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jolieo

How Do You Deal With Toxic Chemicals

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Hi

So I just got John Britts mid fire glaze book. Boy is it beautiful!

So of course I am not empowered yet, some intimidated , which I should be.

 

My question to you is: how do you deal with the toxic chemicals ? I did a search and I got a hit on magnesium oxide , I believe, and the consensus was that no one bothered with it. If you do bother with it , what precautions do you take. I am assuming on the very toxic, full ventilator, gloves,safety glasses, clothing washed separately. But the fumes! Does everyone have an out door kiln , everyone vented? My kiln is tiny, should I be saving up to vent?My kiln is in a shed , with double doors that open up . I figure I can open up the doors , blow a fan towards the kiln. Mr Britt talks of fumes being in several loads afterwards. He also talks of not not actually knowing how toxic combining , or firing or combining and firing can be because of no tests having been done. Then there is the dust that should be mopped not swept. Should nothing else be in my shed?

What do you keep the toxic stuff in ? And where do you get it? Is there a book that is better on this stuff? A Google gave me a gaggle of books! Or is one just as good as another?

I am paranoid, I am very leery of chemicals. I just have to know what to do. I probsbly won't dive into a bunch of toxic stuff unless I see a real need, but the dry chemicals are all a hazard by virtue of being dry and inhalable ,eye irritant etc.

It would reassure me to know what you do. Jolie

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I sense some panic here.

I'll start with some of the high points. First, the big health problems potters *tend* to face from our chemicals are from long term exposure and/or poor studio hygiene. Vented kilns, NIOSH approved respirators while glaze mixing, gloves, overalls and mopping on a regular basis are all mandatory to one degree or another, or should be. Food and beverages shouldn't be around your workspace.

 

Storage of materials: i personally don't have the space to be able to leave all my materials in the bags they come in, nor do I have a fancy glaze bench with the tilt out bins. So I decant materials into plastic bins (outdoors in full regalia) for the things that require larger quantities on hand, and canning jars for things like colourants and things I don't use a lot of. Why canning jars? I have a lot of them, and I think they're pretty. Others use small plastic boxes. Anything that can be wiped down with a sponge to keep dust down, and be easily labeled with a permanent marker. (acetone removes marker, if you need to relable later)

 

In regards to books specific to health and safety, Mononna Rossol is a health and safety advocate for artists of all media. Anything with her name attached is a good resource.

 

Also, a good article, plus a website you should know if you're glaze mixing. The articles section is extensive and good.

 

http://digitalfire.com/4sight/education/being_realistic_about_toxicity_and_safety_in_ceramics_278.html

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How timely....my copy of McCann's Artist Beware arrived just today! Subtitle is "The Hazards and Precautions in Working with Art and Craft Materials". First chapter is titled "Is Your Art Killing You". Gee, I can hardly wait to read this thing.

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Guest JBaymore

How timely....my copy of McCann's Artist Beware arrived just today! Subtitle is "The Hazards and Precautions in Working with Art and Craft Materials". First chapter is titled "Is Your Art Killing You". Gee, I can hardly wait to read this thing.

 

Lee, the reason I've been recommending it, and it is on my reading list for the ceramic toxicology section at the college, is because what you don't know CAN sometimes hurt you.  But..... accurate information is important... not a lot of the fear-mongering and rumor mill stuff that goes around in the clay community. 

 

Also get on the ACTS-NY newsletter list from Mononna Rossol.

 

best,

 

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

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