What energetic and informative conversations we’ve started about the safety of polymer clay. Is this holiday tension or pent-up anxiety about the future of our craft? Or as Lea Hernandez describes it, "…a wave of Booga! Booga! Booga!" Nan Roche suggests that perhaps it’s a tempest in a teapot (teapots courtesy of Karyn Kozak).
Most of you have pointed out that few artists’ materials are without risks if handled improperly. Here are a few excerpts from your emails. Thanks for all the wise comments…and wisecracks.
Judy Belcher says
I also wondered, do those galleries burn lovely yankee candles to make the store smell for the holiday or maybe spritz a little victoria’s secret room spray? Yep, you guessed it, phthalate in the fragrance oils.
Lindly Haunani asks
What happened to all the people who were getting brain tumors from using portable phones?
Nan Roche weighs in
What I tell my students about phthalates is this. Any medical procedure you have involving tubing, saline or blood bags etc are delivering astonishingly high amounts of phthalates directly into your bloodstream. It is excreted in your urine and feces.
Medicine has been using plastics for delivery of vital fluids for over 60 years now. If there was any obvious toxicity from this it would have surfaced by now. Without the use of these plasticizers to soften the tubing and bags used, delivery of safe, sterile and shippable fluids for medical use would have been severely hampered.
Over the past 60 years, average life spans have increased remarkably in part because of some of these advances in medicine. I think this is a tempest in a teapot in that, short of total global catastrophe, we will never abandon this technology. It’s just too practical and important for our modern way of living.