Question:

What precautions should I take in the studio?

Cadmium

Cadmium
Used as a pigment in glazes. Can cause respiratory
diseases, osteoporosis, cancer and other problems.
For more information, see Article on Cadmium!

Display and Storage

Display and Storage
Many potters don't like selling from their workshops, owing to the problems with interruption, but others have periodic sale days and have some of their pots on display when buyers come. A small area at the end of the studio, closed off so that everything isn't dusty, can be set aside for this purpose. This space is also a pot storage area, somewhere for the pots to go before they are sold and to hold any build up of stock.

Footwear

Open footwear, eg. sandals, etc, are inadequate.
Full protection is needed for your feet.

Keep your people safe

Keep your people safe
Keep hazardous material under supervision and away from children and untrained personnel. Always keep hazardous and toxic materials in their appropriate workspace. Do not move them into a situation that would allow them to become a hazard.

Vanadium Pentoxide

Vanadium Pentoxide
can cause Anemia; it a respiratory irritant.Uranium Compounds
cause kidney damage, not to mention the radioactivity.
For more information on Vanadium Pentoxide, Please see the Article: "Vanadium Pentoxide"

Eyes

Wear welding goggles when looking into a
glowing kiln, otherwise eye cataracts will develop
over the years.

Handling Toxic Materials

Hands should be washed immediately and
thoroughly after handling glaze materials and any
other toxic minerals.

Potassium

Potassium,Dichromate/Bichromate
is very poisonous. Can cause kidney failure and is
cancerous. Not recommended for tableware!

First Aid kit

First Aid Kit, safety clothing, eye protection, gloves, etc.
should be easily accessible.

Floors

Floors should be kept clean. Clean up spilt clay,
slip and water and other materials immediately.

Material Storage

Materials should be stored in a dry place. The large wheeled airtight bins are great for this, and your back!
Plaster should be set aside from these materials.

Auto cut-offs/failsafes

Auto cut off and failsafes are preferable and
should be checked periodically.

Powercord extensions

Powercord extensions
Avoid use of extension cords where they may
intersect areas where traffic is most likely.

Using dry ingredients

Make sure you wear a good dust mask when working with dry ingredients. Clay dust from greenware or from glaze components can get into the lungs and over the years cause emphysema. Whenever possible, wet mop your working area; never sweep with a broom, as this throws dust up into the air, which you might breath in.

Lifting

Extreme care should be exercised when lifting
heavy articles. It is essential for the studio potter to be aware of correct lifting techniques otherwise
physical damage is inevitable. A trolley should be
used if nescessary.

Benches

Arrangement of benches, bins, storage areas,
etc., should allow maximum freedom of movement.

Mica,/Muscovite,Vermiculite

Mica, Muscovite,
Vermiculite,
may contain traces of asbestos. Inhalation of dust will
lead to lung irritation, possibly cancer.

Provide Safety gear

Provide Safety gear
Provide control measures for the processes you are undertaking- clothing, masks, extraction systems and washing facilities. Maintain all equipment and have it serviced and checked for effectiveness.

Electrical appliances

Never turn off electrical appliances with wet
hands especially in combination with water on the
floor.

Fire extinguishers

Fire extinguishers should be placed in an
accessible position near the studio. If a fire
developes in the studio and you are keeping a fire
extinguisher there, the heat may prevent you from
reaching it.

clothing

Loose clothing which may accidentally find its
way into operating machinery should also be avoided.
Similarly with long hair -- as above.

Food and drink

Food and drink is best consumed outside the
studio or in an area where contamination by
chemicals, dust in the air, etc., is minimal.

Power accessibility

Accessibility of power and light switches: keep
switches and electrical cables away from water or if
this cannot be avoided sufficient protection against
contact should be made.

Copper

Copper
Salts are irritants to the skin, eyes, and mucous
membranes. Inhalation of copper dust and fume results
in irritation of the respiratory tract.
For more information on copper and its effects, Please see Article "Copper"

Plaster Storage/Use

Areas set aside for plaster work should be
cleaned thoroughly after use. Buckets and other
materials used for this work should be for plaster
work only, minimizing the possibility of foreign
mattter fouling up clay.

Talc/Tin Oxide

Talc/Tin Oxide

can result in 'stannosis', supposedly a benign
condition.

Sulpher Dioxide

Sulpher Dioxide
is a strong lung irritant and can form when firing
soluble metal salts.

Lead

Lead is an accumulative poison. It can be stored in the bone structure for years before a fatal dose is accumulated. Beware of raw lead forms, such as white or yellow lead, which are extremely toxic. Use lead frits instead. Do not use for tableware.
For more information on the effects of lead, Please see Article: "Lead"

Barium Carbonate

Barium Carbonate
A dangerous form of barium, as it forms a soluble
chloride in the stomach and accumulates. It affects
muscles, in particular the heart, increasing its
excitability, leading to high blood pressure and
internal bleeding. Will penetrate the skin. Not
recommended for food ware, as it may leach.

Eating and drinking

Workshop OH&S
Do not smoke, drink or eat in the pottery workshop.

Chromates

Chromates and Chromic Acid
may be cancerous. Will also enter the body through
the skin.
For more information on chrome and its effects, please see Articles: Chromium for Potters!

Clay mixers

Don't put your hand into operating clay mixers
etc., or you may find yourself neatly blended into the
mix.

Ceramics Frequently Asked Questions

What precautions should I take in the studio?

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automatic kiln sitter, should I trust it?

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