We are pleased to see this professional artist’s attention to potential respiratory hazards in her studio classroom.
(We also love the sculptural impact of the flexible extraction arms!)
Working with glass potential exposures
Minerals and metals are used to create beautifully colored glass that studio artists are drawn to.
Glass suppliers may use proprietary recipes for the frit, stringers and sheets they supply. Therefore, it may not be clear exactly which elements are in the glass you buy.
Some glass-working techniques, such as fuming, apply a very thin layer of vaporized metals in the form of particles to a glass surface.
While different glasses may have varied degrees of reaction to the high heat of torches, it appears they all experience some thermal decomposition.
This temporary disorganization of the glass allows versions of its ingredients to become airborne.
Finishing techniques may include grinding or sandblasting, and acids.
Metal particles – a respiratory hazard
Any mention of metals and particles makes us take notice because we’ve tested the ability of our fume extractors to remove airborne heat-generated metal particles from a workspace.
Fumed glass may be beautiful, but vaporized metals can harm your lungs.
Some metal fumes cause illness. Manganese fumes, for example, can cause a nervous system disorder similar to Parkinson’s. Chromium fume can cause cancer.
Long lives of creativity
We want artists to work comfortably with the media that attracts them. Today you may be working in glass. Tomorrow, you may be working with 3D printers.
It’s smart to view a career in the arts as one that lasts a lifetime. Set up your workspace accordingly.
Address health and safety issues in the studio today. You won’t regret it in the decades to come.
Give us a call
If you are seeking respiratory safeguards for your studio, give our applications specialists a call at 800.799.4609.
Health Hazard Evaluation
Safety in Torchville
Lampworking (flameworking) health and safety guidelines
Safety in the kiln-glass studio
Art and craft safety guide
Hot glass forum, Fuming? Help