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[Enamel Bits] Eye damage


#1

I know that the discussion of eye damage in enamelling has been
going on for years, but can anyone give me a pointer towards
evidence of actual eye damage that has been experienced by
enamellers? Has any scientific research been done in this area?

I would references I can quote.

Thanks.

Pat Johnson
Pat Johnson


#2

Speaking of eye damage----should one protect their eyes when
soldering silver and gold,etc. on a regular basis? Lisa Newark, DE


#3

Hi Lisa, If you are in your studio, wear your safety glasses.
End of story! They are cheaper than eye surgery and much less
painful.

Regards,
Skip

Skip Meister
@Skip_Meister
Orchid Jewelry Listserve Member
N.R.A. Endowment &
Certified Instructor
in all disciplines
Certified Illinois D.N.R.
Hunter Ed, Instructor
ICQ 37319071


#4

Speaking of eye damage----should one protect their eyes when
soldering silver and gold,etc. on a regular basis?

Here is the URL for the people who make protective glasses a lot
of us use for glass beadmaking, with similar temperatures and
risks. They have an email address to ask for questions related to
eye protection, but the link to Products leads to a lot of
http://www.auralens.com/ Geo. Stanford


#5

Hi Pat, I can’t help specifically with your question with eye
damage but I can tell you this. I have noticed much less eye
strain at the end of the day since I started using those special
safety glasses made for enameling rather than just plain old
shaded glasses. I have a harder time gauging the color of the
enamel while firing and it’s “doneness” but I think it’s a good
trade.

Karen

Northern Illinois…91 degrees with 64% humidity, bring
on the summer art shows!


#6

Dear Karen and others who are writing on this topic,

Thanks for your comments. I have now received about
a very helpful site which has good The url is
www.glasschell.com. To get to the press the button
under the picture of the spectacles on the products page.

It is interesting to compare it to the auralens web page
(http://www.auralens.com). I would be interested to read any
comments about this.

Pat


#7

Dear Lisa, if it helps to reassure, I have been soldering gold
and silver for more than forty years, and my eyes are OK. I do
use protective welding glasses for soldering platinum at high
temperatures and for doing remelts. But for the rest, I seem to
have managed quite well with what I would call "normal soldering"
without specific eye protection other than magnifying lens.

Solder on,
Rex from Oz


#8

Pat, I would have responded sooner but am in the midst of a very
busy show season. I have evidence for you of the extent and type
of eye damage caused specifically from enameling.

I started enameling professionally in 1972 and didn’t wear any
eye protection until 1981 when I first heard about calobar lenses
and their ability to filter out the specific band width of
infrared which can harm the eye during enameling. In 1984 I was
diagnosed with a posterior subcapsular cataract in the center of
the lens of my right eye only. This kind of cataract closely
resembles a senile cataract but in my case (I was 39 at the time
of diagnosis) there appeared to be no specific cause for the
cataract. I began doing research with the help of an occupational
safety and health doc at SF General Hospital. I had read one
article from Glass on Metall, a study in which rabbits were
exposed to a high dose of the same band width of infrared as I
and developed the same kind of cataracts. My doctor went to the
local VA Hospital and began researching what the military had
discovered and in her research found more links to intensive
infrared exposure and cataract development. The kind of cataract
associated with enameling is not a glassblower’s cataract. The
cataract forms as the eye is exposed for several seconds to the
heat of the kiln as the door is opened and closed. The exposure
has to be a repeated heat up/cool down of the front of the eye
for several hours a day over a long period of time. I was
producing a lot of small items and firing for 6-8 hours a day at
the time the cataract formed. I had the cataract in only one eye
because of the way the kiln door was hinged and the angl at which
I stood to take pieces in an out. Most enamelists don’t open and
close the kiln door every few minutes for hours on end so I have
reason to believe my case may be an anomaly. Nevertheless I
think it important to wear eye protection when firing. The
recommended eyewear is still calobar made by American Optical.
It is a glass lens which can be ground for prescriptions and
comes in 3 strengths of visible spectrum light filtration.

As for me, I had cataract surgery in 1988 and have since
developed complications related to that surgery which this year
necessitated a corneal transplant. Protect your eyes!

Judy


#9

Dear Judy,

Thanks for your most compelling reply to my question. Do you
mind if I mention your experience in an article I am writing for
the British Society of Enamellers newsletter? I would send you
the text for your approval and correction before printing.

Please see a few more questions below:

I started enameling professionally in 1972 and didn’t wear any
eye protection until 1981 when I first heard about calobar lenses
and their ability to filter out the specific band width of
infrared which can harm the eye during enameling.

Can you tell me what this band width is?

 The recommended eyewear is still calobar made by American
Optical. It is a glass lens which can be ground for
prescriptions and comes in 3 strengths of visible spectrum
light filtration. 

Where do you obtain this and how does it differ/compare with
other types of protective eyewear on the market?

   As for me, I had cataract surgery in 1988 and have since
developed complications related to that surgery which this
year necessitated a corneal transplant.  Protect your eyes! 

Indeed. And good luck with your busy summer season.

Regards,

Pat


#10

Thanks for your comments. I have now received about
a very helpful site which has good The url is
www.glasschell.com. To get to the press the button
under the picture of the spectacles on the products page.

Pat, could you check this URL? I get an error message of “site
not found” with this URL as listed…

thanks.


#11
   Pat,  could you check this URL?  I get an error message of
"site not found" with this URL as listed... 

My mistake. Its http://www.glassschell.com Write again if this
doesn’t work.

Pat


#12

I recently sprung some rather big bucks on some eyewear for
enameling…according to the glassschell people I need something
different. I have asked two opthamologists who were incredibly
uninterested in the problem what exactly is best to use. do I
need the gold coated type?

Any hard evidence anyone has would be appreciated, maybe your
opthamologists are more inclined to research it?

Karen

Northern Illinois…in the middle of show season.


#13

Karen, The most important factor to consider when obtaining eye
protection for enameling is the size of the kiln (if you use a
kiln) and the frequency of opening the kiln door in a given
period of time. The secondary factor is how much and what kind
of “hot” metal work you do which requires similar but different
eye protection. Calobar glasses sold through most Industrial
safety supply houses and manufactured by American Optical cost
relatively little and provide complete protection from the IR put
out by enameling kilns. Calobar does, however, block a
significant portion of the visible light spectrum and therefore
it is hard to see the piece in the kiln until you adjust. The
more expensive glasses with specialized laminations and coatings
filter for a variety of different scenarios and are therefore
great if you are combining, for example, gold granulation and
some enameling. These glasses are also good at giving maximum
protection while allowing maximal visible light to come through.
Good safety glasses should be tailored to the specific kind of
work you are doing. Most Ophthalmologists are uninformed about
eye safety data. The place to get help is from Occupational
Safety and Health specialists. A lot of research into eye damage
due to IR and UV has been compiled by the US military and is
probably available for public perusal.

Good luck,
Judy