It doesn’t seem like it , since most of the time the sawdust really doesn’t affect you. Aside from having to blow your nose, which seems to have done an awesome job filtering the dust from the air, there don’t seem to be any harmful effects.
But that is an illusion. If you spend a lot of time in a closed room with fine dust particles filling the air, you are doing damage to your lungs. And like smoking, though the effects might not show up now, in later years when you need all the lung capacity you have left, that is when those effects will show up.
Each little fine particle that works it’s way down your windpipe into your lungs and embeds itself leaves a tiny bit of scar tissue. None of those tiny scars make much difference, but thousands of them add up over time, leaving you with reduced lung capacity.
In addition to that, some species of wood may be carcinogenic, depending on who you listen to. The last thing anyone needs in today’s complicated world is another carcinogen. We are bombarded with them in our homes, in our food, in the environment. In fact pretty much anywhere we are on any given day.
So a good saw dust collector system is an improvement that any serious woodworker should seriously consider. Though it may be a difficult decision, since necessarily the money to be invested in the dust cyclone will be money that could also be spent on the next woodworking tool on your list. Keeping the dust off the floor and out of the air might seem to pale in comparison to the value of a new 15″ planer or a horizontal router.
But the fact is that a beautiful table or a magnificent chest cannot keep you healthy in your declining years. It cannot help you walk or play with your grandchildren.
On the other hand there is a daily advantage to having a clean shop. It makes the experience of creating beautiful and durable things out of wood more pleasurable than it already is.
And though a timeless piece of furniture can well be an heirloom bequeathed to the ages, the truth is that even though your offspring may treasure those pieces when you are gone, it is likely they would rather have you to treasure as long as they can.