Safety in the stained glass workshop

This page is very important for safety and health reasons . People assume that all the materials used in stained glass , pewter and mosaic are safe to use because it is freely available . A lot of these chemicals and materials can be fatally toxic , caustic or corrosive . Always read the label on any container and please adhere to the warnings and precautions on it.

Always try to use as small an amount as possible and rather decant into smaller containers before using , if possible at all . This smaller quantity should be easier to handle and if spilled , much easier and safer to clean up.

Never mix any chemicals , solutions or mixtures with anything else unless it is stated as safe on the labels to do so . Even mixing some chemicals with household cleaners can cause unwanted chemical reactions by producing poisonous gas or even cause explosions .

Never cut glass without wearing safety glasses or a face shield

Do not wear contact lenses when cutting or grinding glass.

Never use your grinder without water because the fine glass dust is deadly .

Never use a broom , brush or rag to wipe your worksurface when working with glass because the fine glass dust can become airborne and inhalation can be deadly . Use a sponge to lightly sweep the glass dust away .

Always use a wet type vacuum cleaner (all the suctioned air and contents is passed through a waterbath and the dust stays behind in the water) to sweep the floor where you do your glasswork . This will prevent dangerous glass dust , chemical residues and lead from polluting the air . A normal vacuum cleaner cannot filter out the fine dust and chemicals unless fitted with a hepa filter. A wet mop can also be used .

Always wear protective gloves when handling any chemical , even household cleaners .

Never eat or drink while working with lead , soldering or using chemicals without washing your hands properly even if you wore gloves .

Always use chemicals in a well ventilated area or use a proper extraction system .

Never pour chemicals that contains toxic substances down the drain . Consult with your local health inspector or municipal waste removers for proper disposal procedures.

Use a respirator or dust mask when working with powders or old leaded windows .

Always keep a fire extiguisher at hand .

Never work with any chemicals or glass without wearing proper shoes and clothing . Try to use long sleeves and trousers to minimize bare skin that can be exposed to threats .

Never carry or handle glass above your waistline . To look at the glass in backlight , rather position the glass properly and go down behind the glass to look through it .

Keep your workplace clean and uncluttered to prevent yourself from falling or stumbling over loose objects on the floor .

Keep children and pets away from all chemicals and your workplace .

Keep a well stocked first aid box in your workplace and check it regularly .

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