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Re:[teacherartexchange] kiln fumes

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From: Jerry Vilenski (jvilenski_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Fri May 09 2008 - 12:28:29 PDT


By all means, take some steps to minimize your and
your student's exposure to fumes from your kiln. Both
clay and glazes contain any number of toxic elements,
from asbestos in clay to trace amounts of lead and
cadmium in glaze that can harm you, given enough
exposure. At least get your concerns in writing to
your supervisors in order to make a case for adequate
ventilation.
I taught for many years in converted classrooms with a
kiln in the corner, unvented except for a window near
the kiln, and I am here to tell you that I worried
every day about what was happpening to me and my
students. This is 2008, and enough is known about
toxicity in clay products to raise at least an OSHA
alarm. Do NOT go back into that room pregnant and
use the kiln if firing at night is not an option. The
chance may be minimal to some, but why take a chance?

Jerry

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