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"Dangers of Pottery" Plea

By April 24, 2009

I recently came across a blog in which someone was pleading with the blogger to tell a loved one not to take ceramics, because they'd heard it was full of dangerous chemicals. They didn't want their loved one to get sick.

Unfortunately, the blogger isn't a potter. Although in many ways the blog answer was correct --- the three main danger areas are breathing in clay particles, breathing in glaze material particles, and breathing in noxious gases from the firing --- the blogger seemed to believe that all glazes contain toxic heavy metals (including lead), as well as making a few other not-exactly comments.

Nearly all of us who work in clay realize we ought not breath in huge amounts of clay dust or use a spray gun without a vented booth and the proper respirator. Most of us realize that the tang in the air while firing isn't exactly a good thing to breath in.

Yes! Do know the potential health problems that can occur. But also please do recognize that pottery is like a lot of other activities. Respect the hazards, and you'll avoid trouble. Here's some articles to point you in the right direction:

Happy and Safe Potting!

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