Thursday, May 13, 2010

Paper clay and Your Health


  • Paper clay should not be stored for long periods as liquid slip as it becomes smelly when bacteria grows in it. Mixing some disinfectant (Clorox, PineSol, liquid detergent) to reduce the risk and prolong shelf life. Avoid Clorox if you have sensitivity to bleach.
  • New paper clay slip can be made easily by adding hot/warm water into a bucket of paper clay dry scraps. See earlier post on making paper clay slip.
  • Do not contaminate new batches of paper clay slip with old batches. If you are using the same bucket, wash out the bucket well with hot water and soap.
  • Wash, scrub hands well with soap and water before handling food.
  • Prolonged exposure to any clay dust should be avoided and is deterimental to your health. Always wear a face mask if you are going to be handling a lot of dry paper clay, or when sanding, carving bone dry or bisqued pieces.
  • I would also recommend wearing a face mask when cleaning out a bag of paper clay with mold growing on it to minimize breathing in the mold that has been made air-borne. Wear disposable vinyl gloves if needed. Scrub and clean your work area and your hands thoroughly after cleaning out a bag of old moldy paper clay.
  • Minimize air-borne clay dust by using wet sponges, rags, mops to maintain a clean working environment.
  • Clay dries out your hands so moisturize your hands frequently.
  • Above all, use common sense. First priority is your safety and health.

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