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pjc0602

New potter, health concerns

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pjc0602    0

Hi all,

 

I've been making pottery for 7 months (self taught). I have my own set up in my garage (electric kiln is vented to outside, CO monitor). I have read countless writings on studio & glaze hazards. I am quite particular with my routine and only wet mop areas and wear gloves & mask whenever near chemicals or stirring up dust. I am currently going through a body detox for heavy metal poisoning and I'm doing well with

that regimen. However, a recent test is showing excessive levels of thallium and this is new for me. The only change in my habits has been my pottery. Have any of you ever been tested for

any toxic substances? If so, what kind of results did you receive? My main concern is my health, of course, & I love working with clay, but I will give it up if I need to do so. My concern

is with glazes. Right now, I am using dry Coyote glazes I mix myself (with every precaution) & only a very few ( a clear, a white, light blue, shino). I certainly don't want to poison myself any further.

Are there any less toxic glazes I can mix and make myself? I do understand there are risks involved but I'd like to minimize them. I don't usually post on forums, but I find all of you so talented, kind, supportive, and hugely knowledgeable. I could use some sage advice & I really don't want to take up knitting. smile.gif

 

Thanks so much!

Pam

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OffCenter    82

Oh boy are you going to get advice. People here love to go on and on about safety and that's a good thing until they get so silly about it that you'd think they're talking about plutonium instead of clay. A few days ago there was a thread here where someone was recommending wearing gloves and respirator to mix a little red iron oxide in water to sign pots. That's nonsense. Clay and glaze chemicals aren't that dangerous! You don't want to breath a lot of clay dust because of the silica in it. That's easy, just use common sense when working with dry clay or doing anything that will expose you to clay dust. Wet mop, wipe down tables with sponges, spray water in the air to keep dust down. Most of the chemicals used to make glazes are as safe as clay and all you need to do is avoid breathing them the same way you avoid breathing clay. But some are more dangerous than others. Know which ones are dangerous and label them. Again the main thing is you don't want to inhale those either. From what you've written, you're probably already doing more than enough to be safe and you probably got a little thallium from water not your studio.

 

Jim

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Claypple    29

Who ordered the thalium level for you?! Did you have it done through the blood work? Do you smoke cigarets?

Who is doing your detox?!

There are lot of charlatans making money on so called detoxes.

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mregecko    18

Who ordered the thalium level for you?! Did you have it done through the blood work? Do you smoke cigarets?

Who is doing your detox?!

There are lot of charlatans making money on so called detoxes.

 

 

Stole the words from my mouth. Just wanted to make sure this is all being done by a license health professional. I'm not a glaze expert, but I have seen my fair number of glaze recipes and I haven't seen any Thallium or Thallium Oxides as ingredients that I remember.

 

So if you do have Thallium poisoning, I'm guessing it's from something non-pottery related.

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jrgpots    231

Thallium can be present is iron pyrite, granite, and potassium rich clays. It is highest in drinking water around ire ore mines. If you have had a chemical cardiac stress test, thallium may have been used (i.e. Adenosine Thallium or Cardiolyte Thallium testing.)

 

The glazes you describe are not known to contain Thallium. Regular precautions in the studio should protect you from thallium dust that may be in the clay dust. FYI.. Detoxification typically uses Prussian blue followed by Potassium supplements with the Prussian blue. There are a lot a shams when it comes to detox! be careful.

 

 

Jed

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Mark C.    1,804

I have just over 40 years of working with clay and still have it in my blood.

Mark

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pjc0602    0

I appreciate your concern about shams and charlatans. I can assure you the person doing my medical tests is a respected neurologist and neurosurgeon and I've been to some of the best.

Again, I reiterate, my ONLY change has been pottery. Water in my home is double and sometimes triple filtered. I am very particular about what is around me and my food and water supply.

I am a former athlete who is very disciplined and very well-read on toxic materials around us. Something has poisoned me and again, the only change has been pottery. I had a prior toxic test a year ago

which showed NO thallium at all. This is my concern.

In my readings, I have found that glazes are pretty toxic so dismissing that fact is just silly. Precautions should be taken by everyone. When I see a video of someone using his/her arm to stir

things I cringe.

Thanks for your comments,

 

Pam

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OffCenter    82

I have found that glazes are pretty toxic so dismissing that fact is just silly. Precautions should be taken by everyone. When I see a video of someone using his/her arm to stir

things I cringe.

 

 

If you drink or snort glazes it probably would not be good for you but that is true of most things, otherwise most glazes are not toxic. A few are. Obviously, it depends on what is in them.

 

Jim

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OffCenter    82

Glazes and raw chemicals can have toxic substances in them, but clay is a natural material. I think a lot of the paranoia on some of this stuff is insane, for example, the lead paranoia is such that you get the impression that just looking at a PHOTO of a piece of lead you'll get lead poisoning!

Fact is, on my day job we have workers who work with lead and lead/tin alloy sheets ALL DAY LONG, they cut, drill, file, wash, polish and solder it into organ pipes. They even lightly touch the pipes to their lips and blow into them for testing the sound, they get periodic blood tests and their tests are always NORMAL.

How is this possible? simple! they WASH THEIR HANDS after handling the metal before they eat etc

 

There's only two main ways for a toxic substance to get into you- via mouth and via breathing in the dust, some liquids can be absorbed thru the skin, and for you ladies who use nail polish, I'll bet you were not aware of how toxic that acetone used really is!

Acetone is absorbed into the skin very readily, which means if you have something else on your hands that is toxic it gets absorbed too since the acetone acts as a solvent.

 

Acetone is a strong known carcinogen, cancer causing, along with other health effects, yet, how many of the ladies here use nail polish, nail polish remover etc made with this and don't give it asecond thought?

Point is, there's so many things worse than clay and glazes that people use every day on or in their BODY and never give a second thought to. Just avoid making/breathing in dust, and avoid getting raw chemicals and glazes be it powdered or liquid on your skin, wash your hands thoroughly after handling these materials, their containers, or wiping up spills in the studio.

 

Clay is considered non toxic in it's moist form, when it's dry, avoid sweeping any dust up in such a way you stir up a lot of dust, damp mop or sponge it up instead of trying to vaccuum or sweep it.

 

 

This has been discussed here before and I offer this again, not to in any way to advocate not being careful and safety conscious in the studio, but simply to make the observation. Most of the potters who studied pottery in college during the late 60's and early 70's like I did and probably up until the 80's will remember the almost complete lack of concern for the dangers of breathing silica dust and other harmful dusts in the ceramics studio. We used to mix our own clay by going into the clay room and closing the door so that the dust wouldn't get all over the studio (not because of safety concerns but simply not wanting everything covered with dust). We'd pour the various clays into big barrels and mixed the clays together by rolling the barrows back and forth (great fun trying to knock each other down). After an hour or so of mixing clay we'd come out covered from head to toe in clay dust. No chemical in the glaze lab was ever marked as harmful and I'm pretty sure no one ever saw a glove or respirator or even a dust mask in the ceramics studio. During my student days and the years right after, I worked in or visited ceramic studios at many schools, community centers, and guilds in Georgia and Colorado and places like Arrowmont where I studied under Cardew and they were all basically as unconcerned with dust dangers as my school. So, over the years I've kept up with a lot of potters who went to school with me or I met over the years potting in Colorado. We're all getting old now but I've never heard of a single one of them complain of silicosis. The professor who made us mix clay in barrels in the clay room and mixed his own clay there for a couple of decades is in his 80's and is still potting. My point here being that while the almost complete unconcern for the dangers of silica dust and other harmful dusts in the ceramic labs of the '70s was out of ignorance that is shocking today had those studios really been as dangerous as some nervous Nellies believe today, we would all have been dead long ago.

 

BTW, RDWolff mentions acetone. I paid for my first year of college by working at a factory that made bombs for Vietnam. At lunchtime we washed our hands and faces in acetone to get paint off. Other than loosing half my brain I've suffered no ill effects so far.

 

Jim

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Benzine    610

I have found that glazes are pretty toxic so dismissing that fact is just silly. Precautions should be taken by everyone. When I see a video of someone using his/her arm to stir

things I cringe.

 

 

If you drink or snort glazes it probably would not be good for you but that is true of most things, otherwise most glazes are not toxic. A few are. Obviously, it depends on what is in them.

 

Jim

 

 

Well yes, that would be just silly. Now clay on the other hand, I snort a line of clay dust, and take a shot of slip every morning, just to get me going.

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Benzine    610

Glazes and raw chemicals can have toxic substances in them, but clay is a natural material. I think a lot of the paranoia on some of this stuff is insane, for example, the lead paranoia is such that you get the impression that just looking at a PHOTO of a piece of lead you'll get lead poisoning!

Fact is, on my day job we have workers who work with lead and lead/tin alloy sheets ALL DAY LONG, they cut, drill, file, wash, polish and solder it into organ pipes. They even lightly touch the pipes to their lips and blow into them for testing the sound, they get periodic blood tests and their tests are always NORMAL.

How is this possible? simple! they WASH THEIR HANDS after handling the metal before they eat etc

 

There's only two main ways for a toxic substance to get into you- via mouth and via breathing in the dust, some liquids can be absorbed thru the skin, and for you ladies who use nail polish, I'll bet you were not aware of how toxic that acetone used really is!

Acetone is absorbed into the skin very readily, which means if you have something else on your hands that is toxic it gets absorbed too since the acetone acts as a solvent.

 

Acetone is a strong known carcinogen, cancer causing, along with other health effects, yet, how many of the ladies here use nail polish, nail polish remover etc made with this and don't give it asecond thought?

Point is, there's so many things worse than clay and glazes that people use every day on or in their BODY and never give a second thought to. Just avoid making/breathing in dust, and avoid getting raw chemicals and glazes be it powdered or liquid on your skin, wash your hands thoroughly after handling these materials, their containers, or wiping up spills in the studio.

 

Clay is considered non toxic in it's moist form, when it's dry, avoid sweeping any dust up in such a way you stir up a lot of dust, damp mop or sponge it up instead of trying to vaccuum or sweep it.

 

 

This has been discussed here before and I offer this again, not to in any way to advocate not being careful and safety conscious in the studio, but simply to make the observation. Most of the potters who studied pottery in college during the late 60's and early 70's like I did and probably up until the 80's will remember the almost complete lack of concern for the dangers of breathing silica dust and other harmful dusts in the ceramics studio. We used to mix our own clay by going into the clay room and closing the door so that the dust wouldn't get all over the studio (not because of safety concerns but simply not wanting everything covered with dust). We'd pour the various clays into big barrels and mixed the clays together by rolling the barrows back and forth (great fun trying to knock each other down). After an hour or so of mixing clay we'd come out covered from head to toe in clay dust. No chemical in the glaze lab was ever marked as harmful and I'm pretty sure no one ever saw a glove or respirator or even a dust mask in the ceramics studio. During my student days and the years right after, I worked in or visited ceramic studios at many schools, community centers, and guilds in Georgia and Colorado and places like Arrowmont where I studied under Cardew and they were all basically as unconcerned with dust dangers as my school. So, over the years I've kept up with a lot of potters who went to school with me or I met over the years potting in Colorado. We're all getting old now but I've never heard of a single one of them complain of silicosis. The professor who made us mix clay in barrels in the clay room and mixed his own clay there for a couple of decades is in his 80's and is still potting. My point here being that while the almost complete unconcern for the dangers of silica dust and other harmful dusts in the ceramic labs of the '70s was out of ignorance that is shocking today had those studios really been as dangerous as some nervous Nellies believe today, we would all have been dead long ago.

 

BTW, RDWolff mentions acetone. I paid for my first year of college by working at a factory that made bombs for Vietnam. At lunchtime we washed our hands and faces in acetone to get paint off. Other than loosing half my brain I've suffered no ill effects so far.

 

Jim

 

 

 

Yeah, I've become a bit more cautious, when it comes to have my students reclaim clay. I used to have them work in pulverized bone dry clay, to dry out the reclaim faster, but it did make a dusty mess. No one really ever had a problem with it. I had students, and other teachers, with dust allergies, that would come in, and have no issues. My co-worker, with whom I shared a classroom, seemed to develop and allergy to clay, as I refined the process, and made it cleaner (less dust)....Weird.

 

Acetone is nasty stuff. We used it in to do transfers in Lithography, in college. We were required to wear a respirator, when handling it. Pretty much any of the related solvents are just horrible, but sometimes necessary. I've tried using safer methods for cleaning up grease based media, and they just don't work as well. I used baby oil to clean up after silk screening, and while it works to some extent, I found myself going over it all, with a solvent.

 

 

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Claypple    29

I can assure you the person doing my medical tests is a respected neurologist and neurosurgeon and I've been to some of the best.

 

 

 

Neurosurgeon?! Thallium poisoning causes peripheral neuropathy, hair loss. When did the neurosurgeons start getting into this business? Hmmm.. . It is also cancerogenic (meaning it can cause cancers), but I do not remember what kind of cancers. If the neurosurgeon is involved, I can assume it is a brain cancer (I am not prying into your personal life, but I am trying to understand what is going on). So, if we assume it is a brain cancer, then the Thallium has nothing to do with that, as the level was normal a year ago. Why did they check the Thallium level a year ago anyway?

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Pres    896

Glazes and raw chemicals can have toxic substances in them, but clay is a natural material. I think a lot of the paranoia on some of this stuff is insane, for example, the lead paranoia is such that you get the impression that just looking at a PHOTO of a piece of lead you'll get lead poisoning!

Fact is, on my day job we have workers who work with lead and lead/tin alloy sheets ALL DAY LONG, they cut, drill, file, wash, polish and solder it into organ pipes. They even lightly touch the pipes to their lips and blow into them for testing the sound, they get periodic blood tests and their tests are always NORMAL.

How is this possible? simple! they WASH THEIR HANDS after handling the metal before they eat etc

 

There's only two main ways for a toxic substance to get into you- via mouth and via breathing in the dust, some liquids can be absorbed thru the skin, and for you ladies who use nail polish, I'll bet you were not aware of how toxic that acetone used really is!

Acetone is absorbed into the skin very readily, which means if you have something else on your hands that is toxic it gets absorbed too since the acetone acts as a solvent.

 

Acetone is a strong known carcinogen, cancer causing, along with other health effects, yet, how many of the ladies here use nail polish, nail polish remover etc made with this and don't give it asecond thought?

Point is, there's so many things worse than clay and glazes that people use every day on or in their BODY and never give a second thought to. Just avoid making/breathing in dust, and avoid getting raw chemicals and glazes be it powdered or liquid on your skin, wash your hands thoroughly after handling these materials, their containers, or wiping up spills in the studio.

 

Clay is considered non toxic in it's moist form, when it's dry, avoid sweeping any dust up in such a way you stir up a lot of dust, damp mop or sponge it up instead of trying to vaccuum or sweep it.

 

 

This has been discussed here before and I offer this again, not to in any way to advocate not being careful and safety conscious in the studio, but simply to make the observation. Most of the potters who studied pottery in college during the late 60's and early 70's like I did and probably up until the 80's will remember the almost complete lack of concern for the dangers of breathing silica dust and other harmful dusts in the ceramics studio. We used to mix our own clay by going into the clay room and closing the door so that the dust wouldn't get all over the studio (not because of safety concerns but simply not wanting everything covered with dust). We'd pour the various clays into big barrels and mixed the clays together by rolling the barrows back and forth (great fun trying to knock each other down). After an hour or so of mixing clay we'd come out covered from head to toe in clay dust. No chemical in the glaze lab was ever marked as harmful and I'm pretty sure no one ever saw a glove or respirator or even a dust mask in the ceramics studio. During my student days and the years right after, I worked in or visited ceramic studios at many schools, community centers, and guilds in Georgia and Colorado and places like Arrowmont where I studied under Cardew and they were all basically as unconcerned with dust dangers as my school. So, over the years I've kept up with a lot of potters who went to school with me or I met over the years potting in Colorado. We're all getting old now but I've never heard of a single one of them complain of silicosis. The professor who made us mix clay in barrels in the clay room and mixed his own clay there for a couple of decades is in his 80's and is still potting. My point here being that while the almost complete unconcern for the dangers of silica dust and other harmful dusts in the ceramic labs of the '70s was out of ignorance that is shocking today had those studios really been as dangerous as some nervous Nellies believe today, we would all have been dead long ago.

 

BTW, RDWolff mentions acetone. I paid for my first year of college by working at a factory that made bombs for Vietnam. At lunchtime we washed our hands and faces in acetone to get paint off. Other than loosing half my brain I've suffered no ill effects so far.

 

Jim

 

 

 

Yeah, I've become a bit more cautious, when it comes to have my students reclaim clay. I used to have them work in pulverized bone dry clay, to dry out the reclaim faster, but it did make a dusty mess. No one really ever had a problem with it. I had students, and other teachers, with dust allergies, that would come in, and have no issues. My co-worker, with whom I shared a classroom, seemed to develop and allergy to clay, as I refined the process, and made it cleaner (less dust)....Weird.

 

Acetone is nasty stuff. We used it in to do transfers in Lithography, in college. We were required to wear a respirator, when handling it. Pretty much any of the related solvents are just horrible, but sometimes necessary. I've tried using safer methods for cleaning up grease based media, and they just don't work as well. I used baby oil to clean up after silk screening, and while it works to some extent, I found myself going over it all, with a solvent.

 

 

 

 

Try mixing the baby oil with regular dish detergent, it helps. I used to do calliographs using masonite and mesh curtain fabric, lace etc filling with layers of polymer medium. Mixed veggie crisco with the ink for easier wiping, used the mix mentioned to clean up. Worked pretty well.

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Benzine    610

Glazes and raw chemicals can have toxic substances in them, but clay is a natural material. I think a lot of the paranoia on some of this stuff is insane, for example, the lead paranoia is such that you get the impression that just looking at a PHOTO of a piece of lead you'll get lead poisoning!

Fact is, on my day job we have workers who work with lead and lead/tin alloy sheets ALL DAY LONG, they cut, drill, file, wash, polish and solder it into organ pipes. They even lightly touch the pipes to their lips and blow into them for testing the sound, they get periodic blood tests and their tests are always NORMAL.

How is this possible? simple! they WASH THEIR HANDS after handling the metal before they eat etc

 

There's only two main ways for a toxic substance to get into you- via mouth and via breathing in the dust, some liquids can be absorbed thru the skin, and for you ladies who use nail polish, I'll bet you were not aware of how toxic that acetone used really is!

Acetone is absorbed into the skin very readily, which means if you have something else on your hands that is toxic it gets absorbed too since the acetone acts as a solvent.

 

Acetone is a strong known carcinogen, cancer causing, along with other health effects, yet, how many of the ladies here use nail polish, nail polish remover etc made with this and don't give it asecond thought?

Point is, there's so many things worse than clay and glazes that people use every day on or in their BODY and never give a second thought to. Just avoid making/breathing in dust, and avoid getting raw chemicals and glazes be it powdered or liquid on your skin, wash your hands thoroughly after handling these materials, their containers, or wiping up spills in the studio.

 

Clay is considered non toxic in it's moist form, when it's dry, avoid sweeping any dust up in such a way you stir up a lot of dust, damp mop or sponge it up instead of trying to vaccuum or sweep it.

 

 

This has been discussed here before and I offer this again, not to in any way to advocate not being careful and safety conscious in the studio, but simply to make the observation. Most of the potters who studied pottery in college during the late 60's and early 70's like I did and probably up until the 80's will remember the almost complete lack of concern for the dangers of breathing silica dust and other harmful dusts in the ceramics studio. We used to mix our own clay by going into the clay room and closing the door so that the dust wouldn't get all over the studio (not because of safety concerns but simply not wanting everything covered with dust). We'd pour the various clays into big barrels and mixed the clays together by rolling the barrows back and forth (great fun trying to knock each other down). After an hour or so of mixing clay we'd come out covered from head to toe in clay dust. No chemical in the glaze lab was ever marked as harmful and I'm pretty sure no one ever saw a glove or respirator or even a dust mask in the ceramics studio. During my student days and the years right after, I worked in or visited ceramic studios at many schools, community centers, and guilds in Georgia and Colorado and places like Arrowmont where I studied under Cardew and they were all basically as unconcerned with dust dangers as my school. So, over the years I've kept up with a lot of potters who went to school with me or I met over the years potting in Colorado. We're all getting old now but I've never heard of a single one of them complain of silicosis. The professor who made us mix clay in barrels in the clay room and mixed his own clay there for a couple of decades is in his 80's and is still potting. My point here being that while the almost complete unconcern for the dangers of silica dust and other harmful dusts in the ceramic labs of the '70s was out of ignorance that is shocking today had those studios really been as dangerous as some nervous Nellies believe today, we would all have been dead long ago.

 

BTW, RDWolff mentions acetone. I paid for my first year of college by working at a factory that made bombs for Vietnam. At lunchtime we washed our hands and faces in acetone to get paint off. Other than loosing half my brain I've suffered no ill effects so far.

 

Jim

 

 

 

Yeah, I've become a bit more cautious, when it comes to have my students reclaim clay. I used to have them work in pulverized bone dry clay, to dry out the reclaim faster, but it did make a dusty mess. No one really ever had a problem with it. I had students, and other teachers, with dust allergies, that would come in, and have no issues. My co-worker, with whom I shared a classroom, seemed to develop and allergy to clay, as I refined the process, and made it cleaner (less dust)....Weird.

 

Acetone is nasty stuff. We used it in to do transfers in Lithography, in college. We were required to wear a respirator, when handling it. Pretty much any of the related solvents are just horrible, but sometimes necessary. I've tried using safer methods for cleaning up grease based media, and they just don't work as well. I used baby oil to clean up after silk screening, and while it works to some extent, I found myself going over it all, with a solvent.

 

 

 

 

Try mixing the baby oil with regular dish detergent, it helps. I used to do calliographs using masonite and mesh curtain fabric, lace etc filling with layers of polymer medium. Mixed veggie crisco with the ink for easier wiping, used the mix mentioned to clean up. Worked pretty well.

 

 

Very nice, thank you. I've got a few tricks, I've picked up, in my few years teaching. But I've still got a lot to learn.

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pjc0602    0

You know what, all of you wise guys, this is exactly why I don't post on forums. Some people are serious about serious issues. I have a great sense of humor but do not find humor in issues regarding

health concerns. I simply posed a few points for curiosity's sake and know there are quite a few experts here. That's all.

 

I appreciate your sincere comments. Thank you. The yuck-yuckers can go promptly chase themselves. Please don't burden others with your bad humor.

 

Thanks again.

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neilestrick    1,381

There's no safety risk with putting your hand in a bucket of glaze, assuming it's not full of lead and you don't have a lot of open wounds on your hands. You just have to wash your hands after you're done. Common sense rules.

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OffCenter    82

You know what, all of you wise guys, this is exactly why I don't post on forums. Some people are serious about serious issues. I have a great sense of humor but do not find humor in issues regarding

health concerns. I simply posed a few points for curiosity's sake and know there are quite a few experts here. That's all.

 

I appreciate your sincere comments. Thank you. The yuck-yuckers can go promptly chase themselves. Please don't burden others with your bad humor.

 

Thanks again.

 

 

After your second post it seems to me that you came here more to preach than get other opinions. My cringe comment was fact, not an attempt at humor.

 

Jim

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OffCenter    82

Well yes, that would be just silly. Now clay on the other hand, I snort a line of clay dust, and take a shot of slip every morning, just to get me going.

 

 

That would explain why you have no pupils in your eyes.

 

Jim

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wayver138    0

I, too, am pretty new in ceramics. I take courses at my college as well as a local studio and both seem to have the same stance on safety in the studio--common sense. Recently, I have noticed a lot of people being overly cautious (as many have stated) as if they are just trying to find something unsafe in ceramics. If you look hard enough, you can find something wrong with anything. The way I see it, if I survived my chemistry lab class, ceramics should be fine. One thing I do, however, is mix my own glazes. I like to know exactly what I am dealing with and that is not always the case when buying commercial. However, glaze formulation is one of my favorite parts of the process.

 

If you really enjoy ceramics, don't throw it aside because of this test. Considering the amount of people working in clay, says something on its own in terms of whether it is hazardous or not. I know you said ceramics is your only change in routine, but its really hard to know for sure if that is the source considering all of the other "hazards" we are exposed to daily. Besides, if you haven't had a thallium test in over a year, its even harder to pin point what you could be exposed to in that span of time besides ceramics. And I don't think anyone takes health concerns unseriously here it just comes to a point where it gets a bit rediculous. There are plenty of threads with safety advice, may want to skim through those.

 

 

Also, don't write off anyone over a comment on the internet. Everyone is bound to get poked and prodded on a public forum

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Chris Campbell    1,088

Pam ... The person you should be consulting is Monona Rossol. She wrote the book on pottery studio health safety.

 

From what you have written about your current health testing it sounds like you are dealing on a long term basis with some larger health issue and need facts, not opinions. Google her and perhaps her articles or books can point you and your doctors in the right direction.

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Mark C.    1,804

After 35 years full time in clay I had a involved metals/blood work up with zero results-I'm sure your exposers to the things you mentioned are from elsewhere.

I also had a lung difusion test which seees how elastic your longs are and would be a precurser to say silicosis -I also had a great result (turns out lots of diving undrtwater with tanks keeps your lungs very elastic with presure changes?

As noted most things in ceramics are just fine but as long as you use your head-a resperatior now and then and a wet mop.

I Used to use my hands in glaze for many years but the past 15-20 use latex gloves about 99% of the time working with glazes. Most glazes are very benign.

Mark

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neilestrick    1,381

In 20 years of doing ceramics, I have never heard of Thalium in terms of ceramics, let alone Thalium poisoning. That's not to say your condition couldn't have come from it, but I think that if you're using the same materials as the rest of us it's highly unlikely that it came from your pottery habit.

 

Wikipedia:

Thallium is a chemical element with symbol Tl and atomic number 81. This soft gray post-transition metal is not found free in nature.......Commercially, however, thallium is produced not from potassium ores, but as a byproduct from refining of heavy metal sulfide ores. Approximately 60–70% of thallium production is used in the electronics industry, and the remainder is used in the pharmaceutical industry and in glass manufacturing.

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), man-made sources of thallium pollution include gaseous emission of cement factories, coal burning power plants, and metal sewers. The main source of elevated thallium concentrations in water is the leaching of thallium from ore processing operations.

Based on this info alone, I don't see how the materials we use in our studios could have exposed you to thalium. I would be looking to a source elsewhere in your environment.

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Benzine    610

You know what, all of you wise guys, this is exactly why I don't post on forums. Some people are serious about serious issues. I have a great sense of humor but do not find humor in issues regarding

health concerns. I simply posed a few points for curiosity's sake and know there are quite a few experts here. That's all.

 

I appreciate your sincere comments. Thank you. The yuck-yuckers can go promptly chase themselves. Please don't burden others with your bad humor.

 

Thanks again.

 

 

The thing is, Jim wasn't joking. As Neil said, there is nothing wrong with stirring glaze, with your hand. Unless your glaze is mercury mixed with lead, cobalt and hydrochloric acid, you'll generally be fine.

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neilestrick    1,381

.....glaze is mercury mixed with lead, cobalt and hydrochloric acid.....

 

 

...which makes a beautiful blue that breaks to green.....laugh.gif

 

But seriously, basic hand washing and mask wearing will keep you pretty darn safe in the studio. We always mixed glaze buckets with our hands when I was in college. I have since learned of these things called 'sticks' that make it less messy to stir glazes, but I still put my hand in the buckets pretty regularly to make sure they are mixed completely.

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