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Hi There, I make work that is sgraffito carved, most of which I try to do when the piece is leather hard but sometimes it's a little drier than I'd like. I am very concerned about silicosis. In the last couple of years, I have been wearing my respirator when I carve. It's a msr mask with p100 filters. Recently I met another sgraffito artist who suggested that unless I am replacing those cartridges VERY regularly (she suggested weekly or more) then it traps dust and does more harm than good. So she has switched to a regular dust mask that she replaces daily. I can't imagine that is true but wondering about peoples thoughts. I replace my cartridges about every 6 months and am never using them for heavy dust scenarios and the filters always look completely new when I replace them. Also looking for tips to improve my carving workstation to minimize dust. Currently I use a dropcloth which is laundered daily, and a pillow, encased in a plastic bag, then a pillowcase which is laundered semi-regularly, and a scrap of towel for the part that is touching the pot (also laundered daily). The dustiest part is when I shake the dust/trimmings from the towel to the drop-cloth. What would you suggest for a less dusty setup? How concerned should I be about silicosis? Is it possible to get lungs checked for damage already done? Anyone have any experience with respiratory issues? Thanks
Guest posted a topic in Clay and Glaze ChemistryI have mentioned this very important 2016 article (from Ceramics Monthly magazine) many times here on the forum when the subject of studio dust and cleaning and respirators comes up. The full article is now online via the DOCTOR's personal website. This is MUST READ stuff if you are working with clay. Particularly in a "home studio" situation. Yes, it is a single study, and of course that alone has its limitations on how you can extend the validity of the data accumulated. But it was done well, and by a credible professional in the field (environmental epidemiologist and professor at McGill University and avocational potter). Right after it came out I had conversations directly with the author, since it is my professional duty to keep up with this stuff since I teach it at the college level. Both of us were concerned with what it appears to show. It "blows away" a lot of assumptions about dust generation in the studio and appropriate controls. Note the highest spike on the graph. It is from "sculpting leatherhard clay". An activity we all assume is not a high dust producing activity. (This study deserves WAY more research!) http://markgoldbergpottery.com/goldberg_studiodust-final.pdf best, ..........................john