trade places,” about as many girls participate. There have been cases where students have had to skip a class session because of the dust.

Thus a powerful wood dust suction system was installed in the shop class at Kiili Upper Secondary School in summer 2013. The equipment cost 20,803 euros, 18,723 of which was defrayed by EIC. EIC has bought analogous systems before. They will also be purchased for other schools and woodworking shops in future.