February 05, 2010

Stained Glass and Lead Poisoning

I had it in my mind for a long time that if I learned stained glass I would be at risk for lead poisoning and get sick.  That mindset kept me from advancing towards learning this art.   I was wrong.
After lots of reading I learned that while stained glass workers do tend to have slightly elevated lead levels in their blood, if I'm careful there shouldn't be any reason why I won't be safe and healthy.

•Touching cold lead does not absorb through your pores.
•Soldering iron does not get lead solder hot enough to create harmful toxic fumes.  (But I'll use a fume trap just to be extra safe.)

•Avoid dropping hot solder and have it burn through your skin.
•Avoid eating or having open drink containers in the stained glass work area.
•Wash your hands often and don't touch your face.

I love this article written by Glass Campus please read it!

If I'm careful and treat it like raw meat (avoid touching but when I do, wash hands after) there shouldn't be any lead poisoning in my future.
Good idea to get a blood test each year just to be safe.
Only lead free solder is allowed for items that are near food (napkin holders, etc), jewelry, anything within reach of children, and items being constantly touched (ie: chessboards, etc).

My Stained Glass class starts on February 10th... wish me luck and remember... Safety First!  ^_^

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