My question is simple: Might there be a viral or bacterial
risk associated with cutting Ivory that is several decades old? (Is
there a Veterinarian in the house?)
Probably not any bacteria or viral stuff, but the father of a good
friend died of lung cancer. He was a maker of hand turned thimbles
made from exotic woods, bone and ivory. His doctors told his daughter
that the bone and ivory he had been cutting and turning for decades
was probably a significant cause. I think they said the dust was
carcinogenic but, of that, I am not sure. That’s also third hand
and he probably cut far more over the years than you
would for a few pieces of jewelry, but be careful if you are going to
cut much of it. Maybe cut under water and wear mask for sure.
As far as I know, my friend’s father didn’t take any precautions or
wear protective masks because he was unaware of any dangerous side
effects. He was only about 55 or 60.
Bernardine Fine Art Jewelry