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New potter, health concerns


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#21 Chris Campbell

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 10:44 AM

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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#22 Mark C.

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 10:45 AM

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.
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#23 neilestrick

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 10:51 AM

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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#24 Benzine

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 11:00 AM

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.
"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#25 neilestrick

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 11:22 AM

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


...which makes a beautiful blue that breaks to green.....Posted Image

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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#26 Benzine

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 11:30 AM

Sticks you say? Sticks are for paint, in my opinion. For glaze mixing, I don't like stirring sticks, because they lack fingers, which really help pick up, any of the settled glaze.
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#27 Benzine

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 11:55 AM


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


Well, used to have no pupils. That is a picture of "Bob", my Art Classroom God, the holder of passes. I made that last summer, in my free time. I purposely didn't put pupils on it, because I wanted it to have the deity like look, that you commonly see in art. However, a couple weeks into the school year, I noticed that pupils appeared. Someone, thought that it needed them, and used a Sharpie to add them. Needless to say, I wasn't happy. I may try to refire it, to burn off the Sharpie. I've been thinking of doing a light mason stain on it anyway.
"Anything worth believing, is worth questioning"

#28 justanassembler

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 06:45 PM

Duke has some interesting medical/scientific findings about soluble metals, and other materials with specific reference to their use and people's exposure in ceramic studios, it can be found here. Some of the main text seems outdated or related specifically to schools using outdated commercially available glazes, however the portions relating to manganese, soluble boron, and soluble metal colorants is probably still relevant and of interest. It is up to the reader to determine his or her level of comfort with the materials and the hazards they present, no preaching, for or against safety precautions intended.

#29 justanassembler

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 06:52 PM

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.


Acetone has not been shown to be carcinogenic, at least not in any of the MSDS information I've ever looked at--can you cite your source for that information?


#30 Claypple

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Posted 25 April 2013 - 08:02 PM

Pam was precisely talking about the Thallium level, not any other toxic substances.
It is quite clear that its elevation was not caused by glazes or clay.

The reason I was questioning the legitimacy of the concern was that
there is a whole industry of "Detox products" which is promoting all kind of "poisoning" concerns.
Power of suggestion, all they need to seed to make us buy the products.

Pam, you said you had your levels of Thallium checked a year ago, and it was normal.
Why did you even check it a year ago? If you had some symptoms already at that time, then it is not the clay or glaze that caused it, because you had not started doing it yet.

#31 Frederik-W

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 08:02 AM

I agree 100% with Offcenter/Jim.
Many people seem to be paranoid about safety.
Take care but don't let common sense fly out of the window.

We are not working with plutonium.


Posted Image

#32 MichaelP

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 08:35 AM

there is a whole industry of "Detox products" which is promoting all kind of "poisoning" concerns.
Power of suggestion, all they need to seed to make us buy the products.

The same thing about "natural products" quackery and other "easy money" enterprises. I find it impossible to shake beliefs of those who are affected by this mass hypnosis, so I just stopped arguing with them. When I have patients who try to coerce me into going this route, I simply explain to them that I don't share those views and refuse to be a part of this. I'd stop respecting myself if I exploit people's ignorance to make money.

#33 Wyndham

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 08:47 AM

Into the fray.
I noticed Pam that you are from New Mexico.
I have lived in NM and remember the dust storms, winds and very erratic weather. I would think you have a greater chance of mineral ingestion just from the atmosphere in your local than any clay contamination.
Remember that Grants NM(100 miles away) is a uranium mining area, I do, I worked there for a short period of time.
Those trucks carrying the ore created dust clouds over the area from the unpaved roads.

Remember also the ABomb test that the fallout came from Utah and Nevada

Why assume that pottery is the problem instead of looking carefully at your day to day environment.

Many here, including myself , have been in clay for 20+ years and have lived a good life, using safe practices that anyone should.

My 2 cents and change.
Wyndham

#34 OffCenter

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 09:29 AM

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


Wow! I guess things have changed for the better in the past year or so. I thought when I posted the above the vast majority of posts after it would accuse me of being a dangerous kook for not thinking the pottery studio is a death trap. I guess most of you aren't as stupid as I thought! (That's a joke, people! If I didn't hate smilley faces I'd drag the one that looks like it is laughing over here but I do so I won't.)

Jim
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#35 Chris Campbell

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 10:39 AM

Well, that is one of the benefits of growing old ... We've seen dire predictions of imminent destruction come and go at least twice. I advise everyone to enjoy chocolate and red wine while they are still good for you!

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#36 Rebekah Krieger

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 04:51 PM


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


Wow! I guess things have changed for the better in the past year or so. I thought when I posted the above the vast majority of posts after it would accuse me of being a dangerous kook for not thinking the pottery studio is a death trap. I guess most of you aren't as stupid as I thought! (That's a joke, people! If I didn't hate smilley faces I'd drag the one that looks like it is laughing over here but I do so I won't.)

Jim


Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImageGreat advice as usual JIM! Posted ImagePosted Imagehttp://ceramicartsda...efault/cool.gif <3 <3 http://ceramicartsda...lt/rolleyes.gif
Learning On my Kick wheel with my vintage Paragon (from the late 1960's)

#37 OffCenter

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Posted 26 April 2013 - 05:34 PM



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


Wow! I guess things have changed for the better in the past year or so. I thought when I posted the above the vast majority of posts after it would accuse me of being a dangerous kook for not thinking the pottery studio is a death trap. I guess most of you aren't as stupid as I thought! (That's a joke, people! If I didn't hate smilley faces I'd drag the one that looks like it is laughing over here but I do so I won't.)

Jim


Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImageGreat advice as usual JIM! Posted ImagePosted Imagehttp://ceramicartsda...efault/cool.gif <3 <3 http://ceramicartsda...lt/rolleyes.gif


Thanks, Rubbylicious! I hope you've used up all the emoticons.

Jim
E pur si muove.

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#38 Rebekah Krieger

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 03:17 PM



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


Well, used to have no pupils. That is a picture of "Bob", my Art Classroom God, the holder of passes. I made that last summer, in my free time. I purposely didn't put pupils on it, because I wanted it to have the deity like look, that you commonly see in art. However, a couple weeks into the school year, I noticed that pupils appeared. Someone, thought that it needed them, and used a Sharpie to add them. Needless to say, I wasn't happy. I may try to refire it, to burn off the Sharpie. I've been thinking of doing a light mason stain on it anyway.



<3 Ben I love a man who can handle his slip
Learning On my Kick wheel with my vintage Paragon (from the late 1960's)

#39 Rebekah Krieger

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 03:18 PM




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


Wow! I guess things have changed for the better in the past year or so. I thought when I posted the above the vast majority of posts after it would accuse me of being a dangerous kook for not thinking the pottery studio is a death trap. I guess most of you aren't as stupid as I thought! (That's a joke, people! If I didn't hate smilley faces I'd drag the one that looks like it is laughing over here but I do so I won't.)

Jim


Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted ImageGreat advice as usual JIM! Posted ImagePosted Imagehttp://ceramicartsda...efault/cool.gif <3 <3 http://ceramicartsda...lt/rolleyes.gif


Thanks, Rubbylicious! I hope you've used up all the emoticons.

Jim


Only For you my love http://ceramicartsda...default/wub.gif
Learning On my Kick wheel with my vintage Paragon (from the late 1960's)

#40 Biglou13

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Posted 27 April 2013 - 05:36 PM

I stirred my glaze with hand today. And test consistency on knuckle and nail. Hydrometer ....bah humbug.....
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