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Pregnancy Precautions


#1

Hi Betsey, John Burgess, Pringles and everyone who answered the
anticlastic raising portion of my beginning education - it’s
been 8 weeks now! Of course everything fell right out of my head
when I caught the “thing” that was going around! Too much
inhaling of “stuff”.

I do have another question however, my husband and I are working
on the procreation thing; I’m thinking that I’ll have to stop
with any jewelry activities (with the exception of WEARING it!
– especially my tiara – this is an office joke) since there
are so many chemicals and fumes that I stick my face in while
working. Do I need to get a Darth Vader suit for safety? I know
I joke around, but it’s only because I’m very serious and
nervous!


#2

G’day; Now I wonder what sort of ‘stuff’ that might be?

    I do have another question however, my husband and I are
working on the procreation thing;

Now that can be great fun - if I can remember all those years
ago… Except the last bit, I gather.

   there are so many chemicals and fumes that I stick my face
in while working. Do I need to get a Darth Vader suit for
safety? I

I personally wouldn’t worry too much - provided, that you have a
really good ventilation system, and keep that nice face away
from whatever fumes you produce. Just remember that the word
’poison’ is another word for ‘too much’. If you are really
worried, make a careful list of what fumes you are likely to
encounter, and take it to your friendly neighbourhood medical
practicioner, and see what he/she says. After all, that is part
of what they charge high fees for. Some fluxes contain
fluorides, which can be bad, but you can use plain borax which
has been used for hard soldering for thousands of years. When
filing or sanding silver, wear a mask (not however over the top
like Darth Vader’s. Just be very careful and think about what
you are going to do. And more power to your elbow. Or something.
And happy reproducing. Cheers,

        /\
       / /    John Burgess, 
      / /
     / //\    @John_Burgess2
    / / \ \
   / (___) \
  (_________)

#3
Do I need to get a Darth Vader suit for safety? I know
I joke around, but it's only because I'm very serious and
nervous!

There is a version of the “Darth Vader” suit concept that is
practical! Racal, an industrial safety mfg, makes a dust mask
that can be fitted with vapor rated filters. It is more than a
simple face mask. It provides filtered air under slight
pressure to the inside of a face mask with a lightly sealing
tyvek face shield. Of all the face shield/face mask/etc. I
have worn, it is the most comfortable. Surprisingly, it is also
very quiet. It is intended for dust filtration, but activated
charcoal and other filters for chemical and heavy metal removal
can be gotten. It’s pricy at about $350, but when the health of
the next genration is at stake, this might be acceptable. Many
of the woodworking supply stores sell the unit, as do many
safety supply companies. The model is the “Airmate 3 Dust
Helmet”. I’d try the safety companies, because they are more
aware of the chemical and vapor filtration than woodworking
suppliers. If you are interested, and can’t find it, drop a
line, and I’ll give you a more specific lead, or mail you
product sheet.

No, I’m not in the business of selling these things. I don’t
have any relationship with Racal or with any company that sells
such products, other than to buy from them when I need their
products. I am increasingly aware of safety hazards, as I get
older and (hopefully) wiser!

Marrin Fleet
@Marrin_and_Mary_Dell


#4

Hi,

This is something I have asked my doctors about, and their
response is “you should be taking the same kind of precautions
before you get pregnant as you need to during pregnancy” I guess
nasty things tend to build up in your system and stay there a
while so you should be “clean” before trying. I tried to scare
them with silver dust, polishing compounds, enamels, gas fumes
and boiling pickle. In their opinion adequate ventilation and a
respirator should be safe, and should be used whether procreating
or not of course. I do know several jewelers who have born
children and worked throughout the pregnancy and a few (mostly
common sense) tips I gleaned when I was asking around are
included below:

-Act like you have a bad back, consider each motion first. Lift
carefully and be over cautious in this matter.

-Wear the a good respirator from the time you enter the area
until you leave it, walk out of the studio with it on and leave
it outside so you put it on before you re-enter the workspace. At
the same time, take more breaks out of studio…it puts more
stress on your cardiovascular system when wearing the mask so you
should break before you start noticing that your getting tired.
Check with an expert, but if your respirator is working properly
you shouldn’t smell any of that nasty stuff in the air.

-Wear heavy duty chemical protectant gloves more often than you
are used to, for anything involving solvents, acids etc. Buy
those acid resistant clumsy feeling ones…clumsy but way more
effective than playtex or surgical gloves which I prefer.

And the best advice an experienced mom/jeweler gave me “if you
stop to wonder if you should be doing it, don’t.” If there is
ever a problem you don’t want to be second guessing your previous
actions and wondering if you did, or are doing anything wrong.
When it comes down to it no one is sure of the effect the things
we use can have in this sort of situation and a little paranoia
in this case could end up being a healthy thing in the long term.

Off I go to work in my poorly ventilated studio with my left
over leaded enamels…

Do what I say, not what I do.

Good work…

Karen
@Karenworks (but not for long!)


#5

hi m. erdman,

having been pregnant twice, oops, i mean going through pregnancy
twice with my wife, i know something about this.

first, please stop sticking your face into chemicals for your
own sake, though i hope you are just exagerating.

what you want to know, is what chemicals used in jewelry making
are known teratogens (things that can physically or
nuerologically harm your child in utero, thalidamide or accutane
being well known teratogens).one can get a list from one’s obgyn
for the better known teratogens. cyanide can cross the placenta
into an unborn child as well as the alcohol in boric acid
solution that can be inhaled. it is not known how little
exposure to alcohol can effect an unborn child (fetal alcohol
syndrome or fetal alcohol affect). my mother drank and smoked
while pregnant and i can barely type. seriously, some moms are
just more susceptable to these teratogens than other moms. it is
best, or better yet essential not to drink smoke, take drugs not
reccomennded by your obgyn. it’s a pretty safe bet that
breathing pickle fumes won’t do any good to you or you’re baby.
make a list of the chemicals that you use in the shop and
consult your obgyn. in spite of the warnings above, i suppose
one should be able to conceive and carry a child in a jewelry
shop environ provided that the jewelry shop is a safe one.

procreation can be fun as long as one is not thinking about it
while doing it. speaking from small experience…

best regards,
geo fox


#6

Karen,

As another enamelist, I would ask you if you feel you need the
respirator because you are dusting dry enamels? Since I wet-pack
(for cloisonne) all my work, I don’t get the airborne particles,
but maybe I’m missing something.


#7

Yes, this question is lurking in my mind also, as this
"procreation thing" will be coming up for me too eventually. I
remember in college days that the metalsmithing/jewelry teacher
used to say that if anyone in the class was pregnant, they would
have to quit the class. Even though there seemed to be adequate
ventelation -ventelated soldering booths where pickleing and
etching were also done in, hooded polishing machines. I am
trying to do jewelry full time and would not want to have to stop
for 9 months. Would a filtered respirator help? Should I not
even take the chance and stick to cold fusion methods of joining?
What about sanding/polishing? Should I just stick to beading?
Maybe just adopt?

Jill
@jandr
http://members.tripod.com/~jilk


#8

Check the Sept '97 issue of Crafts Reports magazine. I can’t
locate my issue right now (and can’t remember all the
specifics), but the issue was all about shop safety. I do
remember that they specifically mentioned boric acid as deterrent
to the ability to procreate. In men if affects their ability to
perform the necessary function required for procreation. There
was another chemical mentioned that could cause spontaneous
abortion and problems with breast milk. Crafts Report is on the
Web somewhere. Maybe they will post a copy of the article if
requested. If you can’t find a copy, let me know and I will
"dig" mine out. A friend of mine has been thinking about another
child and based on her research, she decided that she would have
to stop all metal work months before she became pregnant to allow
her body to dispose of all contaminants (which hang around for
awhile), stay away for nine months and then wait until she
stopped breast feeding. Cold connections aren’t the solution,
you shouldn’t file, sand, polish, clean chemically, etc. etc.,
etc… Then again, these articles may be overstating - for
reasons of liability.

Good luck!

Nancy

E-mail: @nbwidmer


#9
   I remember in college days that the metalsmithing/jewelry
teacher used to say that if anyone in the class was pregnant,
they would have to quit the class. 

G’day; That sounds as though the teacher was mostly scared of
your hungry litigant-prone lawyers.

Would a filtered respirator help?

Someone mentioned a RACALL helmet respirator and shield. Now I
do a good deal of wood turning and other woodworking, and produce
clouds of fine dust which is bad for one. Especially as I have
asthma and sometimes work in toxic timbers such as yew, holly,
and some more exotic - and poisonous ones. Even our
common-or-bush Rimu makes me cough and splutter and carry on. I
also wear it when carving material like jade The Racall consists
of a full face shield under which I wear glasses and a mate of
mine wears a full beard. (I doubt you’ll need room for a beard
though; maybe at Christmas?) At the top of the helmet is a very
efficient filter and a small light electric motor pulls air
through the filter and down the face, thus eliminating the
dreaded fogging up. I do believe that special filters could be
available to completely absorb anything from fibre-glass resins
to hydrogen cyanide. The Racall isn’t cheap but I have had mine
for 4 years and never use my woodworking machines without it. I
automatically put it on ten minutes ago to use my 10 inch
circular saw and my lathe - which is what prompted me to write
this. I wrap a piece of overhead projector transparency film
across the face mask, holding it in place with masking tape;
when it gets scratched Iuse another piece. Cheap. My Racall
works off 3 rechargeable AA batteries, which last for well over 3
hours, but I keep a spare set charged and ready. I don’t have
the toxic-material filters for the Racall but use a Moldex
half-respirator when I do anything that gives off nasty
vapours. You can’t even smell the rotten egg gas, hydrogen
sulphide through that. Oh and by the way, since nobody else has
mentioned it, did you know that hydrogen sulphide is as equally
poisonous as hydrogen cyanide? One’s red blood cells have a
great affinity for both and don’t then have room for essential
oxygen. So one tends to asphyxiate rapidly

Like I said in an earlier post, do get on to your general
practicioner, or a industrial chemicals adviser. Most of us on
the list are very well meaning, but you really need expert advice
(You mean a bloke with a briefcase 50 miles from home? Or a
drip under pressure? - bin there, done that!) No, use the
yellow pages. > Maybe just adopt?

Just be very careful and get what you are given - and enjoy it
all. The whole business is a grand lottery anyway! But they
often turn out OK eventually. One of mine was a real scallywag,
including turning three cars over! But he is now a pillar of
society, in demand as a Rotary Speaker!! Butter wouldn’t melt!
Cheers and happy creating. –

        /\
       / /    John Burgess, 
      / /
     / //\    @John_Burgess2
    / / \ \
   / (___) \
  (_________)

#10
Karen, As another enamelist, I would ask you if you feel you
need the respirator because you are dusting dry enamels? Since
I wet-pack (for cloisonne) all my work, I don't get the
airborne particles, but maybe I'm missing something.  

Hi, even if you wet pack your enamels you must deal with them
dry at some point. When you open them, mix them with the binder
and then again when you let them dry before firing (which you
really should do). If you are wet packing you probably grind them
down at some point which produces more airborne particles. This
is besides the fact that the little particles can easily spread
around the studio and come back to haunt you in seemingly
innocent dust. If you have ever read the MSDS sheet on EVEN
lead free enamels it is very important that you protect
yourself…especially as I mentioned before if you are a female
of child bearing age.

I am going to tell you about what the book “Artist Beware” by
Michael McCann, Ph.D. C.I.H. said were possible enameling
hazards:

-Kiln fumes and thermal burns

-solutions used to clean the metal prior to enameling including
sulfuric and nitric and sparex.

-inhalation of lead, quartz, borax or boric acid as well as other
raw materials

-If any is left on clothing or skin there is a possible problem
with ingestion.

-the binding agents can cause respiratory allergies.

-toxic metals, fluorides and other fumes can be emitted during
the firing process.

This is a very short list of possible problems…I hope I didn’t
give you way more info than you wanted or needed. I have no
connection whatsoever with this book, I just use it to scare
myself into being more careful sometimes…better safe when sorry
when talking about procreating.

Karen
karenworks@aol.com


#11
   Crafts Report is on the Web somewhere. Maybe they will post
a copy of the article if requested.

hey folks, here is the craft report web site:

good luck!
ema

@emanuela_aureli


#12

Hello Karan,

really should do). If you are wet packing you probably grind them
down at some point which produces more airborne particles. This

I’m certainly no expert on enammeling but the times I’ve tried
it, I’ve always ground down wet with a mortar and pestle which
allowed me to float off any unwanted dust and debris that might
be in the enamel.

Is the book you mentioned “Artist Beware” very pricey as I could
be interested in buying a copy myself.

Regards,

Kerry
| Website - http://www.bennie.demon.co.uk/ |
| Hand made Celtic and Scottish Jewellery, Katunayake, Creagorry, |
|Isle of Benbecula, Outer Hebrides HS7 5PG Kingdom of Scotland |
|Tel:44 1870 602677 Fax:44 1870 602956 Mobile:44 85-005-9162 |


#13

Karen & Kerry,

Subject line notwithstanding, this has to do with enamelling. I
purchase all my enamels already ground to 80 grit or higher and
simply wash them to remove impurities, small particles, etc. What
is the purpose of grinding enamels further in a mortar & pestle?


#14

Hi,

I read somewhere that it’s worth grinding powdered enamels again
because it helps to loosen up any impurities which are tthen
washed away. As I said before, I’m no expert on enamelling and so
I just have to take advice I read at face value without the
benefit of first-hand experience.

Regards,

Kerry
| Website - http://www.bennie.demon.co.uk/ |
| Hand made Celtic and Scottish Jewellery, Katunayake, Creagorry, |
|Isle of Benbecula, Outer Hebrides HS7 5PG Kingdom of Scotland |
|Tel:44 1870 602677 Fax:44 1870 602956 Mobile:44 85-005-9162 |


#15

Grinding enamels makes them finer and creates a different effect
on your piece. @mbm


#16
   I read somewhere that it's worth grinding powdered enamels
again because it helps to loosen up any impurities which are
tthen washed away. 

G’day; If I might slip in my pennyworth here, I would suggest
that when grinding enamels it would be a good idea to do the
grinding with some water in the mortar to avoid any fine dusts
arising. Cheers,

        /\
       / /    John Burgess, 
      / /
     / //\    @John_Burgess2
    / / \ \
   / (___) \
  (_________)

#17
hey folks, here is the craft report web site:
http://www.craftsreport.com/

Hey thanks! this is a good one - I’ll be sifting through and see
what I can find! See you later!

MammaWannabe Erdman


#18

Marion,

Regarding your tip on grinding enamels, what kind of different
effect does this have? I was taught to wash and/or sift enamels
thoroughly before use, not just to flush away impurities, but
also to get rid of the very fine grains which don’t have the
transparency of the larger ones. It seems that by grinding the
powders, you would be defeating the very purpose of washing them
in the first place, or am I completely missing something here?


#19
Subject line notwithstanding, this has to do with enamelling. I
purchase all my enamels already ground to 80 grit or higher and
simply wash them to remove impurities, small particles, etc. What
is the purpose of grinding enamels further in a mortar & pestle?

Your question was not directed to me, but you had a question which
I thought you were seriously asking as to why grind enamels smaller
than 80 grit. I grind to a fine powder and mix with oil when doing
limoge or for use when doing grisaille enameling. You can also
grind very fine, mix with oil and spray onto your metal. Dottie
Wood


#20

dottie, can you give me some sources for purchasing enamels. i’m
in atlanta and the only thing i can find is that low temp curing
kind. i want the real deal. i have a little beahive kiln that i use
for granulation that would work also for enamels. thanx in advance
scott