Art Hazards

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safely store containersSafer practices for woodworking artists

Woodworking machines are dangerous, particularly when used improperly or without safeguards. Download OSHA’s Guide for Protecting Workers from Woodworking Hazards (PDF) to learn more.

Woodworking artists may work with highly hazardous chemical products that can harm their health, such as

  • Toxic and flammable solvents in adhesives, stains, paints and finishes.
  • Cancer-causing paint strippers.
  • Corrosive, toxic and flammable paint removers and strippers.
  • Cancer-causing ingredients in acid-catalyzed coatings.
  • Toxic chemical compounds in some wood that can cause skin allergies and rashes, asthma, decreased lung function and severe eye irritation.
    • Visit Toxic Woods (PDF) for information about harmful effects from exposures to specific woods.

Protecting your skin and eyes

Protecting your lungs

  • Wood dust is released at high speed, so it must be captured by a local exhaust ventilation system at or near the source.
  • OSHA's Woodworking eTool (External link) provides recommendations for managing wood dust exposures in the shop.
  • Protect your lungs when
    • spray-applying solvent-based paint or adhesives.
    • using chemical paint strippers.
  • See the Protecting Your Lungs page for more information on proper ventilation practices,

Use safer choices

  • Choose water-based products like white glues instead of solvent-based products.
  • Use paint-on adhesives instead of aerosol sprays.
  • Read product labels and choose solvents, strippers and cleaners that don't list toluene or methylene chloride as an ingredient.
  • Use mechanical equipment to remove paint in place of chemical strippers.
  • Keep containers closed to prevent spills of toxic liquids and powders.

We can help

Safely dispose of woodworking wastes