Garden Grove, CA, July 2, 2012
In 1986, California voters approved an initiative to address increasing concerns over exposure to toxic chemicals. That initiative, the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, is better known by its original name of Proposition 65.
Proposition 65 requires businesses to notify Californians about significant amounts of chemicals in the products they purchase, in their homes or workplaces, or that are released into the environment. This list includes wood dust, which was added to the Prop 65 list in 2009.
Many workers across California are exposed to wood dusts at sawmills, wood processing facilities and during construction and renovation activities. Wood dust is created when wood is cut, drilled, sanded, machined or processed.
Wood dust has several hazards associated with exposure in the workplace. Wood dust becomes a potential health problem when wood particles become airborne. Breathing these particles may cause allergic respiratory symptoms, mucosal and non-allergic respiratory symptoms, irritation to the eyes, nose and throat, pulmonary function impairment, and even cancer. Western red cedar dust has been shown to cause asthma.
“Possible health effects associated with wood dust come not only from the wood dust itself, but also from biological organisms such as mold and fungi, which grow on the wood,” reported Joe Frasca, Senior Vice President, Marketing at LA Testing and EMSL Analytical, Inc., a network of environmental testing laboratories. “Chemicals, including formaldehyde, copper naphthanate, and pentachlorophenol that are used in the processing of some woods are yet another health risk.”
LA Testing and EMSL Analytical recently sponsored an online video about the health risks associated with exposure to wood dusts that can be seen at:
To learn more about testing for wood dusts or other Proposition 65 testing services, please visit www.LATesting.com, email info@LATesting.com or call (800) 755-1794.
About LA Testing and EMSL Analytical, Inc.
LA Testing and EMSL Analytical are providers of environmental testing services and products to professionals and the general public. The companies have an extensive list of accreditations from leading organizations as well as state and federal regulating bodies.