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Lesson Plans

Re: Info need on health/safety in ceramics

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Thu, 6 Jun 1996 11:41:44 -0700 (PDT)

Your concerns about "health" issues relating to the pottery/
ceramics issue reminds me of some problems I have had. I
believe we have a huge problem on our hands- many art teachers
are unaware or ignore what dangers are inherent in our line of
work. About 5 years ago, I became very ill- for about 6 months
nauseated and had headaches, shooting pains up my arms and a
variety of other ailments. I went to my GP, had tests, even
went to the U of Minnesota Doctors- no one had an answer for
me. I finally talked to another art teacher at a local college
- I had heard that she had been having problems. As I des-
cribed my situation, she started asking me questions- detailing
almost verbatim my problems. She asked what chemicals I had
been in contact with- we finally found the culprit- I had
refinished the floor in my home with polyurethane- 3 coats in
a closed area. I had problems for 6 months. The important
thing to remember is: If chemicals, solvents or fumes bother
you..... you are already poisoned! For the 6 months it took
for my system to clear out the poison, I got sick when I came
in contact with someone smoking a cigarette. I stay away from
our kiln- for 10 years (1975-85) I had an electric kiln running
in my room- without any ventilation! Sounds stupid now, but
I wonder how many of you have had the ventilation system checked
out- markers, rubber cement, white out, solvents- cadmium in
our paints......your health could be at risk!