Particle board is a very practical and popular material. However, there are a high number of health hazards which have been linked to this material. All of these hazards cause severe irritation when working with particle board. It is important that you are aware of some of the risks before you start using particle board because you could easily be affected.
When you use particle board, the material will release tiny fibers of sawdust. These firers are difficult to see or cannot be seen at all. Subconsciously you will breathe in the fibers without thinking about it. This will cause friction against the back of your throat causing you to cough and choke a great deal. This can be dangerous if you have a medical condition such as asthma, or another respiratory condition, because it could trigger a coughing fit, which is fatal. The simplest way to get around this is to use a safety mask over your mouth.
Sawdust fibers along with chemicals, which bind pieces of particle board together, can cause your skin to react in a violent way if particles settle on you. Common skin reactions will lead to your arm or hand turning bright red. Your skin will dry slightly and you will feel a burning sensation. This is just the sawdust fibers and chemicals used in particle board reacting with the skin cells on your body. This is common but not serious. If this persists, you may have a worse condition, consult a doctor immediately. The way to get around this is to buy some high standard safety gloves, which are arm length.
Your eyes are one of the most vulnerable parts of your body whenever you do any do it yourself work. They are delicate components, which allow us to see. Allow them to get irritated or injured and you could cause yourself a worse injury. Some sawdust particles are impossible to see. They will linger and float into the air. This means some will travel onto the surface of your eyes. This will cause you to start rubbing your eyes. This will push the particles further into the cells in the eye and will just make the matter worse. The way around this is to use safety goggles while you work.
Try to avoid ever working in high humidity conditions and high temperatures. This is because the level of formaldehyde emission release from particle board will be greater in these conditions. If your body takes on enough of these emissions, the immune system will become weakened and your body will become more vulnerable colds and viruses.
Reduce the Risks
There are two very common ways you can reduce the risks of safety hazards when using particle board. The first is to work in or near an open area. This will allow you to access fresh air should you experience any of the above. The second is to always have some water at hand. Water will wash away fine sawdust particles, which may have landed on your skin or in your eyes.