surely you have considered that eating a lot of tuna fish and fresh
fish particularly imported from china have high levels of mercury
Also the environment..old houses with lead pipes are infamous for
this. A radiologist friend, had his house sanded a few months ago in
New Orleans the dust from the sanding had a very high concentration
of lead.His son had to be hospitalized and his two pets died from
being in the yard with it for three days..so look at environment
too..as I'm sure you have..Also cadmium build up from soldering in a
totally irresponsible way would take years...I'm betting you take
precautions..so I'd look at the school's studio, groundwater at your
house,the house site and environment as much as lapidary, but a
thorough testing is in order..also it is not uncommon to have some
elevated blood levels of heavy metals if you live in formerly
industrial areas or their dumps.
I had a blood test three months ago thinking that some of my health
issues were from jewelry making and fully expected to find elevated
levels of gold,silver,and cadmium -from years of cadmium filled
solder..it wasn't there,but i eat far less fish than I did in New
So..supposing you re leaving the lead paint chips alone..and wearing
at least a particle mask for lapidary I'd look at tuna or fish and
their source,and the environment, well ventilated spaces are what
you should find.
American Lab Supply and a number of other hardware,paint and
plumbing suppliers carry a swab that you open,snap the head of the
tube which releases the liquid into the shaft and then to the swab
and rub on a surface,the reagent reacts if x metal is present..It
comes in lead,cobalt,zinc,and a few other varieties.i can send you
the catalog link if interested..
i am curious as you are.plesae post when you know what's happened..