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Tim T

Feedback wanted on material toxicity, food safety, safe practices etc etc.

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With the many questions (and variable quality answers) on topics such as the toxicity of materials, food safety and other aspects concerning hazards and good practice for the potter in their studio, and the safety of the finished piece for the customer, I've started working on two books on the subject. The first is for the studio, concerning things like toxic materials, dust and silicosis, kiln firing and other hazards, how to assess and mitigate them. The second is for the finished work, looking at food/microwave/dishwasher safety, thermal shock in pieces for oven and cooking use (including understanding leaching), frost resistance for outside work, and other issues that should be borne in mind for when the work is in the hands of the customer.

I'd be interested to hear what your thoughts are on these matters. I've put together a short questionnaire, and I'd be most grateful if you could spend a few minutes on it.

The link to the survey is: https://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/4815114/Health-and-Safety-for-Ceramics-Expurgated

Many thanks for your time,


Edited by Tim T

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My honest feedback lies within the definition of:

  • Food safe - at this point it means cadmium and lead here in the states.
  • Mkcrowave safe - is that for the claybody or is it strictly a glaze issue.
  • Dishwasher safe - every glaze from day one likely erodes most in the dishwasher, should my dishwasher be scared?
  • Dust - silicosis, is regulated here  under several agencies and apply to established personal permissible limits. A pottery studio? Hmmm, is it an educational institution, does it have employees? Which agency or test is relevant towards permissible limits?

almost all of these are definition driven with current definitions that appear to be likely more significant than they really are. 

Not sure if any of that helps but a lack of clear definition drives much of this. Without this clarity I believe most potters have an impossible task defining just what should be what.

I will take a look at your survey but again adding my opinion of what should be safe to something indeterminant or undefined really in my view does not address the problem and in many cases exacerbates it as evidenced by the now accepted dishwasher safe line I hear daily.

just my thoughts though, good luck! Tough subject to address.


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Hi guys,

Just in case you are wondering why the link to the survey has changed, the moderators objected to the links in it to my web site etc., so I've had to make an expurgated version of the survey just for posting here, with a new link.

For the missing bits, if you want them, see below.


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