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lead in commercial lo-fire glazes

updated sun 21 nov 99


Rod, Marian, and Holly Morris on fri 19 nov 99

In my constant search for good commercial lo-fire glazes, I have become =
aware of how many have the =22lead=22 warnings. I use these glazes in =
teaching to
beginner adult students. How dangerous are these? Is any skin contact at all=
risk? Is there lead in the vapors of glaze drying? Is lead being deposited =
on my
kiln walls? (I use the open door policy for ventilation, and don't have the
vent-a-kiln system for internal venting.)

In other words, do we have to be concerned beyond the usual precautions of
non-contact and non-ingestion?
Of course, we are not using these glazes for any functional ware. It's such =
shame that the nicer glazes all seem to contain lead.

Cindy Strnad on sat 20 nov 99


I heard of someone who used these lead glazes for a therapeutic activity
class at a mental health hospital and some of the patients ingested the
glazes. If you feel you need to use these, don't allow any
eating/drinking/smoking in the studio (you shouldn't, anyhow), possibly
consider the use of disposable surgical gloves (cheap, for the quantity you
get in a box), have everyone be sure to wash their hands well. Definitely
vent the kiln. And yes, it probably has lead in the fire bricks.

Cindy Strnad
Earthen Vessels Pottery
Custer, SD