Q: What do you do to protect yourself from toxic pastel dust?
A: Certain sticks of soft pastel contain toxic lead and cadmium so some precautions are necessary. Before I begin working, I liberally apply a barrier cream, called Artguard, to my hands and wrists so that pastel will not be absorbed through my skin via small cuts that I might have. I wear a surgical mask to avoided breathing the dust. Also, I try to work so that my hand is below my head, to lessen the likelihood of breathing particles of pastel as they fall to the floor. I ensure there is good air circulation in my studio. Once the dust has settled onto the floor, I try not to stir it up again until I dispose of it. I’ve been working with soft pastel for 27 years and have managed to stay healthy so far.
Comments are welcome!
Posted on April 20, 2013, in New York, NY, Pastel Painting, Photography, Studio, Working methods and tagged absorb, air circulation, Artguard, barrier cream, breathe, breathing, cadmium, cut, dust, fall, floor, hand, head, healthy, lead, particle, pastel, precautions, skin, small, soft pastel, stick, Studio, surgical mask, toxic, used, work, wrist. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.