Health & Safety

  • Articles
    PREVENTING PHYSICAL STRAIN

    PREVENTING PHYSICAL STRAIN

    - by Polly Beach

    The term “back-breaking work” could be applied to pottery with little objection, for nearly all of us have suffered some form of discomfort after extended sessions throwing at the wheel, loading and unloading heavy boxes of clay, standing at the slab roller, bending at the wedging table, or shuffling heavy boxes of pots around at trade shows and craft fairs.

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  • Articles
    POTTING WHILE YOU'RE PREGNANT

    POTTING WHILE YOU’RE PREGNANT

    - by Polly Beach

    If you or a loved one is pregnant or contemplating pregnancy, there are some important precautions which you/she should take when working with clay. First, do not work with lead under any circumstances. This substance is a known cause of birth defects, even when ingested in trace amounts. If you have worked with lead in the past, consider having a

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  • Articles
    Ingredients of clay

    INGREDIENTS OF CLAY – MATERIAL SAFETY DATA SHEETS

    - by Polly Beach

    Anyone who works with clay should be aware of the potential hazards associated with ingredients of not only clay in general, but also the individual components of each specific clay or glaze used. For example, harmless as clay ingredients may seem, some ingredients of clay contain manganese to achieve a speckled, reduction look in an oxidation firing. But chronic inhalation

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  • Health & Safety

    Respirators & Dust Masks, Part 2

    - by Polly Beach

    By Monona Rossol From the Jan/Feb 2000 issue of Clay Times This is the second column on respiratory protection and recent changes in related federal safety regulations. In 1998, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rewrote the respiratory protection standard. Of all the changes, the most important for potters was the adoption of new standards for the filters that

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  • Health & Safety

    Respirators & Dust Masks, Part 1

    - by Polly Beach

    By Monona Rossol From the Nov/Dec 1999 issue of Clay Times This is the first of two columns that will discuss the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) regulations for respirators and how they apply to ceramic workers. Dust masks are respirators. First, let’s correct a common misconception that “dusts masks” are exempt from OSHA fit testing, training, and other

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  • Glazing

    Testing for Barium Leaching

    - by Polly Beach

    By Monona Rossol Final segment of a three-part series from the March/April 1996 issue of Clay Times The EPA recognizes the toxicity of various metals by setting standards for them in our drinking water. There are two types of standards: 1) Maximum Contamination Levels (MCLs) which are enforceable; and 2) Drinking Water Health Advisories (HAs). The EPA standard for barium

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  • Glazing

    Common Sense About Barium Leaching

    - by Polly Beach

    By Monona Rossol Part two of a three-part series on barium from the January 1996 issue of Clay Times I’m old enough to remember that the tests for leaching of barium in the ’70s and ’80s were done primarily to settle an argument. Some potters insisted that high fired glazes don’t leach. Since barium was a common toxic flux for

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  • Glazing

    Barium Glazes: How Safe?

    - by Polly Beach

    Barium Glazes: How Safe? By Monona Rossol Part one of a three-part Series on barium from the December 1995 issue of Clay Times Barium glazes do not present an unreasonable hazard to potters as long as they understand barium’s health effects, use local ventilation (a spray booth or other area in which powdered materials can be handled safely), wear protective

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