British Lung Foundation


Hi everyone,

Hope you all had a good weekend.

anyone do anything new or exciting? I was reading the post about cutting concrete.

Anyway, made me think of my husband.

He builds stairs in houses. He doesnt wear a mask or knee pads. So, he seems

to be coughing more then he should be.

I checked his oxygen when he was relaxing in bed and it said 92-93.Is that normal for a non-copder? I know I'm always sneezing

when hes around me when he first comes home. Do you think sawdust is irratating

his lungs?

Thanks, Ruby xx

16 Replies


All dust including saw dust is a lung irritant which can cause long term damage if over exposed.

Sawdust comes in many forms from soft wood to hardwood of which some is cancergenic.

From you husband point of view he should be wearing a

P3 filter they come in soft as well as the robust " monkey mask"

O2 levels as you mention are to low, is your oximeter correct?

Try it several times with warm clean fingers.

Normal Sats are 98%. For a person without a underlying lung condition.

Normal sats for a person with COPD are 94%.

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Try changing the batteries Ruby. When they are on the low side they can give distorted readings. My resting sats can be anything between 91-94% depending on how I am at the time.

As Stone says, normal sats are well above the reading you had for your husband. Hopefully that reading was incorrect and it comes up higher when you do it again.

Sawdust is definitely an irritant and it does seem to be irritating your lungs too.

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I have checked my mothers at rest sats and hers are same .. Is sad but most GPs are not intrested in prevetabe messure

Even if went doc's would say all is fine wile you can do stuff

But dose nothing for lung health.. Even if you tried waring face mask most find cant breath

So dont like to ware em thus un aware of lung damage

Only thing we can do is try educate our kids on how inporant lung health esp when working


Hi D3Nis,

Nice to meet you.

Does your mom have copd? You didnt mention yours.



Hi Rubyred777

Hi cheers yer my mum as not been diagnosed

But lung disease suffers are very good at spotting other candidates

As to me i am very lucky as i have both restrictive and obstructive lung disease and associated heart problems

Caused by asbestos and asbestos cement dust


Wood dust by it nature can be worse than other dust. As it can expand with moisture making it more of an irritant.

Be Well

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Hi offcutts

I thought it was only Cameron Osborn that was irritating .. yup nice to see ya feela .. i learn something new every day lol

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My husband does printing on a large laser printer, which produces very fine dust from the toners. It is in our living room and we have had a machine since 2006.


Personally, I would move it! When it's switched on, it releases tiny amounts of toner from the side vent which will exacerbate any lung condition. I do speak with authority on this since I used a laser printer. When a toner cartridge leaked inside the machine, I very stupidly hoovered it up. It went in one end and straight out the other. The effect on my lungs was immediate and that was the start of COPD!


In answer to your question, Ruby, my SATS resting are usually 96-98 and my lung function is 19%.


Wow Scrobbitty such good sats for such low lung function. Lucky you.

Do you get around well?



I wouldn't go as far to say 'well' but I still move around and drive so am relatively happy with my lot :)


my GP see's a fair sat at rest and does not understand how I can be out of breath when I walk? but tells me I am exercise intolerant?


Some woods can be worse than others. Western red cedar is particularly nasty. This page from the HSE gives useful information on the risks and masks etc.. If your husband is working on building sites, there may be other lung irritants around too - eg. paints and varnishes, fine dusts from concrete and plaster, fibre insulation. I too work in the building trade, and all of these have set my asthma off at one time or another. Tell him to take care out there!

Regards, Monkey


Thanks monkey,

He doesnt listen to know how men are! Hes up and down stairs all day and has lots of energy. Don't understand the low oxygen sats.Some weeks he coughs and some he doesnt.maybe it depends on the wood. Brazilian wood is treated alot.He doesnt seem to be out of breath.




I used to cut far eaten plywood laminates and MDF without a mask plus Asbestos All I get is the Asbestos is not eating me yet?


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