I have gotten so much mail from artsednet in the past few days I am not sure
which mailing I originally saw the reference to using fine powdered silica
in bulk form and repackaging it in smaller film canisters to be used as a
desiccant in paper storing areas of a school art room. This practice seemed
to me to be a potential hazard. I don't know if you have ever seen large
quantities of this stuff but it so finely powdered that it literally hangs in
the air if it is poured from one container to another or is stirred up in any
way. I did not want to be alarmist in any way but safety in handling any fine
powders is very important. Going through my mail I see that Marvin Bartel has
written a very good review of his 40+ years of responsible handling in the
classroom of substances containing fine powders.
He should be applauded for putting some real life perspective on the subject
of safety in the classroom when handling fine powders.
I too have not canceled the beach vacation or want OSHA to confiscate the
sand boxes at preschool.
In the case of silica, I think we can safely say that ignorance is not bliss.
Enjoy the beach! Build those sandcastles!
Cheers from Williamsburg.