Ellen, add smoking to the list of things not to do while working
with.... It increases the absorption of heavy metals.
My experience was mainly with Mercury toxicity and my information
comes from excellent help from the New Jersey Poison Control Center
The state poison control center is a good source of information.
>From: Ellen Silverman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>Date: Wed, Aug 28, 2002, 5:01 PM
> (snip) if you do not grind your own lead
> pigment, wear gloves while working with lead pigments, and do not drink
> or eat while painting. Oh, and don't fixes the point of your brushes by
> twirling it on your tongue. That little trick got the hatters in London
> in trouble in the 19th C. Remember the Mad Hatter in Alice in
> Wonderland, pointed one to many brushes.
> Ellen Silverman
> k-8, New Brunswick, NJ