As the fineness of MDF dust puts it in a class with sander dust, special procedures may be required to maintain adequate safety standards when the amount of MDF dust represents more than 20% of the total dust load. Extraction plant sited close to work areas inside the factory should be properly enclosed to reduce the risk of injury due to fire or explosion. Ducting should be fitted with explosion relief panels. Consideration should also be given to fitting fire detectors and automatic extinguishing equipment in large extraction systems.
Referring to personal exposure to dust from woodworking operations, some European countries have regulations limiting the amount of dust in the air in the workplace. A typical Occupational Exposure Limit (OEL) is 5 mg/m3. The recommendations in these notes relating to the efficient and safe operation of dust extraction equipment will normally result in satisfactory working conditions. Where problems arise, manufacturers should consult a specialist dust extraction company.
Companies operating wood waste burning boilers can use MDF dust as a fuel subject to certain precautions against internal explosions. Up to 20% MDF dust may be burned in combination with other more particulate waste, subject to effective mixing of the dust. Companies concerned mainly with the disposal of large volumes of MDF dust can use it in boilers fitted with injection burners as a supplement to gas or fuel oil. Advice on the selection and operation of woodwaste burning boilers should be obtained from specialist suppliers.