Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Health Watch - Protecting Your Lungs

Do you sew once a week? Do you sew every day? Do you spend endless hours in your sewing nook or studio? Are you constantly cutting fabric? Is your sewing area well ventilated? Or is the area closed in with little to no fresh air circulating? If you answered yes to at least four of these questions you may need to purchase an air purifier.

Over the years there have been numerous studies conducted on the effect of over exposure to textile fibers. Many factory workers developed byssinosis, "chronic lung disease." Recently, I read a post on..., I think Donna of SewandSo recommended the purchase of an air purifier for the sewing room. Last month I purchase a Holmes air purifier from Walmart ($40.00)to help eliminate dust from my sewing area. Holmes has a complete line of air purifiers to accommodate any size room. I think it's worth the investment.

Just thought I would share this with fellow sewing bloggers.

Happy Sewing!


  1. There is a lot of merit to the article on textile fibers. I remember working at a clothing store right out of college in a management training program. Luckily, my teaching interviews went well and I got a teaching job and could quit the clothing store. I was miserable that summer with a constantly runny nose and itchy eyes from working with all the new clothing. The smell of it was intense, and it bothered me so much.

  2. Thanks for this! I sew almost everyday and when I use my serger alot I've noticed I have sinus issues.
    I never thought of buying an air purifier! Which will be purchased this week now!

  3. Kat - Thanks for your comment.

    Tearsa - I never thought of sewing as a hazard to my health before. The article prompted me to search for additional information of cotton lung disease. If nothing more the air purifier will reduce the amount of dust and fabric fibers in the air.

    Angelia - You're welcome. I have had a similar experience, and I also noticed the very fast accummulation of dust on everything especially when I cut/sew linen.

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  5. You are correct. In the late 1800 and early 1900 women worked in clothing factories. The factories' windows were kept close so there was no ventilation. Many of these women died from respiratory illness and lung disease. Today we know more about the effects of working with fabrics and very few factories protect their workers. Just imagine the horrible condition that workers are facing in other countries. Anyway my sewing area is in the basement. The basement collected thick layer of dust, mainly because it was a closed area. Seven years ago I bought an air purifier and that was the solution. It stops the dust collection by 90% and the air is much cleaner. However, for some reason the purifier has been off in the last year. I am going to check it out and turn it back on

  6. WoW, I never would of thunk it... thanks for the information.

  7. Excellent point and one I hadn't given any consideration to. And I spend zillions of hours sewing. Must look into an air purifier. Thank you for bringing it up.

  8. This is great information, I think I should look into one. My sewing room is a little cramped and of course I've got fabric everywhere I can stuff it. Thanks for making us more aware.

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