Hardwood, softwood and wood composite dusts are produced when wood is machined or sanded. These dusts are a common cause of occupational asthma.
Asthma mainly affects workers in the furniture and joinery industries.
The dustiest tasks are sanding, assembly and cleaning, and these usually require wearing a respirator in addition to using dust extraction.
Settled dust is easily raised. In addition to the health risks, it is also a fire and possible dust explosion hazard, so cleaning is important.
These case studies are all real incidents with real and often serious long-term consequences for the people involved.
You can find more guidance and information for woodworkers on the Asthma publications pages.