search  current discussion  categories  safety - toxicity 

toxic and hazardous junk everywhere we look

updated thu 17 jul 03


Bill Edwards on wed 16 jul 03

Sometimes I wince when I see the terms used to
describe what one might consider toxic. Seems that the
terms are used even at times when a material may be
suspect at best or better suited to the term
I hate providing credentials but I had to comply for
years as a manufacturer of art products in raw form
for artists to use. I worked with toxicologists while
developing all 140 of my formulaes during that
sressful time in my life. I learned a little bit!

Also while we may not be in the business of suppplying
trace elements or micro-amounts of anything....Most
glazes have some release when coloring oxides are used
so that can be mis-leading or confusing. Its a good
statement of course but the fact is, if you are going
to produce materials that the public will use for food
service or personal contact over a period of time, lab
testing is the only way you will know. Guessing just
won't work! < see that beside your lab reports and you
can assume its a small amount and if you match it to
the criteria set by the FDA or FSIS most likely you
will pass the test. But lead and Cadmium fall under a
different set of rules. They are real TIGHT! Cobalt,
iron, boron, copper, tin and other colorants need to
be within the guide lines set by the Food Service
Safety Institute or by water standards which I believe
will cover most of it. All of the above exluding lead
can pass muster in lab tests given you have a good
base that can hold the additional coloring oxides in
or if you don't saturate the base to death with
colorants in some cases. Copper is a fine example and
I have this demostrated in a book I am working on with
the lab reports. Same base with increments of copper
and how the leachate changes with additions of iron or
other colorants. Ammusing isn't it?

NO - I am not writing about techincal aspects of
toxicology. I can take any glaze base and make it into
a monster just by adding coloring oxides. So I don't
think I am looking to freak out anyone. Just show some
pieces and what goes on in the mind of a potter that
eventually leads to a finished product that others
might like to learn about. But right now this post is
about using proper terms in making a description or
getting someone more experienced to help describe what
you mean best. That is why it bugs me to see people so
fast to tell others to hit the archives. The archives
is great but information changes and even the archives
holds many mistakes. It important to new artist to be
kept current and to use terms that are explained well
enough so they can figure out what not to do or what
to do!

Less is more and I think Ron and John both have
pointed out on here that many colors can be achieved
using less oxides in better built bases on alot of
occasions. This means using and learning about
calculations. That still will not make you educated
enough to determine toxicity regarding the finished
product. You can only be a better informed potter with
less chances of screwing it up royally if you are
paying attention and know the tools you are working
with. Still doesn't fix the issue if it might be toxic
or not but it leads to less expenses of shooting from
the hip and add's more knowledge to you as you move
along in the world of chemicals.

If you can talk Dr.Edouard Bastarache into giving
information to you when you are pondering the use of
the terms toxic or hazardous, I would ask him to make
a statement. Maybe another toxicologist is on here
willing to help out? Let them clarify the most current
research and you will know that most of it is rather
current since they make a living doing it. But sending
out information where TOXIC or ACCUTE/CHRONIC hazards
are termed, need further description since they are so
many new comers to the art that will panic flat out
thinking its going to eat them alive once they open
the bag. Our art is a wondeful gift and we are exposed
to so much crap in this world as is. Lets keeps our
art safe, effective and provide good information so
the next young artist that comes our way will
understand the pro's and con's of all this technical
jargon. Simplify their lives just a little and it will
make them a greater artist in the end.

I am heading to the kitchen to graze on some veggies
containing chromium be back latter!

(micrograms per 100 grams of food)

Egg Yolk - 183
Brewer's yeast - 112
Black pepper - 35

(micrograms per 100 grams of food)

Green leafy vegetables - 20-60
Organ meats - 15-25
Muscle meats - 7-12

William Edwards


Bill Edwards
PO Box 267
Lafayette, AL, 36862

Do you Yahoo!?
SBC Yahoo! DSL - Now only $29.95 per month!