ART TEACHERS NEED TRAINING

Universities are required to follow OSHA guidelines in their science departments because of the wide range of potentially toxic materials and equipment. However, art departments are notorious for ignoring OSHA guides, even though so many art materials can be hazardous. Think of the chemicals used in welding, ceramics, foundry and glass work. One University art department was found to be dumping cadmium paints into the drain. Clearly there is a need for artists and art teachers to take greater responsibility for teaching safety as well as skill. Just this past week, The Art Treehouse heard from a student in a painting class where the teacher insisted that students use a solvent made from OSHA regulated chemicals. The student had to hid her less-toxic replacement. Artists regularly deal with solvents, metals, minerals, pigments and dyes. Education is essential – our health is important!