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Is it only me. . .


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#21 AtomicAxe

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 07:54 PM

At the school I do my work in ... through donations only I estimated about 500 pounds of barium is sitting in the back closet in various containers and bags. I personally hate the stuff ... I can see on a purely sculptural piece why people like it in a glaze ... but in a studio that has students who don't know dink about glazes ... it's not good to have just sitting there. I will use lithium and deal with the colors not being AS vibrant ... but barium ... yeah ... that is a beast of many backs, none of which are nice.

As it is i'm going to make a push to throw away the large mass of barium that will only serve to cause harm ... will keep maybe a small container for those that know how to use it for their personal use .. but really ... if other potters give it away to keep it out of their studio ... why would a SCHOOL want it.

#22 Marcia Selsor

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Posted 11 March 2013 - 08:31 PM

Because it costs a lot to dispose of toxic chemicals.
In order to thow toxic cheicals away, they must be handled as has-mats and taken to the proper disposal site.
To have the chemicals tested costs a lot.
So, if you can find potters who WANT he barium for their private studio, it would save you a lot of money.
I had a friend in Ohio who took a trailer load of chemicals from the heirs of a potters. It was going to cost them $10,000 to dispose of the chemicals.
She hauled the materials away, advertised them for free and gave them to potters who wanted them. Hazardous or not, if the chemicals are not labeled correctly, they have to be tested to determine if they are toxic.
It is an expensive proposition.

Marcia

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#23 Pres

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Posted 12 March 2013 - 09:23 AM

Because it costs a lot to dispose of toxic chemicals.
In order to thow toxic cheicals away, they must be handled as has-mats and taken to the proper disposal site.
To have the chemicals tested costs a lot.
So, if you can find potters who WANT he barium for their private studio, it would save you a lot of money.
I had a friend in Ohio who took a trailer load of chemicals from the heirs of a potters. It was going to cost them $10,000 to dispose of the chemicals.
She hauled the materials away, advertised them for free and gave them to potters who wanted them. Hazardous or not, if the chemicals are not labeled correctly, they have to be tested to determine if they are toxic.
It is an expensive proposition.

Marcia


After following this strand long enough, I have come to the conclusion, It isn't only me. Many of you seem to be reluctant to use barium and some of the other potentially hazardous health questionable materials. Thanks.
Simply retired teacher, not dead, living the dream. on and on and. . . . on. . . . http://picworkspottery.blogspot.com/

#24 earthfan

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Posted 04 May 2014 - 11:45 PM

A ceramic chemist of my acquaintance says barium is safe in glazes as long as it is well dissolved in the glaze. The highest proportion the barium should go is .1 molecular equivalents. He doesn't regard the brightly coloured, matt, barium glazes as being glazes at all. While barium sulphate, used in barium meal for x-ray purposes, isn't dangerous, barium carbonate used by potters is. His advice if you suspect you have ingested barium carbonate, is to swallow Epsom salts. One teaspoon of Epsom salts dissolved in a cup of water and swallowed quickly should precipitate any barium in the stomach as barium sulphate. (from Mike Kusnik's Guide to Ceramic Technology, 2008)



#25 Pres

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Posted 05 May 2014 - 11:30 AM

Jeez! Why take the risk of even having it in the studio?


Simply retired teacher, not dead, living the dream. on and on and. . . . on. . . . http://picworkspottery.blogspot.com/

#26 Babs

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Posted 05 May 2014 - 09:33 PM

May just be my mood, schools outside this comment, we know many people die on our roads, we use them with care, so I handle toxic chemicals with care and the knowledge of what they can do if I am careless. Poss safer than many of our roads, drivers and teh vehicles on them.



#27 Mark C.

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Posted 06 May 2014 - 01:47 AM

I think that in schools it fine to keep out things that could hurt students as the control factor may be absent at times.

That also means weilding gasses and fumes as well as pottery chemicals and other stuff that can get you.

Its to bad its heading down this road-usually by lawyers

Now for studio potters its up to each to decide

I learned about fuming salt wares in school and that stuff is Nasty-heck lusters are nasty-that was a school experence

It made up a part of my ceramic knowledge and experience-I would not trade that for a million$$$s

but I own some  of all that today as I have for 40 years and know how to handle it-(I have not fumed a load in a decade)or used my lusters as well.

same is true with any chemical. its about handling-heck I still have all the acids from chemistry kit from my family as well as bugs in Carbon tetracloride-its about knowing what it is and how to store and handle it.

Life does not come with a warrrenty-you are responsible-this is a learned skill from doing.

Risk is decided by each person and changes over time-always being re-evaluated

Some think my 2,000 scuba dives are risky-my decompression diving at a younger age was risky-

Playing with fire-building kilns-raku where does one draw the line

I would not be the person I am without risks.

Everyone decides this for themselves

I think to anwser your question its only you as its not me-it may be others as well but risk is life at least for me to some degree.

Mark Cortright


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#28 terrim8

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Posted 03 August 2016 - 09:13 PM

Just had an issue trying to fire some items with slip that contained iron chromate at a city studio. I wasn't aware that iron chromate was that toxic but I am now. I'm saving them though to fire in an outdoor gas kiln. 

A lot of old glaze ingredients can be hazardous but I agree with you Mark about risks and handling things safely. 



#29 JBaymore

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Posted 04 August 2016 - 09:25 AM

Iron chromate (hexavalent chromium..... known carcinogen) colored slips/glazes are easy to convert to a far less concerning recipe.  Just add the proper molecular equivalents of red iron oxide and green chromium oxide.  Easy-peasy.  Looks the same.

 

However, I think that any risks to anyone from the firing of that slip or the handling of that ware before firing is minimal to non-existent.  If it is a "line in the sand" issue of no iron chromate in the studio........ well... I guess that is something that must get enforced to bolster a "follow the rules" culture.  But the exposure .... including intensity, frequency and duration aspects.... is nothing to worry about.

 

Handling the dry powder is another story.  But even then.... how much gets handled, under what conditions, and how often.

 

There is a lot of hysteria in the ceramics community about the hazards.  A huge portion of it comes from not really understanding the science side of things.  Simple concepts like parts-per-million, micron particle size, the form of the chemical (oxide, carbonate, sulfate, chloride, etc.), and so on do matter.  Yes... there are things to be concerned about.  But that means an appropriate level of concern.

 

Some folks are equipped with both the knowledge and the facilities to handle more toxic materials than others.   Like in a bio-hazard lab;  some staff working there are OK to work with the e-coli.... others are OK for working with the anthrax. 

 

Understanding the studio safety and toxicology side of the field of ceramics is just one more part of learning about the amazingly broad spectrum of working with clay.  If someone can't pull handles well...... most folks then work at getting better at that aspect.  So if you are weak on the H+S stuff (and the technical side to understand that aspect)........ make an effort to improve your understanding/skills there too.

 

Then you can appropriately evaluate for yourself which materials and procedures you are willing to work with, and which you are not, from a position of accurate knowledge. 

 

For people who are new to the field, and who would be expected to not know, those who are more knowledgeable do need to protect them from their lack of knowledge.  One route to that is to just BAN everything potential hazardous completely.  But a far better route, as soon as is practical, is to provide an accurate education on the subject.

 

I come back to this base concept all the time that everyone seems to want to ignore.  Clay dust is one of the more hazardous things that we are exposed to. It contains free respirable sub-micron silica.  Causes not only silicosis but also cancer.  Intensity, frequency, and duration are really important concepts in this one.  Comparing to the hazard of some dry iron chromate slip on some pots to be fired to the general dust issues in the average studio...... this is like comparing a firecracker to an A-bomb.  If you are concerned about health issues in your studio....... first priority........go after sources of clay dust in your studio.

 

Spend one day working in the studio that you keep a written diary of things you are doing that could get a little bit of clay dust into the air.  Once suspended in the air it typically stays there for over 24 hours.  Watch carefully for indications of this happening.   Sometimes you have to get the light 'right' to see it.   Snapping a dry plastic or wooden bat into place on a dry wheelhead....... poof.  Wiping your hands on the dry towel that wasn't really well washed out yesterday.... poof.  (Ditto for pants or aprons with dry clay.) Throwing down that slab on the dry table top....poof.  Moving used canvas cloth..... arrrrggggghhhhhhh ......poof.  Each one little in and of itself.... sum total potential impact on the air quality...... large.  You'll be amazed when you really start looking for this stuff.

 

best,

 

..................john


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#30 Pres

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Posted 04 August 2016 - 09:46 AM

I've been reading a lot of SciFi lately on the balance between chaos and order. hmmm I have been in some studios where I felt out of place because of such order. . . afraid to touch something or use or move it because then it would be out of place. I have been in some studios that were so chaotic, unless you lived there you would never find a thing. Lately looking at my studio I have come to realize that things are out of balance, and it is time for a good cleaning. Keeping dust down in a studio is a big problem, and fresh buckets of water and washing and moping seem to be the only ways to keep dust under control. Either that or end up spending your days in a Hazmat suit.

 

The hexavalent Chromium had a movie about it a few years back that starred Julia Roberts. . . Erin Brockovich. It started a whole scare about chromium, where I talked to a lot of potters that seemed to think it was worse than barium in the studio. Hard to convince them otherwise.

 

 

best,

Pres


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#31 glazenerd

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Posted 04 August 2016 - 09:57 AM

John:

TY for that balanced approach. The bottom line: if you do not know what it is, or how to handle what it is, or have the safety to deal with what it is then don't.

I experiment with many toxic materials: but I would never put them in a product going out the door. Then there is the whole thermal decomposition debate. Although I do think there are a few products that need reviewed again. They make French process zinc with limits far below "safe" levels, and make USP food grade zinc that is put in cosmetics, food, medicine, and zinc tablets. So I do not get the fear of zinc, given all the new processing techniques. Yellow zinc I get, but not all.

Nerd



#32 oldlady

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Posted 04 August 2016 - 04:30 PM

pres, thank you for the unexpected and very appropriate laugh.  you know i was a proofreader for a time and cannot get over it.  your tiny typo of moping for mopping reached me after several dirty days of making and applying glazes.  i have been sitting down and moping since i turned the kiln on at 3 pm and i am not yet ready to go back to actual mopping.  mopping countertops, metal shelves, buckets, the floor, the driveway and all the stuff that needs cleaning up.  it is great to laugh out loud after being so tired of being on my feet so long.

 

thank you.


"putting you down does not raise me up."




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