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Re: plaster sculpture-Sidnie

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From: Sidnie Miller (smiller_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Tue Sep 07 2004 - 12:31:27 PDT


I use all kinds of poisons and acids in my classroom and high school kids are only slightly smarter than middle school. You just have to be really careful and stress the possible dangers involved. We can't protect them from everything, but teaching them how to handle various media is really important. Go outside and use dust masks when you're mixing anything with a dust that rises. Just breathing plain old dirt is bad for you, but trust me, there is ample dirt to breathe in the desert where I live--just learn how to protect yourself and your students. Plaster is a great idea. Go for it! Sid Now I'll have to tell you the great story of how a bunch of high school boys had some plaster dust and some razor blades and they cut it and laid it out in lines and dared each other and sure enough, one of them snorted it up his nose--when it hit the mucous membranes and formed plaster he had to have it roto-rootered out by a surgeon!! A boy in Reno mixed up a bucket of plaster and thought it felt cool as it
 started to heat up. By the time he felt it burning him his hand was securely trapped in the bucket. He lost a couple of fingers. Washoe Co. schools now treat plaster of paris as a toxic substance.

>>> ckerch@hotmail.com 09/03/2004 11:30:22 PM >>>
You wrote: Understand that there is nothing good about breathing plaster
dust!!!
>Asbestos is just a small fine particle that gets into your lungs and
>stays there. Dust does this also and is also dangerous. Plaster dust
>forms plaster when it hits mucous membranes.

So is introducing Plaster Sculpture a bad thing? Just wondering because it
is, or was now, a project I had intended to work on with my 8th graders in a
couple of weeks. Now, I'm rethinking the project I had in mind and a bit
worried about the one I did with my kids last year creating simulated lava.
Any insight to using plaster or not using plaster and maybe suggesting an
alternative is greatly appreciated.

Mahalo,
Cathy
Honolulu, HI

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