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Pregnancy and Fusing

 

Although there are those who say the biggest issue with pregnancy and fusing is that you're likely to get so involved with fusing you have no time to get pregnant, that's not the only risk. 

 

Many of the risks are the same ones that exist anytime you work with glass, and that might potentially be magnified when pregnant.  Make certain you wear a mask while working with powders, fiber products, or sandblasting.  Avoid eating or drinking around powders and other materials, and stay away from solvents and other strong chemicals.

 

Of special concern is working with oversprays, enamels, and related chemicals.  When pregnant, it's essential to avoid products that contain lead.  This include many devitrification sprays and some enamels. 

 

In addition, if you're using an unfamiliar product (or even a familiar one you're concerned about), check the manufacturer's MSDS for potentially harmful ingredients.  Pay special attention to any products that contains a teratogen (chemical that causes birth defects, a mutagen (chemical that can cause a mutation in DNA), or that is embryo toxic.  And if you're in doubt, avoid the product altogether.

 

With a little common sense and a few minutes of checking, you should be able to safely cut glass, fuse, and slump throughout and beyond your pregnancy.

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Copyright 2006 Brad Walker.  All rights reserved.

Thanks to Greg Rawls, Tony Smith, and others for suggestions contained in this tip.

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Four Corners International, Inc.

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Copyright 2005-2006 by M. Bradley Walker.  All rights reserved.

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